Killer Come Home by Louis Begley
Release Date - April 2015
Nan A. Talese
Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth
I'll admit that the writing style used in Killer Come Home took me a bit to adjust to. It's very personal and felt a little more like a memoir than a fiction book. The story begins with Jack Dana stating: "This is a true story. I have changed the names of certain persons in order to protect them from harm." It is a fictional story, however, though it still seems as though it could have been ripped from the headlines.
Jack's mother died of ovarian cancer and his dad had a stroke and went into a vegetative state shortly after. The only person left in Jack's life is his Uncle Harry. Harry is there when Jack opts to enlist after 9-11, and he's there when Jack is recovering at Walter Reed following pelvic injuries received during a sniper attack. It's Harry that urges Jack to write about his experiences.
After Jack's book is released, he heads off to South America for three months. It's there that Jack gets the devastating phone call. Harry hung himself. Not only that, Harry's secretary was killed by a subway train just a day later. Jack is not convinced. There's no way Harry would have committed suicide, and the death of Harry's secretary a day later is just too coincidental for it to not be suspicious.
Jack returns home and starts looking into his uncle's death. He soon has the evidence he needs to prove that his uncle stumbled across a very dangerous man's secrets. With that knowledge, Jack sets off to right a wrong, even if it means taking the law into his own hands.
This isn't normally my cup of tea as the saying goes. I like mysteries, which I mistakenly thought I was reading, but it didn't take long before I knew this was a, international thriller with military/espionage-type leanings. It's pretty apparent from the start who killed Harry and why, so that's not going to be a big surprise.
In the end, it was the gritty writing that kept me involved in the story. Agree or disagree with Jack's tactics, but there's no doubt where his loyalties lie. For that, I grew to really respect and like his character.