Transworld June 15th 2017
It nearing 5.30pm, the zoo is about to close for the day. Joan and her son Lincoln are making their way to the exit when they hear loud cracks in the air. Nothing to worry about Joan thinks but as they draw nearer to the exit she see images she would rather not have seen on the floor. A thick viscous liquid pools around arms, bodies and heads. Terror and fear take hold of Joan and she knows that the cracks in the air were gunshots and her only priority is to protect her son and to keep him alive.
Unaware of where and how many gunmen there are Joan and Lincoln flee looking for a safe place to hide until help arrives. Over the next 3 hours they face a nerve tingling fight to stay alive.
What a riveting, heartrending start. This novel will grip you from the beginning, leaving you barely time to draw breath until you turn the last page and can finally exhale and relax.
I absolutely loved this novel and would, if life hadn’t go in the way have read in one sitting.
It is not only thrilling and suspenseful but it also goes much deeper. As Joan and Lincoln hide and run from the gunmen, it is Joan who also has to question just how far she would go to protect her son and what it actually means to be a mother. There is one particular scene that I will not mention for fear of spoiling the story, that was upsetting but conveyed in the most stark and brutal way the protective primal instinct lurking just below the surface in every mother or parent.
The novel doesn’t just look at motherhood but uses the other characters to show we all have different coping mechanisms when faced with life threatening danger.There is Kailynn, the young teenager who talks incessantly to hide her terror and Mrs Powell, cool, measured and calm whose past career as a school teacher saves their lives.
We encounter one of the gunmen and are given a glimpse into his past, into why he is now roaming around a zoo shooting indiscriminately at people and animals. It was particularly poignant as I read the novel at the time of of the UK terror attacks. It is not hard to see how the novels plot can so easily spill out into real life masking this an even more terrifying read.
With tension and drama that is relentless right up to the very last page, and an ending that will not disappoint I urge you to read this quite brilliant novel.
I am already recommending to my customers at Malvern Library and cannot wait to see it on our new books table.
Thank you to Alison Barrow and Transworld for a proof copy to read and review.
Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Gin Phillips has written five novels. Her debut novel ‘The Wells and The Mine’ won the Barnes and Noble Discover Award in 2009.
She also written two children’s novels, Hidden Summer and A little Bit of Spectacular.