In Sisu’s (The Nude, 2011) unconventional tale of vengeance and redemption, after a vicious gang attacks his well-to-do, suburban family, a father abandons his previously comfortable lifestyle in pursuit of the reckless culprits.
After a decade of marriage, computer programmer Nathaniel Myer is facing a midlife crisis. The novel begins with a typical afternoon car ride through the suburbs of Miami with his wife, Lauren, and son, Li’l J. At a stoplight, Nate compliments a souped-up Mercury Marquis. Its four occupants are appreciative but suspicious. Later that day, Nate wakes up from a nap to find that his wife and son are being taken hostage by four masked men. While Nate tries to negotiate, it becomes clear that these thugs want to be paid in blood: a notch on the belt to add to their street cred. Left for dead by the masked men, Nate manages to survive, though his wife is dead, and his son is in critical condition. After months of little progress from the police, the foreclosure of his home, the loss of his job and growing distrust of his associates, Nate becomes a vagrant with one motive: track down the men from the Marquis, the same men who tore his family apart. In Nate’s quest for payback, he makes his fair share of friends and enemies. Though there’s betrayal, sex and violence, this isn’t a typical murder mystery. Sisu artfully keeps readers informed while sustaining heavy suspense as the story unfolds. Several chapters are told from a gang member’s third-person perspective as well as from the perspective of another gang member’s lover, giving clues that expose the dynamics of the ruthless gang. With relatable, compassionate but extremely flawed characters, the relationships are complex. There’s also a consistent flow of playful, quip-heavy dialogue, one of the author’s strongest suits.
An addictive revenge novel with guts and heart.