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Descent by Tim Johnston
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Descent (2015)

by Tim Johnston

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4808721,469 (3.82)40
  1. 00
    No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (sturlington)
    sturlington: The authors have similar styles, and both thrillers explore questions of fate and chance.
  2. 01
    Room by Emma Donoghue (KatyBee)
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Descent is a harrowing story about a family searching for a daughter that has disappeared. The girl disappears on a summer vacation, kidnapped, in the Rocky Mountains and the family that's left, the father, mother and brother must go on with their lives not knowing where she is, if she is still alive...

This book hit me pretty hard. I had it for ages on my Ipad, but the time never really came for me to read it until now when I saw that it would be released, then I thought "what the heck, I read it, who knows it could be good". It was harrowing to read the family's agonizing search. The father Grant who stayed and searched, the mother Angela who in the end returned home but never really could go on living, the son Sean who finally left them and lived in his car and worked for gas money just driving around...

In the end, I just want to say that Tim Johnston has written a marvelous book, very beautiful written about the evil things men do. In many ways this is so much worse than paranormal horror because things like this happen, children disappear, some are found and some are never found. I cared deeply for the family and I even came to care very much for a character that I never really liked until in the very end, then he did something that made me actually get tearful and I seldom cry when I read books.

I recommend this book warmly!

I received this copy from the publisher through Netgalley in return for an honest review! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Apr 14, 2017 |
Read it - the writing is so, so good.

It's billed as a literary thriller. Most of the way through, it's more literary than thriller.

At the beginning Something Dramatic happens. Until you get to the last 50 pages or so, the story unfolds from the perspective of the four main characters and covers how they respond to that event individually and relationally over the 2+ years that pass.

The character development and evolution beautifully and authentically captures how complicated people and emotions are. It's really a powerful testimony to love, hope and family, but not at all in a treacly way.

The last 50 pages delivers on the thriller. It seriously put a knot in my stomach and a lump in my throat. The actual resolution ended a tad too abruptly and tied things up a little too pat of a way, but it was a small price to pay. ( )
  angiestahl | Dec 7, 2016 |
Riveting story of a teen girl's abduction and her family's attempts to find her. Grim and realistic, the author tells less about the actual recovery (page-turning) and more about the impact of the crime -- psychologically and literally -- upon the remaining parents and brother. As a bonus, the book is well-written: think Cormac McCarthy meets Hemingway. Highly recommended who want some quality with their suspense. ( )
  mjspear | Oct 28, 2016 |
Descent. Tim Johnston. 2015. The Courtland family goes to the mountains of Colorado at the request of daughter Caitlin. She wants to run through the mountains before she goes off to college on a track scholarship. Early one morning she starts out. Her younger brother follows her on his bike. Hours later he turns up in the hospital with a broken leg. Caitlin does not return. The Courtland’s world is turned upside down and inside out as they live through this nightmare. This suspenseful novel is beautifully written. Descriptions are lyrical and evocative. I was totally surprised and pleased with the quality of the writing. ( )
  judithrs | Aug 28, 2016 |
This book was not at all what I was expecting. It is in no way your typical psychological thriller/police procedural, etc. This is a book about people and the way a tragedy can or cannot affect them. The writing was very reminiscent of [a:Nicholas Evans|6098|Nicholas Evans|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1223191539p2/6098.jpg] in his books [b:The Divide|114006|The Divide|Nicholas Evans|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348998691s/114006.jpg|1993312] and [b:The Loop|25422|The Loop|Nicholas Evans|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1167713890s/25422.jpg|109780]. (No not [a:Richard Paul Evans|46097|Richard Paul Evans|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1247515911p2/46097.jpg] or [a:Nicholas Sparks|2345|Nicholas Sparks|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1332884095p2/2345.jpg] ugh). Deep, thoughtful musings on the inner workings of the characters in this book. Beautifully drawn both atmospherically and character-wise. Really, really well done. Highly recommend. ( )
  Maureen_McCombs | Aug 19, 2016 |
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Epigraph
What we chang'd // Was innocence for innocence; we knew not // The doctrine of ill-doing, nor dream'd // That any did. -- William Shakespeare
May she be granted beauty and yet not // Beauty to make a stranger's eye distraught. -- W.B. Yeats
Dedication
I dedicate this book to your daughters, and to mine.
First words
Her name was Caitlin, she was eighteen, and her own heart would sometimes wake her -- flying away in that dream-race where finish lines grew farther away not nearer, where knees turned to taffy, or feet to stones.
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Book description
The Rocky Mountains have cast their spell over the Courtlands, a young family from the plains taking a last summer vacation before their daughter begins college. For eighteen-year-old Caitlin, the mountains loom as the ultimate test of her runner’s heart, while her parents hope that so much beauty, so much grandeur, will somehow repair a damaged marriage. But when Caitlin and her younger brother, Sean, go out for an early morning run and only Sean returns, the mountains become as terrifying as they are majestic, as suddenly this family find themselves living the kind of nightmare they’ve only read about in headlines or seen on TV.

As their world comes undone, the Courtlands are drawn into a vortex of dread and recrimination. Why weren’t they more careful? What has happened to their daughter? Is she alive? Will they ever know? Caitlin’s disappearance, all the more devastating for its mystery, is the beginning of the family’s harrowing journey down increasingly divergent and solitary paths until all that continues to bind them together are the questions they can never bring themselves to ask: At what point does a family stop searching? At what point will a girl stop fighting for her life?
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