Thursday, 16 July 2020
JIM HESKETT - REAGAN'S ASHES (2015)
Reagan Darby crams her dad's urn into an overflowing backpack. His last wish: deliver the urn to Rocky Mountain National Park and release his ashes into Lake Nanita. To find closure, she'll hike the same route they completed after her latest involuntary stay at the hospital.
But not alone, as she'd hoped. Her cousin Dalton surprises her at the trailhead and insists on tagging along. Soon, his eerie stares and half-volume mutterings set her on edge. As they trudge further into the mountains, dodging moose and lightning strikes, she catches him rifling through her backpack multiple times. She confronts him, but he shrugs it off. His claims that he came along for support wear thin, but she's too deep into the park simply to turn around.
When Reagan discovers a hidden compartment in the lid of the urn, a tiny silver key tumbles onto the floor of her tent. But there's no telling what lock the key might open. More unsettling, however, is that her lithium has gone missing. With only a meager Swiss Army knife for protection, she'll have to fend off her cousin, resist the creeping mania, and escape the forest to find the lock. If the man Dalton works for locates it first, he'll reduce Reagan to the same pile of dust and ash.
Reagan's Ashes combines wilderness survival thriller with amateur sleuth mystery.
Another Audible book downloaded after a freebie code was made available by the author and one I enjoyed but not without a couple of .... meh moments.
Reagan's dad, Mitchell died unexpectedly and she sets out to deposit his ashes into a remote lake where she had trekked and camped with her father previously. Her two cousins surprise her and tag-along, which isn't the trip she was hoping for.
It's quite a busy book........ Reagan has bi-polar and might have forgotten her meds for the trip; her Aussie boyfriend, Liam is a recovering alcoholic; her relationship with her step-mum isn't great and there was friction with the dad before he died; the dad was a compulsive gambler and a bit of a tool who lost all the family money, and unknown to Reagan he stole $240k from his brother, Tyson who is a dodgy dude and a bit of a local crim. The two cousins joining her on the trek believe she is off to claim the money that her dad has stashed somewhere and acting on their father's instructions are to intercept it and return it to it's him, whatever it takes. Oh and she hasn't seen her mum for about six years after she walked out on her.
Lots going on then. I quite enjoyed the trip Reagan took, hiking and camping and trekking, the scenery, the rangers, the dangers from the weather and the need to be constantly alert and above all well-prepared.
There's a bit of tension throughout as one of her cousins is obviously intending her harm if she doesn't come up with the goods, the other is more likable and less invested in the scheme. Back at the step mum's house, her boyfriend is hip to some undercurrents and all not being well as he witnesses Reagan's uncle hassling the step mum and subsequently does a bit of snooping.
It was interesting viewing the main character as bi-polar. We get some of her past story and struggles and we see the change in her when she stops medicating. Her grief anyway is causing her anxiety. The book kind of sets up Tyson, the uncle as the bad guy in the situation, whereas he had my every sympathy. I don't think I'd be able to behave rationally if a sibling ripped me off to that extent and I might want to recover my cash, with attitude if necessary. The dad initially seems to be a caring father, and is somewhat idolised by his daughter. Bereavement sometimes comes with rose-tinted spectacles. I think if he hadn't died of a heart attack, I might have happily done away with him myself.
The ending is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties, but not before some conflict and a bit of action. It's a bit of a Disney-princess fairy-tale type outcome for Reagan and the boyfriend, which wasn't especially convincing.
Some of the characters throughout, particularly Reagan were well presented and had a bit of depth. As did the boyfriend, Liam and even Reagan's step-mum. The uncle came across as a comedy type villain and the criminal gangster type persona was less convincing as was the stolen money angle. How did her dad get access to it and how did the money pot turn from x into x-plus?
Bottom line - enjoyable but not amazing. I have more from the author and I don't dread reading/listening to them but neither am I stampeding my way towards them.
I managed to listen to this during the work day and commute, so it was a welcome distraction from some mundane duties and not being overly complex or requiring great levels of concentration was a decent enough way of passing the time and harvesting a new author.
The narration by Kate Fisher seemed a bit dead-pan and flat at times, but when Reagan was having issues and struggling with her condition it seemed pitch perfect.
3 from 5
Read - (listened to) July, 2020
Published - 2015
Page count - 348 (8 hrs 9 mins)
Source- Audible download after code from author
Format - Audible