This is different to Tom Pawlik’s first two novels that I enjoyed immensely. Pawlik describes it himself as a ‘coming-of-age’ sort of novel which it is, but one filled with gripping suspense that kept me turning (well flicking, is that what it’s called on a Kindle?) the pages.
Pawlik is masterful in how he describes his settings. In particular, the way he describes Jake and Buck’s boat trip through a creepy swamp had me feeling like I was a third passenger on it. The suspense he creates when danger is at hand is riveting. His scenes with a certain large crocodilian creature reminded me a lot of Peter Benchley’s Jaws.
But it was his character, Abe Garner, an elderly man, misunderstood and rejected by his small community, that grabbed my heart. It is his story that lingers in my mind on finishing the novel. His story is such a beautiful one of grace in action, of forgiveness and not allowing one’s mistreatment to malign one’s life with bitterness, mistrust and hatred.
Read this so you can meet Abe Garner. Oh, and one very large water-dwelling reptile.