January 7, 2019

Book 2 on my march to 100 for 2019 – Bryan Reardon: Finding Jake – Read the book from cover to cover in one sitting because it was so compelling, emotional, and intense.

Yet another school shooting with multiple victims, but this one hits Simon Connelly hard because both his son and daughter go to the school. He races to the scene and watches parent after parent be reunited with their child—or receive the most devastating news possible. But after a while, Simon is the only one left. His daughter is safe, but no one can find his son, Jake. He was friends with the shooter, who committed suicide with his last bullet, and witnesses say a second shooter fled the scene. The police launch a manhunt for Jake while the family is in the public spotlight.

Two stories are interwoven in the novel. The first, the forty-eight hours following the shooting, follows Simon, his wife, and his daughter as they are tormented, both privately among themselves and publicly by the media, friends and neighbors, and law enforcement, by the accusations against their missing son.

The second tale, told in alternate chapters, depicts Jake’s childhood and Simon’s parenting doubts.

Throughout the novel, you feel the agony of the parents as they attempt to grapple with the facts, deal with the vitriol heaped upon them, and their growing panic as they frantically search for their missing son.

This is a taut, emotional journey. I kept promising myself that I would read just one more chapter, but I simply could not stop reading until I came to the impactful ending.

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