Tuesday, June 5, 2012

2 Seconds Late, by Eric Wilson (Kingstone Publishing)

Rarely does a sequel surpass its prequel; however, as good as 1 Step Away was, 2 Seconds Late does just that.

Mr. Wilson has ratcheted up the stakes by more than one notch and on more than one level in this second installment in the "By The Numbers" series.  And, if you've had the pleasure of reading 1 Step Away, you'll agree that's saying something.

The Vreeland family from 1 Step Away takes one step aside to cede center stage to Natalie Flynn, young governess to the Vreeland youngsters and stoic survivor of her own painful childhood. Natalie has moved on to better herself intellectually through education, spiritually through the church, and emotionally through a surprising (in more ways than one, it turns out) relationship with state representative Reuben King. But there's more at stake than Natalie's future. Much more.

Representative King chairs a committee charged to determine the future of Bill 6336, which permits the implantation of tracking microchips in people for the ostensible purpose of protecting them from harm: children from kidnapping, the helpless from exploitation, and the like. Ethical, political and sinister pressures for and against 6336 beat against him like the driven tide of a perfect storm. But what turns the tables for him is Natalie's influence, based upon her own abduction a year earlier. At least it does at first...

Sound fairly simple? What's more to tell? Oh my goodness, a whole bunch, springing from the capable keyboard of an accomplished storyteller like Eric Wilson. Mix Natalie's father's well-meaning (albeit misguided) agenda, the personal vendetta of an enigmatic Russian special ops veteran, and the greed of the ambitious owner of a multi-million dollar corporation that stands to become a multi-billion dollar corporation with the passage of 6336, stir well, don't bother to let set, and you've got a recipe for an explosive tale of political intrigue and personal danger.

Enmeshed in the storyline, Mr. Wilson presents thought-provoking moral, ethical, and spiritual conumdrums through a multi-dimensional cast of characters who defy you to love them purely or hate them wholly. Well, okay, a couple of them you might have no problem hating wholly. And there's one or two who are pretty lovable. But you know what I mean... :-)

There's a reason Mr. Wilson is a NY Times best-selling author. And he's proven it again. You really oughta get this book. It's available in paperback and eBook.