Descent by Tim Johnston
The Courtland family, Grant and Angela and their two teenage children, Sean and Caitlin, travel to Colorado for a family vacation before Caitlin heads off to college. Caitlin is a runner and has won many awards for her skills and is looking forward to the challenge of the terrain of Colorado.
The first morning they are there, Caitlin and Sean take off to try the trails. Caitlin on foot and Sean following on his bike. A short time later Grant receives a call from the police that Sean is in the hospital having been hit by a car and when Grant inquires about Caitlin, the officer is puzzled…. Sean was found alone. Caitlin was not with him.
This is the start of a family nightmare. Grant and Angela’s already shaking marriage is put in even more jeopardy when Grant insists that he stay in Colorado to continue the search for Caitlin while Angela and Sean return home to Wisconsin and try to continue on with a semi normal life. As weeks turn to months, and months to years, the damage to all the Courtlands is evident.
Sean lives with the guilt of knowing more than he is saying, and Caitlin… well, what of Caitlin? Will she ever be found either dead or alive?
I read this book for our book club and while it was a new title to me I am so glad we read it. What an excellent read. I liked how real this book felt, an excellent setting of losing a child in the Colorado mountain area and the only witness was hit by a car and has little recollection, hours lost in the search because the police did not know there was another person with Sean until the call to his parents. Creepy and brilliant.
There was much to like about this novel that I felt was done very well. I had only a couple of bumps along the way. There were several chapters where Sean is referred to as the boy and for some reason I struggled with that… mainly because it was written in a way where for a while I did not know who the book was referring to.. at first I thought it was creating a mysterious narrator but after many chapters of not always knowing who was speaking, it bugged me. My other bump was in the end a character does something completely out of character which brings things to a close… but did not seem to fit with who this person was for the entire book.
Honestly though, compared to the whole book, the bumps were minimal and I found this one hard to put down I wanted so badly to know what had happened to Caitlin and how it would all end.
Deliciously good reading.
- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Algonquin Books; 1 edition (January 6, 2015)