The Narrows (The Raymond Hatcher Stories) by Mark Zvonkovic

A Lion in the Grass Review - HERE
Belinda Review - HERE

Synopsis - 

A harrowing extraction of members of a religious cult goes awry.

Junior high teacher Larry Brown teams up with experienced extractor nicknamed Black Lightning to rescue his cousin from a cult. But the mission is complicated by Larry’s unfaithful girlfriend and the drowning of another cult member in the Charles River. And then Larry’s cousin isn’t as willing as Larry hoped. These events work together on a day in a family vacation home on Cape Cod to turn Larry’s world upside down.

Spanning a ten-day period, The Narrows chronicles the personal and social challenges that took place during the cultural transformation of the 1970s.

Review -

This book is a hard one to explain.  The synopsis says it spans a ten-day period so there is a fairly narrow time frame. BUT the synopsis gives the impression that the plot will be a faster paced one focused on action and that isn't true at all. 

From first to last, every scene in the book is surrounded by lots of conversation - poetry, freedom, philosophy, cults, and choice. I personally found myself overwhelmed by how long these conversations went on, and as I read further into the book, sometimes skimming through them. The main facts are there - a boy drowns, a girlfriend is unfaithful, a girl is met whose brother is in a cult, there is a discussion of de-programming and a man is hired to do just that. 

The writing and editing is strong, but the action takes place as a side line to the larger focus on the many deep conversations between the characters. Good writing, editing and character development, just not exactly what the synopsis suggests. If you like to dig deep into issues, then this book will offer just that. 

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Meet the Author - 
Fab author interview HERE!

Mark Zvonkovic is a writer who lives in Rosarito Beach, Baja California Mexico with his wife Nancy and their two dogs. Finn and Cooper. He has written three novels, and he also writes book reviews and essays that appear in online publications. Before retiring to Mexico, Mark practiced law for thirty-five years at three multinational law firms in Houston, Texas and New York City. He attended college at Southern Methodist University and Boston University, and his law degree is from SMU School of Law. Mark grew up as an oil company brat and lived in Latin America, Texas and New York.

Note - Author photo by Rebecca Westerveld

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