Thursday, September 10, 2009
Publisher's Summary. The Boatwrights just won 318 million dollars in the Georgia State lottery. It's going to be the worst day of their lives.
When Shaw McBride and Romeo Zderko pull up at a convenience store off I-95 in Georgia, their only thought is to fix a leaky tire and be on their way again to Florida-away from their dull Ohio tech-support jobs. But this happens to be the store from which a 318,000,000 million dollar Jackpot ticket has just been sold -- and when a pretty clerk accidentally reveals to Shaw the identity of the winning family, he hatches a ferociously audacious scheme: He and Romeo will squeeze the family for half their prize.
That night, he visits the Boatwright home and takes the family hostage, while Romeo patrols the streets nearby, prepared to murder the Boatwrights' loved ones at any sign of resistance. At first, the family offers none. But Shaw's plot depends on maintaining constant fear-merciless, unfaltering terror-and soon, under the pressure, everyone's sanity begins to unravel . . .
At once frightening, comic, and suspenseful, RAVENS is a wholly original and utterly compelling novel from one of our most talented writers.
Review. Winning the mega-million jackpot lottery is for most people a far fetched dream. It is fun, however, to daydream about how one would spend the money. Winning the jackpot can also be a winners' worst nightmare. Still I can't recall a family that was subjected to a more terrorizing experience than the Boatwrights in George Dawes Green's Ravens.
If you don’t accept the existence of the Stockholm Syndrome then you will probably be incredulous of the behavior of the Boatwright family in Ravens. Objectively, there are several windows of opportunity in the novel where the Boatwrights, the family held captive by Shaw McBride and Romeo Zderko, could have fled their captors or exposed them. To understand why they didn’t one must, in part, accept that the Stockholm Syndrome exists.
The recent liberation of Jaycee Duggard, who was held captive for 18 years and apparently bore children fathered by the male alleged captor, appears to be yet the latest victim of the Stockholm Syndrome. Patty Hearst is another famous example of a victim who bonded with her captors. While we all like to think that we would have done better and why didn’t these victims just flee when they had a few minutes alone, the Stockholm Syndrome is a real psychological malady.
Another factor why the Boatwright family remained under the thumbs of their captors is the character Shaw McBride. He is portrayed as a messianic figure along the lines of Jim Jones. With pledges to give away his millions and words of love, McBride garners a flock of apostles including to varying degrees the Boatwrights.
Ravens is an edge of the seat thriller that won’t disappoint (so long as you accept certain premises).