4 out of 4 stars
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The Easter Make Believers is an exciting and suspenseful thriller written by Finn Bell.
Detectives Nick Cooper and his partner Tobe White, of the Gang Intelligence Center, respond to a hostage situation in the small town of Lawrence. However, it seems like this is not an ordinary hostage situation. First, the hostages are the Chens, an innocent and harmless Asian family. Second, the hostage-takers aren’t making any demands from the police. Then, the unthinkable happens; a terrible explosion that kills the hostage-takers, who turn out to be five notorious gang leaders.
Luckily, the two teenage daughters survive the explosion. However, their mother is shot and is taken to the hospital for surgery. Their father is not found among the dead, and his remains are not recovered from the scattered debris. Further investigation suggests that he is kidnapped.
Now, Nick and Tobe are pressed for time. First, they need to uncover the identity of the kidnapper. Second, they need to find him before his trail goes cold; otherwise, the chances of finding his victim alive would be too slim. Third, a terrible storm is looming ahead which might forestall any rescue attempt.
The book has twenty-five chapters. It is told alternately between the first-person perspectives of Detective Nick Cooper and the hostage, and third-person perspective of an omniscient narrator. It is a fast-paced thriller that keeps the readers in suspense. By presenting seemingly unrelated details, the author is able to create one big mystery that promises a monumental culmination. Scenes are described in vivid detail and dialogues between characters are engaging.
The author did well with character development that despite limited backstories on minor characters, they are quite relatable and distinguishable from one another. However, though Nick Cooper is undoubtedly the ultimate protagonist, my heart goes to James Chen, a kind, decent, and upstanding individual. Finally, though I would have preferred a different conclusion, I think the story ended just the way it should.
Needless to say, I enjoyed this book a lot. It is exciting, suspenseful, engaging, moving, and well-written. It illustrates revenge in its finest form and flawless execution. It brings up a multitude of issues including law and justice, and how one is different from the other. It shares a glimpse of police activities and procedures that, though fictional, are quite convincing. Moreover, while the portrayal of fatherly love is poignant and ultimately heartbreaking, the description of familial love is inspiring and uplifting.
On one hand, the most important part of the book, for me, is the whole hostage-taking and kidnapping scene. It is well-conceived and perfectly executed. It delineates the difference between law and justice. On the other hand, the part I like most is how everything is put together in the end. .
I like everything about this book. However, other readers may find the alternating perspectives a little confusing at first.
I, therefore, rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It is a great book and I recommend it to fans of crime and thriller novels.
The Easter Make Believers
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