Friday, February 10, 2012

Book 8 - Ravens

Ravens by George Dawes Green is about a family in Georgia who wins the lottery. Two lowly tech-support workers are passing through town on a vacation and when they stop in at the mini mart where the winning ticket was sold, they happen to find out the identity of the winning family and proceed to take them hostage and extort them for half of the jackpot.

The two captors are Shaw and Romeo, they have been friends since childhood. Romeo will do anything to make Shaw happy, he has been eager to please him for years and Shaw is more than willing to take advantage. The hostages are the Boatwright family, there is the devoutly religious father Mitch, the drunk mother Patsy and the hard working college student daughter, Tara, there is a younger son Jase who plays only a minor role in the story. Shaw takes up residence with the family, while Romeo prowls the streets keeping tabs on the Boatwright family and is ready to strike them down should the need arise.

The idea of this story intrigued me, but the execution was disappointing. I am not a religious person, but I think that even someone who was would find the religious themes in this book to be tacked on. At the press conference to announce them as the winners, Shaw makes up this story about him being old friends with Mitch and that Mitch had "saved" him and showed him the way of the Lord. He indicates that he plans to give all the winnings away. This somehow gains him a cult-like following in the town.

I also found that the ending was tacked on, I can't say how to avoid giving it away but I often feel that authors miss the point in these cases. In this case all I will say is that in a story about winning the lottery, an epilogue in where we found out how some of the money was spent would have been appreciated.

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