Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Fort Review

This, my friends, was a really good one. I noticed The Fort on a banner on my amazon page and since it was free to borrow for Prime members, I grabbed it. The novel takes place during a summer in the early 1980's in the suburbs. The Vietnam War is still an intense memory for a lot of people and has become the focus of three young boys' summer games. Tim, Scott and Luke built a tree fort in the woods and spend their days playing soldier, using air rifles to shoot at targets on the ground.

Meanwhile, a local detective detective named Van Endel is investigating the ongoing murders of prostitutes, whose bodies are found at a local park. The plot picks up when Tim's older sister Becca comes home from the movies with a ripped shirt and an explanation that rings false. The next day, her friend Molly is reported missing. The kidnapper is revealed early on (the book is told through various character perspectives, which the kidnapper being one of them). He has his own demons as a war vet and preys on women who resemble his sister who disappeared long ago.

The boys are in the fort one day when they witness Molly, who managed to briefly escape from the kidnapper, being led at gunpoint back to his house. They manage to shoot him (with a real rifle borrowed from Scott's stepdad) in the leg, which sets up many of the issues for the kidnapper later in the book and contact the police. However, when another badly burned body shows up near the drive in where Molly supposedly disappeared, the cops believe the boys are lying to them. Their parents are furious and forbid the boys from spending any more time together. This of course only makes them more determined to prove their innocence and save Molly before she comes to any serious harm.

The Fort is a great coming of age novel along with a thriller about a serial killer. The story flies by and left me wanting to read Aric Davis' other books (randomly I bought A Good and Useful Hurt back in April so I'm looking forward to reading that), which are all really inexpensive on amazon (all under $5 or can be read for free through Prime). I don't know if he is a self-published author, but he definitely has talent. Even Gillian Flynn, author of last summer's amazing read Gone Girl, agrees, saying: “Every so often you come across a book with a voice like a blast of pure oxygen. Aric Davis has that kind of voice: crackling, assured, energized.” 

Do yourselves a favor and pick up The Fort. It's a great summer read.

Buy it at amazon (only $4.99) and Barnes & Noble

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