Monday, November 17, 2008

Travelogue-Thomas A. Ryerson

Thomas A. Ryerson
Isis, 2007, $24.97
Woodstock, ON, Canada
ISBN: 0969742916

Eighteen years ago, Tasha Tait’s father Ian disappeared leaving behind a stunned wife Xavier and daughter. Neither woman is able to cope with the unexplained vanishing. Xavier called Birdie by everyone dives even deeper into being a misunderstood free spirit while Tasha brings her own form of closure by using psychological defense mechanisms to forget much of what happened.

However, seeing her childhood neighborhood bully Jorge “Val” Joyce on TV as a big shot triggers the memories she buried. She quickly goes from deep melancholy to anger as she wonders if Jorge had something to do with her father’s disappearance. As she begins to dig into the past with the help and encouragement of a new friend caring Dylan Douglas, Val will do anything necessary to keep history interred especially the connections between their two families that first converged over two decades before Ian vanished.

This deep character study is not an easy thriller to read as the well written story line gets deep inside the head of Tasha, who is finally “trying to find out who she really is” and to a lesser degree Val. Her need to know the truth causes a reaction by her nemesis who is perhaps even more desperate to keep the facts concealed. Taking place over three decades and not in a linear manner, readers will relish this deep complicated thriller as the need to know battles with the need to conceal with the latter being much more powerful and influential; a sort of female David with Jonathan (Dylan) at her side going up against Goliath.

Harriet Klausner