The Road of the Dead by Kevin Brooks
(from the back of the book)
When Ruben’s sister Rachel is murdered, he can sense it. Even though he’s miles away. Even though he can’t explain it. He feels her fear. He feels pain. And then – her death.
Ruben’s older brother Cole is different from him: darker, harsher, more direct. As soon as he finds out about Rachel’s death, he has a plan. Three days later, the two brothers set out to reclaim their sister’s body and uncover the cold truth behind her killing. It’s a long road that requires a hard and violent journey…with a brutal mystery at its end.
Ruben and Cole go on a quest to find out what happened to their sister. And it turns into a dark and violent journey. The brothers set out to bring peace to the family by putting their sister to rest but the story is about much more than that. There is an interesting relationship between the brothers that is intensified by the tension they are under and I like the way Ruben reacts to his brother, always backing him up even when he’s not sure he likes what he is doing. There is love between them that has to remain unsaid but is evident in the way they are together. The family’s whole past gets mixed into the events as they begin to unfold and Ruben has to face some unpleasant truths and figure out what to do about them. There are parts of the mystery of the murder of their sister that become evident early on but the details and how everything will turn out remain unknown until the end. There is a lot of violence that is graphic at times and is intense enough that it almost makes you uneasy reading it. Cole is written well so that you want to be on his side but at the same time you are scared of him and what he might do. There is a tension and suspense to a lot of the story that keeps the reader engaged and eager to keep reading. And I like that the subjects of justice, motives, revenge and closure are presented as muddled and confusing instead of black and white. But Ruben’s ability to feel what other people are feeling, interesting at first, starts to go a little too far. It ends up being a way that Ruben can keep the first person narrative going even when he isn’t where the action is. And it changes the nature of the nature of his ability at random depending on what the author needs it to do at the moment. And that makes everything harder to believe. And maybe after everything it wraps up a little suddenly with a few little holes about what will happen next but the story is strong enough that it doesn’t really matter. And I like the way the book handles the fields of justice, revenge, motives and closure.