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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “‘Survivors’ a tense, thrilling trek through the Appalachians”

    Survivors a tense, thrilling trek through the Appalachians

    Struggling to survive in the wild is nothing new to fiction, nor is escaping a deranged killer. But Dinah McCall’s new thriller “”The Survivors”” combines these popular scenarios into the ultimate survival tale: forcing a young welfare worker and a5-year-old boy to escape a murderer desperate to eliminate these two witnesses while battling against the bleak conditions of the Appalachian Mountains.

    The plot revolves around an argument between U.S. senators Darren Wilson and Patrick Finn over legislation proposed by Wilson, which would pay off a debt to the mob. Finn’s failure to vote for the legislation puts Wilson’s head on the line. When the two senators find themselves in the wreckage of the same plane crash, Wilson uses the opportunity to murder Finn.

    The only other survivors, Molly Cifelli and little Johnny O’Ryan, witness the murder before fleeing to the forest. Discovering their tracks, Wilson follows, seeking to eliminate the loose ends and starting a high-velocity game of cat and mouse.

    Meanwhile, local psychic Deborah Sanborn has visions of the crash and its aftermath that help Johnny’s family in their rescue efforts. The O’Ryan family spans five generations of lonely men whose interactions are just as intriguing as the murder plot.

    Sanborn must convince Johnny’s family of the validity of her visions so that they can make the rescue. In the process, she falls for Johnny’s father, adding romance to the tension.

    The narrative flits between the suspenseful trials of Molly and Johnny and the O’Ryan family’s rescue attempts. Both plots are quick-paced and full of tension, barely giving the reader a break to breathe. Sanborn adds a little paranormal flair to the story which, though a little contrived, is necessary to the plot.

    “”The Survivors”” unfortunately relies rather heavily on a suspension of the reader’s disbelief. Many events seem too coincidental, such as the circumstances around the murder of Finn, which was executed rather too smoothly. In addition, the extent of Sanborn’s powers and her control over her psychic abilities are not really explained fully.

    However, the strong characters make up for the gaps in plausibility. Sanborn is an unusual romantic heroine as an older woman, which is refreshing. The relationship between the O’Ryan men is also well written and sets these characters apart from the stock characters we see so often.

    The strength of character we witness in Johnny, Molly and even the killer as they overcome the incredible odds of survival is a warming testament to human willpower that will keep any reader engaged.

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