Thursday, November 13, 2014

Homeowner With a Gun by Samuel Hawley

Genre:  Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Source:  I received a copy to help facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:
It's the middle of the night. You’re awakened by a noise. Someone is in your house. What do you do?

When it happens at 148 Maple Drive, homeowner Jeff Shaw gets his gun and goes downstairs to investigate while his wife calls 9-1-1. It’s their home, after all. Jeff has to protect it. He finds two men in the kitchen and shoots them both. Dead.

The incident puts great strain on Jeff and his family. He wants to believe they just need to get on with their lives and everything will return to normal. But it’s not that easy. The dead intruders belonged to a gang, ANG, “Ain’t No Game,” that now wants revenge. And one of the gang, an ex-con who goes by the name I-Man, knows more about the break-in than he’s letting on.

It starts with a threatening phone call. Then it gets worse. The police, unable to protect the Shaws, suggest they move away for a while. But Jeff isn't going to be intimidated from his house. Homeowner With a Gun takes the reader on a suspense-filled thrill ride as this everyman fights to save himself and his family, while something a detective said plays in the back of his mind: Maybe the intruders broke into the wrong house. Happens all the time. You wouldn’t believe how often...

My Thoughts:
This is a story that could have been ripped right out of today’s headlines.  It was terrifying.  I could feel the fear of the homeowners knowing someone was in their house.  I can only imagine how  Jeff and his wife felt during the drive by shooting.  First is the fear and then the sheer panic when your find your daughter has been shot.  I felt so sorry for their son who witnessed it all.  I have heard stories like this from students who live in violent neighborhoods.  It reminded me of a poem a student wrote about himself. It was an “I am, I was, I will be” poem.  He feared he would be killed in a drive-by shooting and by the end of the poem he imagined himself headed to heaven because he would be dead.  I wondered if those in the gang felt so helpless at some point in their lives.

I was grateful we got to see the thinking behind both sides, Jeff’s side and the gang’s side.  I sat on the edge of my seat in fear for Jeff and wondering if and when things were going to end.  This was  the first  book I had read by this author and I would definitely read more.  This is a face paced book and one I recommend.

About the Author From Goodreads:
Samuel Hawley was born and grew up in South Korea, the son of missionary parents. After earning BA and MA degrees in history from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, he returned to East Asia for two decades to teach, first in Japan and then Korea, retiring in 2007 as an associate professor of English at Yonsei University in Seoul.

It was in Japan that Hawley started writing for magazines and newspapers on topics ranging from travel and Japanese fashion to sumo wrestling and fishing at downtown tsuribori. By the late 1990s he had turned his attention to books, notably The Imjin War, the most comprehensive account in English of Japan’s sixteenth-century invasion of Korea and attempted conquest of China. His other Asia-themed books are America’s Man in Korea and Inside the Hermit Kingdom, concerning George C. Foulk, America’s diplomatic representative in Seoul at the time of Korea’s opening to the West. 

Hawley switched his focus to popular nonfiction after returning to Canada in 2007. His first work in this new vein was Speed Duel: The Inside Story of the Land Speed Record in the Sixties, which received starred reviews in both Publishers Weekly and Library Journal. He followed this with I Just Ran: Percy Williams, World’s Fastest Human, named one of the five “Best Sports Books of 2011” by the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). He has most recently turned his hand to writing historical fiction with his first novel, Bad Elephant Far Stream.

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