There was a time when Jake Riley led special forces teams into missions impossible, but now, unemployed, unhappily married, and dangerously depressed, he hops on his Harley with a woman he barely knows, hoping to feel powerful again. As Jake pushes his ride to the limit with his new, troubled woman complaining behind him, they race from Indiana to New Mexico with little money and no plan–just double the pain and more of the same up ahead.
Meanwhile, as Jake wholeheartedly pursues self-destruction, his long-suffering wife and his stable, loving brother conspire to lift him up from a deep, dark, hole, even if he’s dead weight.
This would be no more than another sad tale of mid-life angst were it not for the shaky underpinnings of Jake’s life as one of two impoverished sons of itinerant carnival workers and his struggle to endure the tragic consequences of war. He is forever mindful of his father’s harshness, and of the life he wasn’t able to save in one of his many military exploits. The message, which flows naturally from the story’s unfolding, is that a person must identify and confront his problems and the weak places in his soul, shoring them up no matter what it takes.
While the story is often compelling, the novel lacks sophistication and is more sincerely than skillfully written. It would have benefited immeasurably from the use of contractions, which would have greatly enhanced the authenticity of the dialogue. Most of the time, however, the characters are drawn with sufficient detail, and despite the flaws, the authors capture the pace of mania most effectively.
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