Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Book Review: "Unquiet Ghosts" by Glenn Meade

Political intrigue and corruption. Stolen antiquities. The aftereffects of war. Family secrets. Glenn Meade's Unquiet Ghosts hits all of those buttons, and then some. This is a thriller in which very little is what it seems.

Kathy Kelly's life was turned upside down when her husband Jack, a veteran of the Iraq war, was killed in a plane crash, along with the couple's two young children, Amy and Sean. Not a day has gone by when she hasn't felt the pain of losing all of them, and although she has tried valiantly to rebuild her life, she can never seem to get the pieces to fit back together the way they used to when her family was alive.

While their deaths were an absolute shock, they are something she has come to accept every day for the last eight years. Needless to say, she is utterly unprepared for a freak discovery, when a plane crash in the middle of a storm leads authorities to locate the wreckage of Jack's plane, deep in the middle of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, nowhere near where the plane should have been. And while they've been able to find the pilot's remains, there's no sign of Jack's or the children's.

Could they be alive, after all this time? And if so, why have they been hiding from Kathy and making her believe her life had ended with theirs?

The investigation into what happened that night eight years ago uncovers more questions than there are answers, especially based on some mysterious discoveries, and Kathy's growing understanding that there were things her husband, as well as her soldier father and brother, who fought alongside Jack, kept hidden. And the secrets keep on popping up, as Kathy begins to see that other events that marked her life, such as her mother's death years before, may be connected.

Kathy wants the truth. But the truth might kill her, and if it doesn't, it certainly will endanger her and her loved ones, not to mention cause her to question everything and everyone she has held dear. Because there are people who wanted Jack dead, and they'll do anything to make sure this time he gets that way.

Meade throws lots of twists and turns and mystery into this book. There are a lot of parallel plot threads which eventually come together, and they really make you wonder whether there is some truth to some of the fiction that he has created. You may figure out what happened and who was responsible before everyone else does, but this is far from a boring ride—there is some great suspense and some strong action scenes. Meade definitely knows how to tell a story.

Even with all of the above, the book's pacing didn't move as quickly as I wanted it to, and a few times my attention flagged. But overall, this is a good thriller, and I could totally see it being adapted into a movie sometime soon.

NetGalley and Howard Books provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available!

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