by Mark Combs
Title: The Lonely Mile
Author: Allan Leverone
Series or Standalone: Standalone
When struggling hardware store owner Bill Ferguson witnesses a kidnapping in progress, he reacts instinctively, breaking up the crime and saving a young girl. But the kidnapper, a sociopath known as the “I-90 Killer,” escapes and vows revenge, targeting Ferguson’s own daughter as his next victim. Now one terrified father must unravel a plot that may go much deeper than he realizes, racing against time to save his only child from an unthinkable fate.
The Lonely Mile tells the story of every parent’s worst nightmare: the kidnapping of a child and the hell of not knowing what has become of your child.
The story is told from a shifting perspective. Bill Ferguson gives us an insider’s view of a kidnapping victim’s parent, rife with the pain of not knowing, and the overwhelming guilt of what could have or should have been done differently. Carli Ferguson provides a look into the mind of a cunning kidnap victim, always thinking about how to make her situation better. Martin Krall is the consummate sexual sociopath. He thinks he’s smarter than everyone else, and views his victims as objects that exist to provide him with pleasure.
As the father of three girls, and the grandfather of one girl, this novel hit me square in the gut. It evoked in me an anger that few novels have.
I was pleasantly surprised that this novel broke away from what has become a conventional story line in books like this one: the divorced cop who can’t leave work at the office, and who has a terrible relationship with his ex-wife and children. This has become a tiresome cliche. I found it refreshing that the protagonist, Bill Ferguson, though divorced, was not a cop, but the owner of struggling hardware stores. I also liked that he had a good relationship with his daughter.
Because the novel was told from a shifting perspective, the pacing was nearly perfect. It didn’t move so quickly that I got lost, but moved quickly enough that there were times I struggled to put it down and turn the light off for bed.
Bottom line: The Lonely Mile is a great book with some great plot twists. It’s a quick read for someone looking to escape for a few hours.