In this action/adventure/thriller, a young man spends years planning revenge on three high school bullies, only to question the real price of such a pursuit.
As an overweight teenager, Edward “Eddie” Dalton must endure the taunts of the high school’s toughest bullies: Zack Roe, Brent Wheaton, and Cory Mar. When a “cool” girl invites Eddie to the prom, ringleader Zack is beside himself.
On prom night, the bullies confront Eddie as he’s preparing to leave to pick up his date. When he jumps into his car to escape, they chase him for miles, finally forcing him off the road. In the ensuing crash, a dazed Eddie gets out of the car, and when Zack advances on him, he steps backwards and disappears over a steep slope.
Unsure if Eddie is dead or alive, Zack covers his tracks. Lost in a dense forest, Eddie manages to survive for six years before finding his way home. However, his journey has just begun, as he spends the next ten years plotting his revenge.
This is a fast-paced page-turner, particularly as Eddie learns to co-exist with nature with few resources. In true, old-fashioned adventure style, he not only survives, but strikes it rich. When he returns to his hometown, he’s leaner, richer, and unrecognizable, re-inventing himself with a new name and identity.
Author Philip La Croix overstuffs his book with plots to keep the twists coming. Most of them defy credibility, but that’s part of the fun. Only the plot involving grown-up bully Brent is a true misstep, coming without suitable foreshadowing or explanation. There’s also a few too many over-the-top sequences involving racing, flashy cars, and some rather bizarre luxury homes and yachts.
Nevertheless, the book has all the satisfying thriller elements. When Eddie confronts Zack, readers can’t help but feel gleeful. And Eddie ‘s second thoughts on revenge add a nuanced layer to the book that leaves readers with their own thought-provoking questions.
Also available as an ebook.