Andrew (Drew) Parsons, the product of an abusive upbringing by his adoptive father, has spent 7 years in jail for a crime he committed in his teens. While in the penitentiary he befriends an older inmate, John, a seasoned veteran of the prison system, who mentors Drew, teaching him the path he has chosen isn’t the one he should continue on. Returning home, after his prison release, with the desire to change his life, Drew steps back into a world fraught with conflict and misery; but also to a mother who has always been there to protect him. Soon, however, he realizes he must break away from that environment if he is to have any chance of success. Escaping his parents’ house, Drew sets out on a journey of discovery; to make a new future for himself, but also to learn the mystery of his past, to find his birth parents. As Drew begins to uncover his history he is swept into a world of lies, abandonment and violence, and the truths he finds are far from the ones he sought.
I doubt very much of anything will prepare the reader for what they find within the covers of this book. Many may be put off by the title, which does seem to indicate that the contents maybe all over the pace and depressing; but once I started reading this I had to admit it was not engrossing, but a book I didn’t mind picking up when I had a few minutes.
The novel is definitely character driven, and in writing their character the Author has done a skilful job. The main protagonist is one who realises that they have made mistakes throughout their lives and has now decided things have to change. Through the emotions and difficult decisions this character has to make, the reader is sometimes unwillingly caught up in the emotions that seem to pour out of the character and, although this can be a good way to identify with a character in certain situations, at times I found it to be emotionally draining on myself and had to put the book down and walk away. It is the journey to redemption of the main character that is the driving force in this book, and the reader travels every inch of this journey with them.
The storyline itself is tight and well written mystery, with some very good edge of your seats moments. However, I did feel at times that the Author had referred too many times to his thesaurus to find the exact word they needed, but this didn’t always hit the mark and slowed the pace of the novel down considerably; this is the reasoning behind my three thumbs rating. Some of the scenes of abuse written in this novel may upset some people, and well it should, as it serves to remind us what fragile lives we all lead and hold in our hands to mould and shape as we will. This Author does an outstanding job of showing the reader the lives of those less fortunate; those you could almost call the lost children of society who end up in the same situation as the main character in this novel.
However, this book is definitely an enjoyable read and I would recommend it to those readers who enjoy a “bad boy turned good” tale.