The Passenger – Jack Ketchum

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Passenger was a fast and furious story that followed my copy of Jack Ketchum’s Red. And what a hell of a story it was for the first three-quarters of it. The ending however took a severe right turn causing it to go from an amazing five star read to a four to a four and a half star read. We’ll call it a 4.25 star read. Janet is a defense attorney whose car breaks down on the highway. In her effort to get a ride to the repair garage, she hitches a ride with a woman that happens to remember her from high school. When the woman starts asking Janet questions from their old school days and following each one up with a pull from a whiskey bottle she kept in the glove compartment, along with a pistol, you knew that she’d hitched a ride with the wrong person. This is just the start of her day. Where it goes from there will blow you away. Again, for the first three-quarters of the story, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Time stood still as I devoured Passenger. Ketchum unwound a tale that was so horrifying, and yet so engrossing, I couldn’t put it down. Unfortunately, the ending came so far from left field that it seemed like Ketchum couldn’t decide how to end it and this was what he came up with while being under the infuence of something stronger than whiskey. To me, it didn’t seem to fit the story and thats disappointing since it was such a barnburner of a tale up to that point. Passenger is still worth the read simply for the the first three quarters. Its Ketchum in a groove that shows how good he can be. And who knows? Maybe you’ll like the ending.

4.25 out of 5 stars

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