Beckon by Tom Pawlik, a Book Review Day Two

Welcome to Beckon. You’re not here by chance.

Elina Gutierrez is running for her life. She is being chased by men with guns and manages to actually mortally one of them with her pistol. She’s not a mercenary. She is an FBI agent looking for her lost cousin, an illegal immigrant who was taken by a van to the mysterious town of Beckon.

Beckon’s motto: “Welcome to Beckon. You’re not here by chance.” Soon she is taken captive by the very men she has just tried to kill and one of them, the man who should be dead, seems to have made a miraculous recovery. She is taken to a huge house on a hill overlooking the small mountain town of Beckon, Wyoming. There she is escorted deep into the bowls of the house to a dungeon and thrown into a holding cell. In the pitch black, she hears the voice of her cousin and realizes there are many prisoners here in this dungeon.

She soon learns that the man who rules over Beckon, Mr. Vale is a ruthless businessman determined to keep the outside world out of his small town. Why? Because there are secrets here the world can never learn about.

After we have spent time with Jack in the first part of “Beckon” and found out the horrible secrets beneath the town, we now meet the men and women behind the veil of, well, Vale and his little town. Elina serves to bring power and ruthlessness to those who would oppose Vale. Jack represents the knowledge to appreciate the science and history behind Beckon. Elina represents the gunpower, the raw power to bring justice to this horrific situation.

I can’t say more than that right now. By this point in the book, I was glad to be out of the caves and the underwater tunnels. But, to meet the ruthless Vale was equally disturbing for Pawlik has created a truly horrific villain, a man with an easy, deceptive smile who loves to eat raw meat. And, he has no qualms at the thought of killing an FBI agent to protect his secrets.

Once again, the book moves quickly and decisively into the realm of suspense and keeps the stakes high. Elina soon finds herself in a hopeless situation and you’ll have read part three tomorrow to find out how George and his wife, Miriam come to their rescue.

Strengths of this second part: The chase scene is fast paced and very believable. Elina knows her guns. The mystery of how a man could be mortally wounded yet return in hours seemingly unharmed, hints at some mysterious secret behind Beckon. And, Vale is a particularly delicious villain. I couldn’t wait to find out what was at the bottom of this town, this mystery, this man.

About Bruce Hennigan

Published novelist, dramatist, apologist, and physician.

Posted on May 22, 2012, in Breaking News, My Writing, Speculative Fiction. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I was relieved to get out of the tunnels, too. For me the story really picked up at that point. I can see why we had to spend so much time down under, but I wondered what the story might have been like if the sections were rearranged. I guess we’ll never know. 😉



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