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A husband faces the prospect of losing his wife to cancer or committing a brutal crime in this debut thriller.

Despite a plot that revolves around the choices we make in dire circumstances, Hunt’s tepid thriller telegraphs nearly every character’s intent, so the decisions they make are hardly a surprise. Gary Foster and his wife, Beth, are expecting their first child when she experiences a seizure that leads doctors to diagnose an aggressive form of brain cancer. Gary and Beth, scrambling for any shred of hope, find an experimental treatment in Germany that could save her life but comes with a $200,000 price tag—and, of course, insurance won’t cover it. They start a Kickstarter-type page, and while donations trickle in, they’re not nearly enough and Beth’s time is running out. In a poorly integrated side plot, a local drug dealer, Otto Brennan, is stuck between a rock (a cartel leader) and a hard place (a crooked cop), both of whom want money from him, though he only has the funds to pay off one. Otto sees an article on the local newspaper's website about Gary and Beth's plight, and he reaches out to Gary with an offer: all Gary has to do is get rid of the cop, Devon Peterson, permanently, and Otto will give him the money for Beth's treatment. In predictable fashion, nothing goes right, and Gary and Otto become embroiled in a Keystone Cop–like investigation into the murder while Gary spins lie after lie to Beth, lies that no one would realistically believe. The resolution—to the case, Beth’s cancer, the Fosters’ marriage—is as implausible as they come.

Stock characters populate a plot that takes the suspension of disbelief to ridiculous levels.

Pub Date: Jan. 30th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-399-58640-8
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Berkley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2017


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