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A review of an unrelenting thriller titled THE UNWILLING.

Freddy-with a review of a fantastic new thriller titled THE UNWILLING, by John Hart.

“Gabrielle had wept on the day Robert left for Vietnam, and broken entirely at news of his death.  He’d been the first and the favorite.  Gabrielle would never admit such a truth, but her cries in the dark of that terrible night still haunted his memories. 

It should have been Jason!

It should have been him!”

THE UNWILLING is an unrelenting story of a lost family, holding desperately to a reality that is no longer theirs.  Coming in at 409 pages, this felt more like a novella it moved so crisply. 

When the French’s oldest remaining son Jason gets out of prison, it’s not a typical family reunion.  In fact, they stay away from one another.  Everything would have stayed that way too, if Jason’s youngest brother listened to the message his parents were blaring in his ear.  Instead brotherly admiration steps in and the boys have the time of their life.  Then a girl dies and Jason is suspect numero uno.  A family that’s been stretched thin is stretched taut, as a result.  To its breaking point?!?!? 

The story is much deeper than my silly writing.  This is a tale of the hardships of war.  The Vietnam War and how it affected many of its veterans.  And the war of the Roses too.  The French’s in this case.  This tale is mainly how a family can destroy itself within.  Rot on the inside and blame the other members for the offending smells. 

How do you build up trust once it’s broken?  Is that even possible?

It’s a tough question and one that licks at the edges of the fire THE UNWILLING burns with.

John writes in a similar manner to a Cormac McCarthy and I mean that as a compliment.  The writing lean, with minimal fat.

THE UNWILLING is a devastating tale of a son left alone in the world.  A broken down family unable to heal.  The weight of their guilt and how it crushes the child still at home.  That and a psychotic prisoner, a clueless dad/cop, and a majestic free dive just 15 feet under the world record. 

If you enjoy a fast paced thriller that’s full of unmistakable heart, I can’t recommend THE UNWILLING enough.\

I will review MAYHEM by Estelle Laure next.

Then CROSSINGS by Alex Landragin after that.

I am planning to review DOCTOR SLEEP somewhere in the mix of newer stuff.

If you would prefer I review one of the following instead first, then speak now or forever hold your peace!


THE BEAR (Claire Cameron)

THE LOST Jack Ketchum

Or of course DOCTOR SLEEP.

THE UNWILLING out on 06/23/2020, is available here.

“She tried to fight, but he was strong and her fingers weak.  They scraped an arm.  Darkness flickered.

She opened her mouth, but had no air.

The darkness came again.

The darkness stayed.”

Stay safe out there everyone!
Freddy Beans (AKA: Ken Lewis)

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