Jace Wilson is thirteen years old and finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. He witnesses a double murder and just barely escapes from the hired killers who were committing the dirty deeds. Jace needs protection from these killers and he is given a new identity and hustled away to a location everyone hopes will be off the grid. He is sent to Montana to spend the summer in a wilderness survival experience operated by a young couple, Ethan and Allison Serbin. The Serbins run this experience every summer for troubled teens, so what better way to hide a kid than in the middle of nowhere? These folks are up to the job as Ethan is a former Special Forces kind of guy and he knows how to survive. Unfortunately, the Blackwell Brothers – who are the professional hit men – find out the boy’s location and they start tracking him down, leaving a high body count in the process. The race for Jace’s survival is on.
This is a compelling and riveting piece of work. The thrills start in the first few pages and adrenalin kicks into high gear. There is no doubt that Koryta is in complete control. There are no false moves and I literally couldn’t stop reading – I had to know what was coming next. The characters are engaging and nicely drawn. Jace and the Serbins are believable characters, and I was emotionally connected to them. The threat to all three is palpable. There is also a forest fire fighter who is thrown into the mix, and she has a complex history that adds another taut dimension to the flow. The best characters, hands-down, are the Blackwell Brothers. These two rank up there among the best psychopathic characters ever crafted. They have an interaction and communication style that is off-the-wall creepy. Koryta’s portrayal of these guys is top-notch.
The suspense and the thrills are unflagging. Just when you think you have it figured out, there are plot twists that throw you off balance. Oh, did I mention the forest fire that is threatening everyone in the “cast”? Well, there is one of those too. Don’t start reading this close to bedtime because you won’t get much sleep.