Judith D Collins
By: Daniel Palmer
Publication Date: 5/26/2015
My Rating: 5 Stars
"In Daniel Palmer's electrifying, brilliantly plotted new thriller, a private school campus becomes a battleground as a desperate father takes on a terrifying enemy...."
When Jake Dent's dreams of baseball glory fell apart in a drunk-driving incident, his marriage did too. In those dark days, a popular survivalist blog helped to restore Jake's sense of control. He's become an avid Doomsday Prepper, raising his diabetic son, Andy, to be ready for any sudden catastrophe.
Andy, now a student at the prestigious Pepperell Academy where Jake works as a custodian, has a secret--he's part of a computer club that redistributes money from the obscenely wealthy to the needy. Usually, their targets don't even realize they've been hacked. But this time, they've stolen from the wrong people: a vicious drug cartel that is coming to get its money back...
Staging a chemical truck spill as a distraction, the cartel infiltrates the Academy, taking Andy and his friends hostage one by one. Jake, hidden inside the school's abandoned tunnels, knows that soon the killing will start. With his training, and a stockpile of weapons and supplies, he's the last, best hope these students--including his son--have of getting out alive. But survival is no longer an abstract concept. It's a violent, brutal struggle that will test Jake to the limit, where there are no rules and no second chances.
A special thank you to Kensington and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. (full book version)
No one can pull out all the stops like Daniel Palmer, one of my top all- time favorite suspense authors, having read all his books, and anxiously awaiting his next adrenaline rush thriller. In Palmer's upcoming latest, CONSTANT FEAR, he turns up the complexity, suspense and intensity, with father and son team, fighting against a terrifying enemy. In Winston, Massachusetts, Berkshire County, a quintessential New England town with picturesque views, a small community with only twelve thousand residents, Jake Dent and his teenage son, Andy are hiding out, trying to stay alive in a double-wide trailer which they now call home. Everything they need to survive is stored and Jake’s ultimate goal is to protect his son, Andy, a diabetic, and geek at Pepperell Academy. While Andy is a computer code maestro, Jake’s knowledge is limited; however, he is a pro when it comes to survival techniques. Andy is part of a computer club (The Shire)—six members, that redistributes money from the obscenely wealthy to the needy. But this time, their hacking targets the wrong people; a vicious drug cartel from Mexico, wanting revenge and their money, at the tune of $200 million. However, they do not know the whereabouts of the money. Nearly all the buildings of Pepperell Academy are connected by a series of tunnels, dating back a century. As a grounds manager and custodian, Jake has access to the secret passages—making it a perfect bug-out location (BOL). As the book opens, father and son are on their way to yet another survival trade show (Self Reliance be Ready Expo held in NY). Andy is tired of living like this. The latest and greatest in survivalist gear, training, and the best prepper paraphernalia. Andy tells his dad he has control issues and with the loss of his career, and his mother--this survival thing is out of control. He wants to stop living their life in constant fear of the end of the world. “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” When Jake was twenty-two, he had a lucrative contract with a big-league ball club, a stop away from pitching in the majors, married to his high school sweetheart, and a father to a three year old boy. He crushes his BMW in a drunken accident after a teammate’s bachelor party; shattered his elbow-- his career over; sank into depression, his son Andy became sick, and his wife, Lauren left. She vanished, and they were divorced. Eventually his brother got him a job at Pepperell Academy as custodian. Thereafter he placed all his energies into survival. With the writings of Thomas Wiggins, the founder of a popular survivalist blog, gave him inspiration. He has devoted his life to becoming an expert survivalist. From weapons to physical training, food, storage, DIY fuel, gardening, livestock, medical supplies, and first aid. There was always constant fear of the future and he wanted to be prepared. Jake knew when the day arrived, Pepperell Academy surrounded by undeveloped woodland and farms would be the perfect place for The Day with the home a few miles from campus. Lance, his brother asked he keep his beliefs private. Nobody needed to know the school custodian was a dedicated survivalist, a doomsday prepper. Jake would keep the underground passageways and chambers a secret. Andy does not want to live life preparing for something which may never happen in his lifetime; however, his dad’s training may not be in vain, after all. Now, Andy and his friends are held hostage, a massive chemical spill, an evacuation, murder. These guys want their two hundred million dollars. Andy will die without his meds. What had they done? It was supposed to be thrills mixed with a message. The Shire never meant to hurt anybody. It was a statement about society, about income inequality. Yes, they all enjoyed the rush of hacking—it was addicting for sure. Jake is in a race against time to get to Andy, his son to save him. The campus had thirty buildings – who were these people, terrorists, with bombs? With six kids taken hostage and four armed men dead and Jake may be the key to unlocking the entry. Will Jake, and Ellie, Jake’s friend and love interest, a cop with her trained dog, Kibo reach Andy and his friends in time before more people are killed? Jake swore when this was over, he would tell her of his fears. With comparisons of baseball and tunnels--the SWAT team, snipers, cops and FBI are unsure if Jake is a fugitive killer and the target of an unprecedented manhunt. And someone else’s greed may be connected for an intense and dramatic ending.
"Death doesn’t schedule an appointment. It may show up at any hour, on any day, uninvited, unwelcomed.” Highly recommend for those thriller seekers enjoying a fast-paced roller coaster ride. A perfect gift for father's day! From 2011 to 2015 Palmer is in a class of his own, and find myself constantly trying to compare other authors to him; however, "not going to happen"; no one can compare, or live up to his brilliantly crafted complex plots. It is a given to followup with the audiobook, as hoping for Peter Berkrot, as Palmer and Berkrot are perfectly matched, making for an unstoppable dynamic duo. CONSTANT FEAR, a definite Pre-Order!
Read My Reviews:
2012 Helpless 2013 Stolen 2014 Desperate
About the Author
DANIEL PALMER is the author of four critically-acclaimed suspense novels. After receiving his master’s degree from Boston University, he spent a decade as an e-commerce pioneer. A recording artist, accomplished blues harmonica player, and lifelong Red Sox fan, Daniel lives in New Hampshire with his wife and two children where he is currently at work on his next novel.
DANIEL PALMER is the author of four critically-acclaimed suspense novels. Desperate, Stolen, Helpless, Delirious, and upcoming Constant Fear, May, 2015. Follow Daniel on Twitter: @danielpalmer Read More Website