Bleak Harbor Book Review

Bleak Harbor Book Review

Title: Bleak Harbor
Author: Bryan Gruley
Published: November 1, 2018, Thomas & Mercer
No. of Pages: 366
Cover Price: $ 24.95 Hardcover, $15.95 Paperback, $3.99 Kindle

Bleak Harbor, a psychological thriller by award-winning author Bryan Gruley, begins when Carey Peters’ autistic, but brilliant son, Danny is kidnapped, and she and her husband, Pete (Danny’s Stepfather) are frantically trying to raise the money to pay the ransom. Danny is the youngest of the Bleaks, the founding family of the small town of Bleak Harbor, and while his grandmother has money, Carey has been written out of the will and is estranged from her mother. Carey works for a firm where her boss has illegal dealings, so by essentially blackmailing him, she feels like she may be able to raise the ransom money without her mother’s help. Both Carey and Pete are receiving texts with disturbing pictures of Danny, and both fear that if the money isn’t raised, Danny will be killed.

Gruley has done an excellent job of developing his characters; they are not perfect – Pete is a drunk and is at the bar when Danny is kidnapped; Carey slept with her boss once, and fears the consequences. Danny’s birth father is also involved, and he is characterized as a scumbag. Pete and Carey’s marriage isn’t the best, and they both feel partly responsible for Danny’s disappearance. Actually, Neither Pete nor Carey are particularly likeable, but both have good intentions when it comes to Danny because they clearly do love him.

The story is quite fascinating, and there are plenty of unexpected twists and turns. Readers will have ideas about who the kidnapper is, and the reasons for the kidnapping, but the dénouement is surprising and unexpected. Most of the novel will keep readers on the edge of their seats, and guessing most of the way through. Gruley is a good storyteller and has the ability to keep the reader’s interest throughout.

All told, Bleak Harbor is a thriller that will appeal to most thriller aficionados and, while it probably won’t turn out to be a classic bestseller, it is worth reading and has a few different scenarios that will make the novel memorable and unique.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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