RESCUING OLIVIA by Julie Compton


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Modern-day fairy tale about a princely Florida lawn guy who must rescue his princess from a clutch of monsters.

In the five months Anders Erickson has lived with Olivia Mayfield, he’s fallen ever more deeply in love with her and determined to propose marriage. But his plans are put on hold by a motorcycle trip to a special swimming hole at the edge of the Ocala National Forest that turns disastrous when someone steals his two helmets, someone runs his Harley off the road and sends its passengers to two different hospitals, and someone spirits off the comatose Olivia, tells Anders she’s died and expunges every record of her stay. The fact that these malefactors are three different people removes the tale from the realm of documentary reality and nudges it closer to fable. Yet once Olivia’s pharmaceutical-king father Lawrence and her ex-fiancé, Iraq war veteran Brent Campbell, are established as the lead dragons, Compton (Tell No Lies, 2008) burrows so deeply into Olivia’s and Anders’ troubled back stories and dramatizes in such psychologically compelling terms the swain’s attempt to rescue his princess—aided by his friends Lenny and Shel, complicated by Lenny’s ex-wife Crystal, a born siren—that the result is a pleasing hybrid of fairy tale and contemporary thriller.

Anders’ road is a long one, and the twists along the way won’t keep you on the edge of your seat. But Compton’s increasingly pointed questions about what exactly it would mean to rescue Olivia make the journey worthwhile.

Pub Date: Feb. 2nd, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-312-37876-9
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2009