Thank you to Dutton books for sending me a free copy of The Real Michael Swann in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Julia Swann is on the phone with her husband Michael when the call goes dead. She finds out that a bomb has gone off at Penn station where Michael was waiting for a train home. Julia launches into a frantic search for her husband. Leaving her kids in the care of a neighbor she goes to the city to look for him. She is surprised by the amount of help she gets from bystanders and the police as she searches for Michael. Things take a turn for the worse when Julia gets news about Michael’s movements after the blast and she realizes the police are much more interested in his whereabouts then she feels they should be.
Wow. Just…wow. A good word to describe this book is: intense. It has been a very long time since I read a book that moved this fast from the very first page to the very last. This book is definitely categorized as a thriller, but I almost wish it could be categorized as something else, since the focus of the plot is on a terrorist attack (fictional) on NYC and it’s aftermath. Unfortunately we live in a time where terrorist attacks are a real threat, and Reardon did a phenomenal job of inducing the heart-pounding, fist clenching feeling people get when these sort of stories are on the news in real life. So rather than call this a thriller, I would prefer to call it ‘Intense Dramatic Fiction’.
With all that being said, I really loved this book. The feelings I felt while reading this were similar to how I felt watching the news reports of 9/11 on TV. Be warned that this book might be a trigger for you if you suffer from any type of traumatic even or PTSD. A big twist occurs about halfway in that I did not see coming and sucked me in even further. The plot just kept morphing and growing and went from something fairly simple into something much more complex, raw, human and real. The Real Michael Swann is an emotional book that makes you question the world around and what you would do in a dire situation. I give this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars.