Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Descent - Tim Johnston

Let's just start with wow.... Tim Johnston's new novel Descent is a gripping, gut-wrenching, stay up until your eyes burn you absolutely have to get your hands on.

The Courtlands decide to take one last family vacation before their daughter Caitlin starts college in the fall. One morning Caitlin and her brother Ben go for a run/bike ride up the trails while parents Grant and Angela sleep in.

And that sleep in becomes Grant and Angela's what if.... because Caitlin is gone and Ben is badly injured...and the Courtlands are thrown into one of those stories you only read about on the front page. They are living the nightmare.

Descent is an exploration of the aftermath of that fateful day, told from the viewpoint of all the family members (including Caitlin) - the recriminations, the slow eroding of relationships and ties in the face of such tragedy. But it's also a story of faith, friendship, hope and fortitude. All slowly laid bare by Johnston's prose - raw and moving, yet elegant in their simplicity.

I had to put the book down and walk away a few times - some of the situations and emotions were overwhelming. Johnston is a powerful writer. And I admit to doing the unthinkable - peeking ahead a few pages just to calm myself down before continuing on. Descent again reaffirms why I love to read - to be moved and transported by the power of words is simply amazing.

The label literary thriller is on the cover blurb of Descent and I think it's totally spot on. Absolutely recommended. Read an excerpt of Descent. You can find Tim Johnston on Twitter .


Kay said...

Looking forward to reading this one soon. I've read several very positive reviews. If it moved you that much, I must try it. :-)

bermudaonion said...

I've read a few mixed reviews of this book but still want to give it a go. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.

Ethan said...

This one is sitting on my shelf. After reading this review, it is definitely one of my next to read!

MonieG said...

Going on my TBR list. Sounds gripping. Thanks for your review.

Jillian said...

Okay, I'm downloading this soon. It sounds so intriguing and chilling!

Luanne said...

You're all going to love it!!

techeditor said...

I read this, too. It has been a couple years since I have been as riveted to a book as I was to DESCENT. Problem, though: it wasn't riveting until around page 130.

Chapters are short. No problem. But the chapters also seem scattered, not chronological.

Also, throughout this book Caitlin's brother, Sean, is referred to as "the boy" almost always. This is annoying. Such constant impersonal usage in seemingly personal chapters is confusing, and the repetitiousness of that phrase makes it ridiculous.

About halfway through the book, though, the suspense becomes so great, DESCENT is unputdownable.