Return to the Lion’s Den

Gregory S. Treakle

Publisher: Gregory Treakle Pages: 256 Price: (paperback) $8.99 ISBN: 9798985807806 Reviewed: July, 2024 Author Website: Visit »

In this story, a man returns to his childhood home to make peace with his conflicted and violent past.

Daniel MacRae,18, has plans to leave home for college in the coming fall when he finds himself on a 911 call reporting that “… I think I just killed my father.” Daniel’s father, a Vietnam veteran, isn’t dead, but he’s an alcoholic with a well-known history of violence. Daniel is charged with assault with a deadly weapon. When the matter is finally settled, Daniel finds himself with a broken family; his mother has left his father, and neither his father nor sister speaks to him. Daniel leaves for college uncertain he’ll ever return to his hometown of Kohlers Mill, Indiana.

After studying journalism in college, Daniel forges a successful career as a broadcast journalist, soon traveling the globe as a foreign correspondent. Then he learns his father is terminally ill and he’s the only one able to care for him. Decades after leaving, Daniel returns home, where he must confront the past. Using his journalistic resources, he aims to learn the truth about what occurred during his father’s Vietnam tour of duty that, even decades later, triggers horrifying night terrors.

This is a straightforward, cleanly written tale depicting the small-town lives of everyday people who strive to lead good lives but are often stymied by their own demons. Readers will cheer for Daniel, the hometown son made good, returning against his better judgement to confront people he owes nothing to, but feels morally bound to aid and respect. The author illuminates the ugliness wrought by violence, while not losing sight of the good that remains and offering a conclusion both satisfying and realistic.

The story, however, is rather predictable, and Daniel’s mother’s and sister’s motivations for certain behavior changes aren’t well explained.

Regardless, the novel has many rewards and should appeal to readers who enjoy stories about small-town life, family, and ties not easily broken.

Also available as an ebook.

Author's Current Residence
King George, Virginia
Available to buy at: