4 out of 4 stars
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“A stone has fallen in a pool, and those ripples are spreading ever outwards, and no one knows where they’ll break.
On unknown shores, I guess.”
No matter how hard you try, the past has a way of influencing your life. But it is up to you to break the circle! The author tells the story of four childhood friends: Phil, Wayne, Steve, and Tina. With an abusive brother and an absent mother, Wayne is an outcast in school and society. He has a rare talent: he gets everyone in trouble, even if he doesn’t mean it. The author takes the reader back and forth, alternating between the past and the present, where the protagonists are young adults. An unknown burglar savagely beats Tina’s father, and a secret file is missing from the house. Wayne is the usual suspect, but Phil and Tina believe in his innocence. Phil, being a journalist, starts an investigation that leads him to a major cover-up. Our protagonists’ lives are in danger, and memories from the past come back to haunt them.
The writer skillfully intertwined the alternating stories told from Phil’s point of view. Knowing what happened in the past was the key to understanding the current events. The plot was very engaging and full of twists that were difficult to predict. The writing style was uncomplicated and expressive, so it was hard to put the book down.
The novel was entertaining, and I loved the author’s sense of humor. He used colorful and original metaphors, sarcasm, and many funny retorts. For instance, Steve is “so laid back he’s nearly horizontal.” Even in the middle of a serious and tense situation, Barry Litherland found a way to sneak in a funny remark that made me laugh. However, that didn’t cheapen the scene. I felt a combination of excitement and amusement, which was delightful.
I also appreciated the authentic and well-developed characters. Wayne could be a case study from a psychological perspective because of his behavior. Besides his friends, nobody knew how to act around him; people felt sorry for him and hated him at the same time. Tina was another interesting character, brave and full of compassion, always ready to protect any vulnerable person.
I recommend the book to readers that enjoy mystery thrillers. People that prefer themes that involve friendship and relationships will not be disappointed. A delicate audience should be aware that the novel includes many profanities and explicit violence against people and animals.
Waves Break (on Unknown Shores) by Barry Litherland deserves four out of four stars because of all the reasons mentioned earlier. There was nothing I disliked about the book, and I only discovered some minor errors. It is a touching and engaging story that will make you laugh and cry.
Waves Break (on Unknown Shores)
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