THREE DAYS TO DIE by John Avery: A Review
March 8, 2012
Author John Avery says on his Amazon author page that he likes to put ordinary characters in extraordinary circumstances to see how they will respond.
That is exactly what he does in his thriller, THREE DAYS TO DIE.
Aaron Quinn is a teenage boy whose father died in combat, and whose mother has replaced him with a new companion, an abusive, overbearing drunk. He is in that nether world between childhood and adolescence, a bike-riding, fun-loving kid who must deal with adult issues as he seeks to protect his mother, who has already suffered enough in her young life.
But this common-place scenario becomes uncommonly violent when villains kidnap Aaron and force him to join them in a crime spree, using a death threat against his mother as leverage.
Avery compresses the action into three days of mayhem, packed with bank robberies, killing and terror. Along the way, we come to know Aaron’s beautiful mother Ashley Quinn, his best buddy Willy, a mysterious wealthy author, a couple of yeoman crooks, a sinister crime lord, and the crime lord’s viper of a girlfriend.
Avery does a good job putting the reader inside Aaron’s head as the teenager responds to life and death situations. According to the notes at the back of the book, Avery plans a series of Aaron Quinn books that will allow his readers to follow Aaron’s future escapades as he develops into manhood.
We wish we had come to know some of the other characters better. We get only a glimpse into the life of Michael, the writer. One of the crooks is a former medical doctor relegated to a life of crime. Although Avery tells us how this transformation came about, we feel like the crook’s story has a lot to it that we never learn. Likewise, Ashley is the sort of person we know we like, but we are not sure exactly why.
THREE DAYS TO DIE is a quick read. It is fast-paced with short chapters and cliffhangers. This structure appeals to me in thrillers, but in this case I would have liked a little more layering here and there.
If you like action-packed thrillers with a lovable young hero, you owe it to yourself to read THREE DAYS TO DIE.
As a reviewer for World Literary Café, I received a complimentary copy of the book.