4 out of 4 stars
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The age-old question for many remains: What would you do if you knew how many days you had before you died? The most popular answer remains the same: say a proper goodbye to your loved ones, donate, volunteer and just do good for all. But would someone actually go as far as to seek revenge by killing people before they died? Would they take advantage of the fact that a murder trial would probably not even take off properly and that they would die innocent until guilty? Chilling, isn’t it?
Final Notice by Van Fleisher may be a fictional story, but it is realistic in all accounts. The beginning is quite innocent, introducing us to a senior citizen couple, Vince and Trudi James Fuller. They live in Pasadena, California with their dog, Miles. Their two kids are married and living their own lives. The Fullers are friends with Alma and Ahmed Khan and socialize very often. They are shocked each day by the NRA chief, Dwayne LaPlant’s statements about increasing guns in the country to make it safer. They wonder if by making avail of the senior citizen discount promoted by the NRA to buy a gun would make them feel safer. The Fullers begin discussing it with their military friend, Reuben and are surprised to hear how easy the test to obtain a Handgun Safety Certificate is.
Meanwhile, in several parts of the country, hate crimes are carried out against immigrants and a few revenge crimes seem to be carried out by senior citizens. What baffles the police and the FBI is the presence of a watch named VT2, sold by VitalTech, California, a health watch which can predict the day you die. The revenge crimes were carried out by senior citizens who received their “Final Notice”, meaning that they would die within a week. So, who is to be blamed for the revenge crimes: the wielder of the gun, VitalTech or the NRA for providing the senior citizen discount?
Gripping, yet chilling to the bone, Final Notice takes you on a roller coaster ride. At first, the characters are portrayed separately, but all the pieces fall into place at the end. It is apt for the current situation with gun control laws and the problems many immigrants face with racism. It speaks about politicians willing for change and dictators willing for power. The characters are designed perfectly and I’m sure that my review could never give enough justice.
Vince and Trudi are courageous, yet simple-minded. Vijay Patel, head of VitalTech thinks very intelligently and innocently. The NRA chief is manipulative, rude and self-centered. Zoe Brouet, the FBI agent, is strong and courageous. The Khans, Reuben, Qasim and Rasha Melho are not only good friends of the Fullers, but are wise and intelligent as well. The Melhos are courageous, fearless and yet act quaint and common. All the characters are as profound as the theme of the book itself: if you knew your official death day, would you do good for others, or would you commit a crime with no guilt?
This is an amazing story. The author has done his best to intertwine current events to become an interesting tale. I found very few spelling mistakes and few places where the paragraphs were not edited properly. I’m sure that these can be rectified. They didn’t decrease the quality of the story in any way. The ending was everything I imagined and more. With conviction, I can give this 4 out of 4 stars. I believe that, sans the violence aspect, it is suitable for all age groups. It definitely has a message to take home. If it’s your last living day, think only about the people you love, just as I loved this story.
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