I enjoyed this gritty, compelling and clever story based in Arizona on a true event of a sabotaged train causing a deadly derailment.
We have a teenager, Kelly, who has been kicked out of her home by her jealous mother for carrying her stepfather’s child; Jason, a former veteran Special Forces sniper; Billy, a young man who has a ton of anger with nowhere to go with it, and a commune of Pentecostal zealots living in the desert, waiting for God and/or Armageddon.
The story line definitely piqued my interest and I was quickly enthralled by the veteran Jason. He’s battling PTSD and there’s something about him that just tugged at my heart. Kelly has a genetic disorder called Moebius syndrome that has played in a huge part in her loneliness. Billy has been abused by his father and wants to derail the Amtrak in his cry for attention.
The story is told from the characters points of view and quite cleverly, Montgomery weaves all their lives in a tapestry of similar pain. She is vivid with her descriptions and quite believable with the characters and dialogues. As someone who once belonged to a Pentecostal church, for me, it was very accurate with her religious references.
This is a dark story at times with the references to PTSD, rape and violence. And it’s very well written and … human.
I liked Montgomery’s style and will be reading more of her stories.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Anne Butler Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. Her novel, The Scent of Rain, was released in March 2017. Two soon-to-be released novels are A Light in the Desert and Nothing But Echoes, and The Castle is currently being optioned. Montgomery teaches journalism at South Mountain High School in Phoenix, and is a foster mom to three sons. When she can, she indulges in her passions: rock collecting, football officiating, scuba diving, musical theater, and playing her guitar.