Title: Finding Jake
Author: Bryan Reardon
Genre: Suspense/Thriller Release
Date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow & Company, an imprint HarperCollins
List Price: 26.99 USD
A heart-wrenching yet ultimately uplifting story of psychological suspense in which a parent is forced to confront what he does—and does not—know about his teenage son, in the vein of Reconstructing Amelia, Defending Jacob, and We Need to Talk about Kevin.
While his successful wife goes off to her law office each day, Simon Connolly takes care of their kids, Jake and Laney. Now that they are in high school, the angst-ridden father should feel more relaxed, but he doesn’t. He’s seen the statistics, read the headlines. And now, his darkest fear is coming true. There has been a shooting at school.
Simon races to the rendezvous point, where he’s forced to wait. Do they know who did it? How many victims were there? Why did this happen? One by one, parents are led out of the room to reunite with their children. Their numbers dwindle, until Simon is alone.
As his worst nightmare unfolds, and Jake is the only child missing, Simon begins to obsess over the past, searching for answers, for hope, for the memory of the boy he raised, for mistakes he must have made, for the reason everything came to this. Where is Jake? What happened in those final moments? Is it possible he doesn’t really know his son? Or he knows him better than he thought?
Brilliantly paced, Finding Jake explores these questions in a tense and emotionally wrenching narrative. Harrowing and heartbreaking, surprisingly healing and redemptive, it is a story of faith and conviction, strength, courage, and love that will leave readers questioning their own lives, and those they think they know.
FINDING JAKE, the debut novel from Bryan Reardon (William Morrow Hardcover; on-sale February 24, 2015), is a unique psychological thriller that will stay with you long after you finish and Kirkus calls it “a compelling read; disturbingly relevant in contemporary America.” In the vein of such blockbuster successes as We Need to Talk About Kevin and Reconstructing Amelia, comes a story with a different twist that will appeal to the same audiences.
School shootings. They are every parent’s worst nightmare and unfortunately in this day and age has become an all too common reality. FINDING JAKE is told from the point of view of Simon Connolly, the angst-ridden father who finds out his son is unaccounted for directly after a shooting at his school. Because of this Jake becomes one of the prime suspects in the case and Simon is forced to obsess over the details of his son’s childhood. Were there mistakes he made as a parent? Did he miss something? Could this have been prevented? Did he really not know his own son? Simon unravels mentally and emotionally as he searches for answers and struggles to keep alive the hope and belief that his son could not be a cold-blooded killer. FINDING JAKE is a harrowing yet redemptive novel that depicts the power of faith, courage, and family love – it will leave readers questioning their own lives, and wondering if they really know those they think they are closest to.
Personal note: When Bryan became a father ten years ago, he and his wife made the decision that he would be the parent to stay at home with their twin children. At a time when this was very uncommon, Bryan left his high-powered job in politics and started a freelance writing business while raising their young boy and girl. There are many parallels and awkward situations in both Bryan and Simon’s life as both were often the only males picking up their children from school and chaperoning play dates. When Bryan writes about Simons’ anxieties and worries as a parent, he draws on his own self-doubts at that time.
Early Praise for Finding Jake:
“A compelling read; disturbingly relevant in contemporary America.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Reardon deftly builds suspense by setting his dual story lines on a collision course toward a shattering—and surprising—conclusion.” — Publishers Weekly
“Reardon beautifully captures the parental second-guessing that is magnified in times of crisis. In the early stages of the investigation, the speculations about Jake affect his father, sister, and mother all in different but perfectly believable ways. Reardon also does an excellent job maintaining suspense throughout the book. The reader is afraid to know what she thinks she knows. Ultimately, what is revealed about Jake is unavoidable and unpredictably heartbreaking.”
“Finding Jake is a heart wrenching, heart breaking beautifully written must read. A school shooting, parents’ worst nightmares, not understanding your teenager, questioning your parenting skills, and unconditional love all come together in this wonderfully told story.”
— Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC
*A February 2015 LibraryReads Pick*
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About the Author:
Bryan Reardon is a freelance writer specializing in medical communications. He co-wrote Ready, Set, Play with retired NFL player and ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth and Cruel Harvest. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Bryan worked for the State of Delaware for over a decade, starting in the Office of the Governor. He holds a BA in psychology from the University of Notre Dame and lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania, with his wife, kids, and rescue dog, Simon.
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5 Physical Copies of the book (US Only)