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Caged to Kill by Tom Swyers

Caged to Kill

by Tom Swyers

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I received an ARC copy of this book and I'm glad I did! What I had thought was going to be a straightforward fictional account of someone who had been locked away in solitary confinement for 30+ years turned out to be a much deeper, and more intricate story that went way beyond the incarceration.

Briefly, Phillip Dawkins, the inmate, was found innocent of his crime and after spending 30 years in the hole, was released directly to the street. He found David Thompson, an attorney who was active in trying to amend the laws regarding unlimited time in solitary confinement. David and his family befriended Phillip - who, after all, was determined to have been innocent. But was he?

The story twists and turns, involving crooked correctional officers, a corrupt warden and director of prisons and the CIA. Soon, we're wondering if Philip is who he says (and believes) he is, whether he was guilty of his original murder conviction, and why he was apparently released to meet - and kill - David.

This goes beyond being an airport book and you'll want to set aside a quiet place to read, as you won't want to put it down until you reach the thrilling conclusion.

I agree with another reviewer who mentioned that a few scenes stretched credibility a bit, but since it's fiction, I was willing to overlook those instances. Overall, the book was still excellent. I enjoyed this story enough to give it 5-stars, which I rarely do. It was well-written, not a typo in the entire book, and the story kept me turning the pages. I was able to identify with all of the main characters, good and bad. The author did a great job of showing, not telling. All in all, I couldn't find a thing that I didn't like about this book. If it was a movie, I'd watch it at least twice. ( )
  tumbleweeds | Apr 21, 2019 |
** spoiler alert ** I was granted a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This book is about solitary confinement and tries to arouse awareness of the impact that this terrible practice takes on prisoners. That would have been a great premise for the book. However, this book moves into areas that were beyond belief for me. Electroshock therapy sanctioned by the CIA on prisoners, memories erased, continued drug poisoning without consent, change of personalities, etc.
The notion that Phillip could gain entry into the head of the prison's office is far-fetched. The idea that Phillip could suddenly remember everything that happened to him, AND piece it all together in an instant, is extremely ridiculous to believe. The idea that Phillip could somehow get to all the places he needed to get on a bus, and gain access without detection, is unlikely. I also find it hard to believe that a family would welcome an accused murderer into their home.
The son, Christy, seemed unlike most teenage boys. He was very helpful, trained as an EMT, and taking neuroscience classes??? Really?
Finding Phillip at the end, and getting his body out of a public park without being seen, seemed unlikely as well.
David has very convenient and helpful connections to allow him to figure out the case, but that also seems too pat.
At times, I felt the writing was inconsistent. Sometimes, it flowed, and at other times, it seemed choppy. Also, the book was over 400 pages, I believe it could have been edited down to around 320, which would have made for a better book.
I am giving this 3 stars because I believe that solitary confinement is a terrible punishment for anyone, and does have lasting consequences, but the rest of the story seemed way too far-fetched for me. I do recognize that there have been many unsavory things done by the government in terms of torture, but this conspiracy stretched the limits of my belief.
#CagedToKill #TomSwyers ( )
  rmarcin | Apr 19, 2019 |
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