Descent; Tim Johnston
Algonquin - 2015
In some ways this thriller seemed like a story that has been told before, but it was more than your run of the mill mystery.
The Courtland family is taking a last minute family vacation in the Rocky Mountains, right before their daughter Caitlan is to leave home for college. One morning Caitlan, a track star, sets out for a run and younger brother Sean 15, rides ahead on his bike on a somewhat deserted road. Sean is hit by a car, injured and with no cellphone in their possession to call for help, Caitlan reluctantly agrees to accept a ride to get help for her brother, but instead is abducted. Meanwhile, someone else gets Sean help and, in the hospital he has no memory of the accident. When the parents are contacted and ask about their daughter, the sherrif is puzzled.
The rest of this thriller deals with how the rest of the already fractured family copes over a three year period. The father, Grant, drinks too much and has been unfaithful to wife Angela in the past. Angela comes across as a weak woman, but she still carries guilt issues from a childhood tragedy, and now her daughter is missing. Brother Sean, feels plenty of responsibility for his sister's disappearance since it was his accident that set the abduction in motion.
The story unravels slowly with the accident and abduction happening early on, The personal guilt and the effects on each family member seemed realistic enough, but I actually wanted to read more about Caitlan's ordeal. The author is slow to reveal her torment, so the tension builds and builds.
I enjoyed this thriller; it held my interest, but would have preferred more of a focus on Caitlan and less on the personal pain of her family at times. If you like thrillers, try this one and decide.