Publisher: William & Morrow
Publication Date: 2/24/2015
My Rating: 4 Stars
A heart-wrenching yet ultimately uplifting story of psychological suspense in which a parent is forced to confront what he does—and does not—know about his teenage son, in the vein of Reconstructing Amelia, Defending Jacob, and We Need to Talk about Kevin.
While his successful wife goes off to her law office each day, Simon Connolly takes care of their kids, Jake and Laney. Now that they are in high school, the angst-ridden father should feel more relaxed, but he doesn't. He’s seen the statistics, read the headlines. And now, his darkest fear is coming true. There has been a shooting at school.
Simon races to the rendezvous point, where he’s forced to wait. Do they know who did it? How many victims were there? Why did this happen? One by one, parents are led out of the room to reunite with their children. Their numbers dwindle, until Simon is alone.
As his worst nightmare unfolds, and Jake is the only child missing, Simon begins to obsess over the past, searching for answers, for hope, for the memory of the boy he raised, for mistakes he must have made, for the reason everything came to this. Where is Jake? What happened in those final moments? Is it possible he doesn’t really know his son? Or he knows him better than he thought?
Brilliantly paced, Finding Jake explores these questions in a tense and emotionally wrenching narrative. Harrowing and heartbreaking, surprisingly healing and redemptive, Finding Jake is a story of faith and conviction, strength, courage, and love that will leave readers questioning their own lives, and those they think they know.
FINDING JAKE by Bryan Reardon is a complex heartfelt parent’s tragedy; a psychological intense suspense, keeping you page-turning to learn the fate of a teenage son. Simon Connelly is a freelance writer, and a devoted upper middle class suburban stay at home dad to his son, Jake and his daughter Laney, while his wife, Rachel is busy with her legal career. Presently, the kids are teens, Laney is more outgoing and Jake more introverted. They have weathered the storms of typical teenagers, until one day a text comes – A school shooting, which changes this family’s entire world. A high school shooting, leaving thirteen people dead, and a gunman, Doug taking his own life, and a second student, Jake who happened to be friends with the gunman. Jake has disappeared so the question is where is, Jake; did he have anything to do with the shooting? Flashing back and forth from the present, the six days aftermath of the shooting, and the past bringing insights into the raw emotions and intimate feelings of this frantic family. Do we really know our children and their friends and can a parent control their every move? Typical after a school shooting or tragedy, the media and community begins pointing blame, the victims – they must find Jake. A nightmare, and a parent second guessing his abilities as a parent. What really happened the day of the shooting and what led up to this event? Told from an insecure and second guessing father Simon, he continues to agonize and search for answers; he fears for his son and his choice of friends. His wife is more of a colder personality and somewhat removed and not a likable character. The daughter on the other hand was a softer personality, and Jake more removed and introverted. FINDING JAKE a short, thought-provoking and absorbing book about parenting and a nice book club choice to explore different perspectives. An intense and suspenseful read; an up close and personal look into the world of parenting—of love, fear, pain, courage, and healing. Of course, and the most pressing issues facing parents today. For me the best part was in the storytelling about the child rearing and the earlier days, a time when there is innocence before our children are subjected to the peer pressure and evils of this world. Look forward to reading more from this newfound author.