This is another great mystery/thriller by John Hart. I always look forward to his books because they are so well written, and the stories are so original, that it’s an immense pleasure to read them. This book is set in the South during the Vietnam War and follows one family as they struggle with the invisible wounds of PTSD and the growing pains of coming of age.
Gibby has twin older brothers. Both went to war. One died in combat and the other, Jason, came back completely changed. After serving 3 years in prison Jason returns home seeking a connection with 18 year-old Gibby. Warned to stay away from Jason by his parents, Gibby nonetheless goes on a day trip with Jason to the lake with two older women.
One of the women is murdered and Jason is immediately considered a suspect. Gibby desperately tries to investigate the crime, but when the second woman is kidnapped while Jason is in jail, the police turn their eye on Gibby. Gibby and his police officer father race to establish Jason’s innocence and discover the secrets Jason tried so hard to hide – what happened to him in the war, why he was framed, and why the most dangerous man alive wants him back in prison.
This book is a wild ride. The main characters are well-developed. Their interactions with each other are hard to read sometimes, but they are so dynamic and raw that you feel like you’re in the room with them. Just when you think you know what’s going on, the author unravels another secret and your opinion changes. I was just a baby when the Vietnam War was going on, but from everything I’ve read and seen, it seems like it was a devastating thing to endure. It’s no wonder it left so many young men scarred for life. It’s a shame that PTSD was not understood as well during this era so that people could have been given better treatment.
The book is a rollercoaster of emotions and action and it’s hard to put down. The ending is bittersweet, but fitting for the storyline. I highly recommend you read this book. You won’t be disappointed!
I was given a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press. All opinions in this review are my own.