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The Past Is Present

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Loved it! 😍

The impact of one day can last forever – Ben struggles to maintain a normal life and is soon confronted by the nightmare that remains.

Ben has never led an ordinary life. He is haunted by a tragic event involving his high school friends, which all began with an out of control football bet. Fast forward to the present, and he is still being confronted by a blackmailer. Ben keeps his wife and children in the dark about his past. But how long can he keep this secret? And at what cost? Soon, he will be forced to confront reality.


What strikes me about this novel is the character development. Although it features a variety of perspectives, the leading character, Ben, is particularly insightful. Through Ben’s internal monologues, the reader experiences the psychology of living with endless regret and inner torments. Ben struggles to sustain a normal life, feeling crippled by his past. I resonated with Ben completely, and desperately wanted him to put things straight. The variety of narrators with Ben at the center, contributed to the complexity of the story and conveyed a central message: actions always have consequences.


I really felt the pull of this story and was fascinated to see it unravel. The plot is fast paced but also contains essential background. The climax is dramatic, packed with action, and almost excruciating to read. The pace of the story never gets bogged down by the background detail. Many thriller novels often cannot pull off both at once – but this certainly does. It deals with important, psychological elements, not just Ben’s, but with Ryan, who was the main victim of a horrific crime. Ryan blames himself for what happened and would rather think about ending his life than carrying on with the present. Ben too, is unavoidably confronted by his past – and eventually, so are all the friends involved. Things unfold in the ways he most fears. Who knows what lies ahead? Will they all make it out alive?  


I would recommend this to anyone who loves a dramatic, fast paced, page turner. But also, those who appreciate a story that flicks between the past and present, with an incredible amount of immersive detail. The build-up was full of action and deployed with expert narration and multiple character perspectives. Reading this reminded me of Fredrick Backman’s writing – which often features extensive character insight from different narrators, but all of which are connected to a particular event in time, that has the potential to change things forever.

 

 

Reviewed by

When I am not serving coffee at Waterstones, I spend most of my time looking at the surrounding books! In my spare time, I am often curled up with a book or writing reviews on my blog. Reading and writing are my true passions and I would love to use them to help others appreciate books.

About the author

John Markowski is the author of the thriller, "The Past Is Present". He currently resides in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, with his college sweetheart wife, two teenage children, and their irreplaceable rescue mutt, Mia. He is a diehard New York Mets fan and avid gardener. view profile

Published on March 15, 2020

Published by

80000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Thriller & Suspense

Reviewed by