The Subway, by Dustin Stevens [Review]

“Too much hang, not enough cliff.”

This story is pretty simple. Tim has been in the witness protection program for six years after testifying against a mob boss. The mob kills Tim’s uncle, who was his surrogate father, in order to flush Tim out of hiding. Tim takes the bait, leaves the protection of his unhappy life inside WITSEC and seeks out revenge against the mobsters. That’s the first fifty pages. Two hundred grueling pages later, during which not much that is surprising happens, there is an exciting  and bloody concluding confrontation, to a point. The ending does not satisfy enough to be worth the slog through the long, dull middle.

The author also tends to end many (many!) chapters on mini-cliff-hangers, where the characters learn some bit of vital information, or come to some important realization — but the reader doesn’t get to know what it was until later. I’m not a fan of that format. The book’s conclusion also is setup  for a sequel rather than being a satisfying wrap, which is a bit annoying.  The writing is good in places, but long on description, filled with too many copy editing errors, and ultimately could have been better.

Subway, by the way, refers to a witness in WITSEC who drops out of sight — into the subway — without knowledge or permission. The Marshall service has never lost a witness (they say), so the Marshalls come looking for Tim, but that thread of the story was really unnecessary and never amounts to anything.

The set-up is good, and if you love a story that keeps you hanging, even at the end, you may well enjoy this one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s