As I always say, perspective is everything. When I first read the synopsis for this book I thought, “The dad is absolutely right. If it was my kid, I’d do the same.” Which I totally would. But then I though, what if someone I love could be saved by this kid? They no, I’d hate this dad for taking it away from me. Neither me are wrong, and it’s very difficult, if not impossible, pick side this time. Which is what makes this book so great.
The story is By Any Means by James Morris, an Adult, Thriller.
How Far Would You Go To Save Your Son? Lucas Turner is an ordinary teenager with an extraordinary genetic mutation: the cure for cancer rests in his body. When his father discovers that the only way to harvest the cure will result in the death of his son, he kidnaps him from the hospital, setting off a calamity of events from which there is no turning back.
Meanwhile, the doctor, intent on a cure at any cost, hires a female bounty hunter to bring the boy back by any means. She’s never failed before and doesn’t intend to fail now.
While on the run, the estranged father and son build a relationship on the road that brings them closer to the mistakes of the past and the consequences of the future. By Any Means is a literary thriller, and at its core is about a relationship between a father and son against all odds. The remedy, after all, may be less about science and more the human heart.
“Can I drive?” They’d been on the road about an hour since leaving Flagstaff, heading west toward Los Angeles, strange pilgrims in search of a woman: his mother. Lucas felt like he had aged, no longer a boy, but a young man.
“Have you taken Driver’s Ed, yet?”
“Not until next year…but I’ve played enough Grand Theft Auto.”
Lucas wondered what equations were running through his father’s head, but he finally said, “Don’t make me regret this,” and he pulled off to the side of the road.
The road was open, not a soul on it, and Lucas drove. Buckled up, mirrors and seats positioned, his hands at 10 and 2. He loved feeling the weight of the car beneath him, the immense power at his fingertips, a bumper car on steroids. How wonderful to control something and not be controlled. He felt like an X-wing pilot traveling through the dark, the magenta controls on the dashboard not for mere automobiles, but latitude and hyperspace.
He wondered why his father was being nice. Was it guilt? Or was he just tired from their earlier run? Maybe he knows that his time is running out before I’m gone, out of the house, an adult, away from his reach. He’s trying to catch up on lost time.
A car approached in his rear-view mirror. “Dad, what do you want me to do? Pull over?”
Keith turned around, his eyes squinting. “No. Speed up.”
“What if it’s a cop?”
“Then we’re screwed.”
Lucas pressed the gas, the speedometer rising from 55 to 60 to 65.
He pressed down, feeling the old car lurch forward, the engine wheezing. 70, 75, 80. His father looked at the car behind them. It was catching up.
“Is it a cop?”
“He’d have his lights on by now. Press it all the way down.”
Lucas floored the gas. The car accelerated to 85, 90, every mile after that, an effort: 91, 92, the rpms rising; 93, 94, the car behind them gaining. 95, 96, 97…
“Jesus, Dad, we’re going 100 miles an hour.”
The thrill was gone; his body rippled with anxiety. An accident at this speed and the car would crumple like a squished soda can. The car shuddered, shimming unnaturally, and Lucas feared it would fall apart. The car was built for economy, not speed.
“I can’t go any faster.”
“Take the exit.”
“It’s coming up too fast.”
“Take the exit!”
Lucas veered to the right, pumping the brakes and roared up the exit. “Which way? Which way?”
“To the right— ”
Lucas came to a skidding stop on the side of the road, kicking up dust in his wake. Seconds later, the car behind them drove past on the highway and disappeared in the distance, its red lights growing smaller and smaller, and finally, blinking away.
Lucas asked, “Who was that?”
“I don’t know.”
“Why were they chasing us?”
Keith looked back at the empty highway, unsure.
“Maybe they weren’t.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know.” He sighed. “I’m just being paranoid.” He took a deep breath and tried to lighten the mood, forcing a smile. “Not a bad first time, huh?”
They switched places and just to be safe, Keith said, they took side roads.
James Morris is a former television writer who now works in digital media. When not writing, you can find him scoping out the latest sushi spot, watching ‘House Hunters Renovation’, or trying new recipes in the kitchen. He lives with his wife and dog in Los Angeles.
Author links: http://jamesmorriswriter.com/
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