By: Bryan Reardon
Publication Date: 6/12/2018
My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC)
In a new novel from New York Times bestselling author Bryan Reardon, a suburban family is rocked in the wake of a terrorist attack on American soil.
On a typical late summer day, Julia Swann is on the phone with her husband, Michael, when the call abruptly goes dead. Then the news rolls in: A bomb has gone off at Penn Station, where Michael was waiting for a train home. New York City is in a state of chaos.
A frantic Julia races to the city to look for Michael, her panic interwoven with memories of meeting and falling in love with the husband she’s now desperate to find. When someone finds a flier she’s posted and tells her they may have seen her husband, her dreams seem to be answered. Yet as she tries to find him, her calls go unanswered.
Weaving between the aftermath of the explosion and Julia’s memories of her life with Michael, new developments raise troubling questions. Did Michael survive the explosion? Why hasn’t he contacted her? What was he doing when their last call was cut off? Was he—or is he still—the man she fell in love with?
Part family drama, part tragic love story, and part disaster narrative that hits terrifyingly close to home, The Real Michael Swann is a deftly plotted suspense novel with an unflinching portrait of a marriage at its heart, challenging us to confront the unthinkable—both in our country and in our own homes.
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A special thank you to #Dutton and #NetGalley for an early reading copy. Review to follow.
“An intriguing and original premise…many twists and turns that keep readers guessing till the end.” —Kirkus Reviews
“[An] addictively readable thriller. . . . Readers shouldn’t be surprised if they find themselves staying up to finish this in one sitting.”
"Reardon delivers another page-turner with frighteningly plausible scenarios, an occasionally wrenching narrative, and a final message that is particularly relevant for our times."
—Library Journal (starred review)
“A dark, twisting thriller that will keep readers up into the wee hours. Harlan Coben meets Greg Iles, with plenty of misdirection.”
“Out of all the books I’ve read so far this year, I cannot think of one that caught me more by surprise than this one.”
—The Real Book Spy
“The Real Michael Swann is a twisting, heart-wrenching journey into a marriage, a gripping thriller, and the story of a family ripped apart by terrible violence. Bryan Reardon grabs his readers on page one, then deftly ratchets the suspense page-by-page revealing slim fragments of truth until the breathless ending. A chilling, haunting read.”
—Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of The Red Hunter
"The Real Michael Swann pulls you right in and leaves you gasping. It's gripping, smart, and to-the-minute timely, with two memorable and powerfully sympathetic central characters."
—Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of The Switch
"What begins as a portrait of a modern marriage swiftly evolves into a shocking, complex examination of the American Dream—what it was, what it has become, and what remains. Both a love story and a brilliant social commentary, The Real Michael Swann moved me deeply and kept me turning pages deep into the night."
—Amanda Eyre Ward, author of The Same Sky
“Bryan Reardon’s compelling new novel lives at the intersection of ripped-from-the-headlines catastrophe and abiding, deeply personal human love. Julia and Michael’s marriage is so finely drawn that Julia’s crisis of faith in her husband felt every bit as crucial to me as the national horror unfolding around her. The marriage, at least as much as the mystery, kept me up late, with my heart in my throat, turning pages.”
—Marisa de los Santos, New York Times bestselling author of Belong to Me and I’ll Be Your Blue Sky
“The Real Michael Swann takes you on a wild, suspenseful ride that has you holding your breath from the very first page to the startling, shocking twist at the end. Amid terrifying tragedy and desolation, Bryan Reardon masterfully delivers an intimate, heartbreaking portrayal of a family whose love, trust, and loyalty for each other is put to the ultimate test.”
—Rhiannon Navin, author of Only Child
“The Real Michael Swann is a riveting read, pertinent and relevant to the times we now live in, with characters that keep the reader emotionally involved right up until its almost shocking ending. A highly recommended and insightful work of fiction.”
—Lisa Ballantyne, author of Everything She Forgot
Q & A With the Author
About the Author
Photography credit: Philip Flynn
Bryan Reardon is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Finding Jake. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Bryan worked for the State of Delaware for more than a decade, starting in the office of the governor.
He holds a degree in psychology from the University of Notre Dame and lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania, with his wife and kids. Read More