Welcome to Beckon. You’re Not Here by Chance. That’s the motto that greets newcomers to Beckon, which is both a town and the title of Tom Pawlik’s latest novel. Pawlik tells the story in four parts; the first three each dealing predominately with different pilgrims headed to Beckon, and the last weaving their stories into a final climatic conclusion. Jack Kendrick is looking for clues to his father’s disappearance 12 years ago. Elina Guiterrez is a police officer trailing her missing cousin Javier. George Wilcox is searching for a cure for his wife who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Pawlik is a master storyteller who will keep you on the edge of your seat as you read this book. The plot is never going where you think it will. Ultimately, this is a book about making choices. What would you do to save a loved one? Would you give up your morals, or even your soul?
The back cover alludes to this when it mentions “the town’s chilling secret” and asks if the pilgrims will “uncover a miracle or release an unspeakable evil?” However, it does not make clear that this is not a suspense thriller; it is a horror novel, with graphic descriptions of the deaths of characters, and villainous spiders that make Tolkien’s Shelob seem like a nice pet. I am not a fan of horror and do not enjoy reading such things. If I could change one thing, it would be to provide a warning to the unsuspecting reader that gory scenes are included inside. If you enjoy this type of novel, then you will love Beckon, because Tom Pawlik is really a master at his craft.
I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers for this review.