Thursday, January 6, 2022

Review of Roam by Erik Therme

Three strangers searching for something out of reach.

Sarah Cate, celebrating her twenty-first birthday, is pushed over the edge after car trouble strands her in the middle of nowhere with an angry, unstable boyfriend.

Kevin Reed, a troubled adolescent abused by a loveless father, roams the night in his black Camaro, looking to pay forward one of the few acts of kindness he’s ever received.

Scotty Mason, plagued by profound guilt and completely detached from his world, is haunted by the unshakable fear that something inside him is dangerously broken and cannot be fixed.

When their lives intersect in an unsavory hotel with a bloody history, all three will struggle to exorcise their personal demons, unaware that a bigger threat is looming . . . and waiting for the right moment to strike.

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**My thoughts**

I was so blown away by Erik Therme’s book If She Dies that I wanted to give him another chance as an author. So I found Roam. It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t great. It kept me entertained enough on a summer afternoon. But I will still look for more of his books. If I understand correctly, this was a story he had written years ago. The book I had read was his latest at the time. So I know he has grown a lot as a writer.

Sarah is an abusive relationship with Matt. It’s her 21st birthday and it is not the fun time most of us have. They get into a fight after the car breaks down and Sarah goes off on her own. She gets picked up by Kevin and his buddy Mark, who happen to be driving past. We meet her mother, who is also in an abusive relationship, and get some insight into Sarah’s troubled past. When she runs away from home, then she again runs into Kevin and talks him into driving her all over the place as she tries to sort out her life.

As we learn more about Kevin, we find out that he has also had some difficulties in his past. But someone helped him out, so he wants to pay it forward. Their chance encounter starts a sort of tug of war with Sarah needing to dig into her past and Kevin trying to protect her.

I understand Kevin’s desire to help her. But he has no idea what he is getting himself into, and the people in Sarah’s life are more dangerous than I think either of them realize. I think it got to me because in my younger years, I tried to do the same and it was not necessarily a good thing.

The two of them still forge a bond, which is understandable. I didn’t get emotionally caught up in their attachment, though. I never quite connected with either character, nor any of the other people from Sarah’s past whom they encounter along the way. But perhaps other people will. There is an interesting twist at the end when all of Sarah’s worlds collide.

Again, for an earlier story, it’s not bad, just not my favorite. I’m still going to look for more of Erik’s books, though.

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