Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Bleak Harbor - Bryan Gruley

Summary: Their son is gone. Deep down, they think they’re to blame.

Summertime in Bleak Harbor means tourists, overpriced restaurants, and the Dragonfly Festival. One day before the much-awaited and equally chaotic celebration, Danny Peters, the youngest member of the family that founded the town five generations ago, disappears.

When Danny’s mother, Carey, and stepfather, Pete, receive a photo of their brilliant, autistic, and socially withdrawn son tied to a chair, they fear the worst. But there’s also more to the story. Someone is sending them ominous texts and emails filled with information no one else should have. Could the secrets they’ve kept hidden—even from one another—have led to Danny’s abduction?

As pressure from the kidnapper mounts, Carey and Pete must face their own ugly mistakes to find their son before he’s taken from them forever. (Summary and pic from

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Review: If I felt I was alone in this admission, I would be more worried to say it. However, I know I’m not, and so I’m just going to say it. I like murder. I like crime. Do I commit murder or do crimes? No. But I sure love watching and reading about them! Tough day? Let’s watch murder! Good day? Let’s read about murder! Go on a fabulous Caribbean vacation and sit on the beach and think about nothing except whether it’s too far away to walk and get dessert back at the beach restaurant? Time to read murder and crime! That was my exact scenario for this book, actually. I’m not being facetious. My husband and I had been planning a vacation to a fabulous resort in the Dominican Republic to celebrate our anniversary and a birthday, and so I brought along this little book to read on the beach. It was a great choice! And actually, I had such fond feelings towards it and noticed so many other people enjoying their murder books that I left it in the towel cabana’s library, where I can only hope that other resort goers will enjoy its disturbing content in paradise as much as I did.

One of the things I liked about this book is that I didn’t have to think a lot. Sure, the mystery was great and I enjoyed the twists and turns, but it didn’t make me work and leave me emotionally stressed out and challenging my every viewpoint. Do I want that on the beach? No. I want to be entertained and enjoy the characters and that was what this book was—it had a fun story, with characters who are super flawed (because: reality and also: crime book), and a good story that had all kinds of twists and turns. There were other great features as well—weird people who do sketchy things for money, high up businessmen who are super rich and super corrupt, and the main characters are just trying to survive in all this fiasco and make it out alive and help their peeps make it out alive. There is also some pretty heavy duty family drama, and that always makes for some interesting reading. The whole set up of this book involves the family drama and class structure and the haves versus the have nots. It’s also juicy when those two categories of people marry each other. And is it for love? Or something more nefarious? I dunno! That’s part of the drama! Doesn’t that sound like great beach reading? If you’re like me, I’d say that it does.

Now, will this book make you think and be impressed with its literary prowess? Probably not. Will this book keep you entertained? You betcha. Will it be a fun and interesting diversion? Yep. There is even space for discussion and thought about how we treat people with autism, as the son is autistic. However, I found it to just be a good read that kept me engaged and entertained.

My Rating: 3.5 stars

For the sensitive reader: There is language, some violence, and some discussion of sex. I would say it is pretty tame compared to some books in this genre.

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