The pitch for this book from TLC Book Tours was something along the lines of "if Jaws, Survivor and Stephen King had a baby, this book would be it". (I can't find the e-mail so I apologize if I am misquoting!) Anyway, that was the spirit of the e-mail, and combine that with the fact the story takes place in the Florida Keys? It was like dangling a bloody steak in front of a dog...or a shark for that matter. I was in.
Synopsis: Six strangers wake up on an uninhabited island in the Florida Keys, clueless on how they got there. Soon however, it becomes very clear what they all have in common...they are all heroin addicts and they soon begin to have violent withdrawal symptoms. They also discover a chest filled with food, water and a message. Swim a mile, it says, through shark-infested water, to the nearest island for additional food and your next heroin fix, or die. Just off the shore, a yacht's mysterious inhabitants observe what happens next.
What follows is a brutal and deadly game of survivor, played by crazed junkies...two woman and four men. Not only do they have to battle each other and their own demons and agendas, but their unknown adversaries who seem to be bent on proving a point.
My thoughts: One thing I can say about this book, and that is it is a rip-roaring fast read. The author doesn't waste any time. He immediately plunges you into the nightmare and drags you through to the last page. The plot is gritty, grisly and unflinching.
But as fun as it is to read something like this, I felt there were some missed opportunities in really developing these six characters. You get a small amount of background, but I didn't get nearly enough. These were all real, sympathetic folks that had fallen on bad times. I could have easily invested in them, but I wasn't given much time to do that. With what I was given, I placed by bets on the guy with the most fight in him.
I also felt the reader got the barest of explanations on the motive of the game players. I sort of got it, but thought it was a stretch that these people would go to such extremes and expense to prove their point. In a conversation I had with Ti, we agreed that it might have been better to have no explanation at all versus one that just skimmed the surface.
Be that as it may, this would be a perfect book for the beach or for a readathon. Your attention won't stray. In fact, don't be surprised if you finish in one sitting.
I do have a copy to give away, so leave me a comment if you are interested in reading this, and I'll randomly select a winner by September 30.
3.5 out of 5 stars