Tag: morality

48 Hours Book Review

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48 Hours by William R. Forstchen was another can’t put it down until finished book. Forstchen’s writing is compelling. He makes the reader think about the moral issues while weaving a fascinating tale. Furthermore, political nuances are incorporated throughout the novel.

The premise of 48 Hours is that the Earth is in line for an ELE (extinction level event) from a powerful solar flare. For those readers who have not tuned into the many Discovery Channel shows explaining CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) and other solar disturbances, Forstchen does an outstanding job weaving the science into his fictional story. He strikes a balance between education and entertainment.

48 Hours Settings

The author uses a dual setting in 48 Hours. The story opens up in Southwest Missouri. But an equally important thread takes place in Washington, D.C. with a second storyline. The two plots are stand alone, with a thin tie at the end.

Springfield, Mo.

The lead characters in Missouri are Darren and Darla Brooks. Both are in their second marriage with grown children. The blended family includes a sprinkling of grandchildren. They have ties to military. Darren served in the Mideast and Darla had recently sold a company supplying the military.

A previous CME from a few weeks ago is the current reality. A second hit is the basis of the plot. Darren is head of security for a cavernous underground site with sections either owned or leased by both governmental and private entities. This factor puts him at the center of the story.

Washington, D.C.

Dr. Richard Carrington V is the central character of the 48 Hours storyline based in the United States capitol. His interest in solar flares came naturally as the descendant of the first Richard Carrington. Both the solar event of 1859 and Carrington V are namesakes.

Moral Issue

Key to the novel is the various characters’ moral struggles brought on by the ELE. In a scenario where only one percent survive, who belongs in the continuity of mankind? Forstchen explores this concept, balancing altruistic efforts with the need to plan for future existence.

48 Hours contains individuals within the government and other positions of authority that “do the right thing.” But alas, they are more the exception than the rule. William R. Forstchen has once again written a fictional novel based in science that will give the reader pause. If there truly are a number of these underground facilities, how do we select in advance the survivors?



Two Days Out Book Review

Randall Silvis, author of Two Days Out, cannot be pigeon-holed into one genre. I have never read any of his previous works but found quite a bit of information on the web. His first public successes occurred in the 1980’s and Silvis categorized his first book as one of magic realism. Although Two Days Out does not contain any “chase scenes” I believe an adaptation could translate well onto the big screen.

The vocabulary present in the novel made me reach for a dictionary. Spume-strewn, susurrus, sibilance appear in the first chapter and I needed definitions for each. In this way, Silvis reminded me of Faulkner. He is an author with a literary bent.

Ryan DeMarco

Two Days Out is a psychological thriller introducing State Trooper Ryan DeMarco to the literary world. His personal past is tragic. An only son killed in a car accident twelve years past, and neither he nor his estranged wife can get past the incident.

Thus, DeMarco’s role in Two Days Out contains conflict. He is the lead investigator in the crime of a family murdered and a missing husband. Thomas Huston, a college professor and best-selling author is the man on the run. More complexities arise from the relationship between the two men. DeMarco has a hard time reconciling his knowledge of Huston’s personality with a man able to kill his entire family. He not only wants to find Huston, but he also wants to discover the trigger which caused the man to snap.

Thomas Huston

Thomas Huston also struggles to align his flashbacks of the murders and the man he is. The reader is compelled as much by the psychological struggle within Huston as with the plot. Silvis’ conveys the moral tussles of his prey in a manner which creates both sympathy and disbelief. Secondary characters paint a picture of Huston incongruous to the events. The twist and turns of the plot add further intrigue.

The Trigger

As the plot unfolds, Silvis directly involves the reader in the age-old literary theme of good vs. evil. The causal event is one that divides our nation. An act which always brings into question right from wrong and in the case of Two Days Out is the tipping point. The trigger event allows the reader to see the story-line as realistic. Furthermore, the writer advances a higher level of thought which compels each individual to reflect on morality.

I highly recommend Two Days Out for mature readers. There are a few scenes unsuitable for individuals in their early to mid-teens unless there is parent oversight. The description of the victims is disturbing. However, this novel addresses dilemmas which hopefully few will face. The story is compelling and worthwhile.