The Terror of Living by Urban Waite
(Little, Brown, $29.99, 304 pages, ISBN 978-0-316-09789-5)
There are exceptions, students and professionals for example, but if you’re like most folks, you read to entertain yourself. I know I do. When selecting my next read, I look for reviews, but if they’re not available, I look at the title, the blurbs, or comments by other authors and read the dust jacket to get an idea what the book is about, then decide whether or not to read it.
The Terror of Living not only met all my personal criteria, it set off enough bells and whistles to report a five-alarm fire!
I was captured in the first pages by the protagonist, Phil Hunt. Hunt is a drug-smuggler and ex-con in the Pacific Northwest who isn’t exactly what he appears at first to be. When a drug deal goes awry, he winds up being chased by a lawman named Drake and a sociopathic hit man named Grady who delights in torturing his victims before killing them.
The pace of this novel is fast, and relentless. It starts in the first pages and never lets up until the last ones. You’ll hardly have time to catch your breath; you won’t want to stop for a bathroom break; and you’ll be happy you read this one if you’re an action-loving reader. Stephen King called it “a hell of a good novel.” Me too.