Cassie Clark: Outlaw by Brian Falkner
Cassie has survived a hit and run, but now she hears her father has disappeared – supposedly run off with a journalist. As a senior congressman and Speaker of the House, her father is an important player in the tense world of American politics.
Cassie knows he wouldn’t leave his career or his family, but in the high-stakes world of politics, who can she trust?
Big players are determined she doesn’t find out what happened, and she no longer has a security detail. Cassie follows the trial of who silenced her father and finds it is part of a web of terrorist plots. Falkner draws on conspiracy theories that we all are aware of to create a story with a frenetic pace.
Falkner is known for his characters with complex family or personal lives, often with special skills too. Cassie is no different. As a character she is believable in her emotions and feelings. However, her actions occasionally step outside the realm of realistic. Her complex relationship with her mother and sister is one that would have been nice to explore further, although that would cut into the action slightly.
Cassie Clark: Outlaw is an intense read. From the very first page readers are thrown into the action and drama of Cassie’s almost surreal life. As the thriller unfolds, reader’s heartbeats and adrenaline levels will rise. There were moments were I had to physically pause reading the book, take a breath, and remind myself that Cassie is a fictional character. Falkner does a superb job of sucking the reader right into the story, becoming emotionally vested in the lives of the characters.
The plot twist was a bit predictable. But while that might have been disappointing in other stories, in this book it added to the tension. Readers will be drawn through the story waiting for the betrayal that they know is going to happen, to happen. When it finally arrives, it is still brutal and unexpected.
With maps inside the book’s cover, readers can follow Cassie’s journey across North America. While it was a little hard to flick between both front and back cover, it was an appreciated touch for a reader who doesn’t have the best geographical knowledge.
Cassie Clark: Outlaw is a book you will want to read as fast as you can to find out what happened, while also reading as slow as possible because you won’t want it to end.
Reviewer: Rebekah Fraser
OneTree House, RRP $24.99