Seventeen-year-old Aidan Jamison stumbles into a terrorist plot in Milman’s (Scream All Night, 2018) woozy page-turner.
Alone in New York for health tests, Aidan uses an app to hook up with an older gentleman at his hotel. Following the encounter and a brief siesta, Aidan wakes up to find his companion dead. A phone conversation with a mysterious man results in a case of mistaken identity, and Aidan must go on the run or else face the consequences for the death of his one-time lover. Even worse, he’s now a target of the Swans, a domestic terrorist network targeting anti-gay groups and politicians. The Swans believe Aidan holds a key piece of code necessary for the group’s cyberwarfare efforts. As the body count ramps up, Aidan goes in deeper to uncover the terrorist plot, struggling to reconcile his mixed feelings over the Swans’ actions. Things shake up when he meets Shiloh, an older man who offers help at suspiciously opportune moments. An addicting read, Milman’s second novel interrogates the costs of political extremism as a tool for social change before curbing these efforts in favor of propping up a somewhat generic villain during the book’s third act. The author nonetheless plumbs richer emotional depths via Aidan’s struggles to make peace with his brother’s unexpected death and a torturous affair with a former friend’s father. A white default is assumed.
Don’t swipe left on this one. (Thriller. 14-18)