Thursday, August 9, 2018

Review: The Line That Held Us by David Joy

Release date: August 14, 2018
Publisher: GP Putnam Sons
Pages: 272
Reading level: Adult
Genre: Thriller
Source: First to Read
Links: Author 
 Goodreads • Amazon 

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
When Darl Moody went hunting after a monster buck he’s chased for years, he never expected he’d accidentally shoot a man digging ginseng. Worse yet, he’s killed a Brewer, a family notorious for vengeance and violence. With nowhere to turn, Darl calls on the help of the only man he knows will answer, his best friend, Calvin Hooper. But when Dwayne Brewer comes looking for his missing brother and stumbles onto a blood trail leading straight back to Darl and Calvin, a nightmare of revenge rips apart their world. The Line That Held Us is a story of friendship and family, a tale balanced between destruction and redemption where the only hope is to hold on tight, clenching to those you love. What will you do for the people who mean the most, and what will you grasp to when all that you have is gone? The only certainty in a place so shredded is that no one will get away unscathed.

This is 100% not a book that I usually would go for, but something about the summary appealed to me. I like a good thriller and this book was fast-paced and dark. It''s my first read by David Joy and he did a fantastic job creating a truly diverse range of characters- many of which were hiding secrets. Darl and Calvin have been best friends for years, so it only makes sense for Darl to call Calvin when he accidentally kills a man while hunting deer. What results is an insane roller coaster of a story that I definitely did not see coming.

THE LINE THAT HELD US is very short. I read it on a plane in a few hours but it certainly packed a punch. Darl's actions lead to a ripple effect that ends up impacting almost everyone he knows. The man he kills is a Brewer. The Brewers do not have a good reputation in the town and so when Dwayne Brewer realizes his brother is missing this does not bode well for those involved. This wasn't a typical mystery, it was definitely more of a dark thriller. Still, I was never entirely sure what shocking thing would happen next.

I am always impressed by strong character development and while we never got a chance to really know the characters before the "incident", they were all certainly memorable. THE LINE THAT HELD US took place out in the middle of nowhere and focused on the intersection between family, friendship, and trust. Lies were told, promises broken, and quite a lot of blood was spilled. I am interested in seeing the wide spread reaction to this book. The ending left a little to be desired and I had to reread the last few pages to make sure I knew what had happened, but I overall found this a unique and interesting read. It certainly will not be for everyone, but I think the darkness was what made this book so powerful.

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