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June 6, 2012 / John Sheridan

Review: The Three Day Affair by Michael Kardos

Links: Amazon, Amazon UK

The Three Day Affair is the debut novel from Michael Kardos and is due to be published in early September by The Mysterious Press. It has garnered advance praise from the likes of Steve Hamilton, Michael Koryta and Tom Franklin so it seems to have the backing of some heavy hitters not to mention The Mysterious Press imprint as well. Some minor spoilers below but nothing too serious.

The story is narrated by Will who has fled NY to the sticks of NJ with his wife following the accidental death of the bassist in his band in a drive-by shooting while he was talking to her. The random nature of her death prompted depression, insomnia and paranoia that has resulted in him planning the quickest route to nearby hospitals so that he can reach them in the shortest period of time should this ever be necessary. Having abandoned the rock star dream in favour of a family life, three years later he is working as a studio engineer in a low rent studio as they anticipate the impending arrival of their first baby. Money is tight though so rather than join his college buddies for their annual reunion he has invited them to visit him in NJ to play golf. His college buddies have proven to be rather more successful than he has – one running for Congress, one a tech millionaire and the last a soon-to-be partner in a NY law firm.

When Jeffrey reveals that his wife is having an affair and that his paper fortune has tanked along with the share price of his tech employer they encourage him to do something, anything, just enough to shake things up and show that there is more to life. You should be careful what you wish for though as it may lead to robbery, kidnapping, blackmail, assault, thoughts of murder and prison. For a good portion of the book I was left wondering whether all Princeton graduates were dumber than a bagful of hammers or if we just particularly lucky in the crew gathered together here in the manner that they continually manage to find ways to make things worse but …but… a classic conclusion turns everything on its head and you just have to admire the sheer audacity, advance planning and awareness of one of the characters in anticipating exactly how everything will work out and the associated actions of his friends. Of course, all of this is based on a single false assumption which the author reveals at the last. Well worth reading, my rating is 4 out of 5.

Amazon Synopsis:

Will, Jeffrey, and Nolan are lifelong friends. Each have gone their separate ways as adults, living their own lives while forging their own careers. They have no reason to believe anything extraordinary will befall them. Until one shocking moment changes everything…

Will is a part-time drummer who spends the rest of his time in recording studios. He has lived a sheltered existence. Then one night Jeffrey attempts to rob a convenience store, drags a young woman into Will’s car, and shouts a single word: “Drive!” Shaken and confused, Will obeys.

Suddenly three ordinary men find themselves completely out of their element, holding a young girl hostage without the slightest idea of what to do next. They are already guilty of kidnapping and robbery; it is only a matter of time before they find out just what else they’re capable of. For these four people, three days will decide their fate—between freedom and prison, innocence and guilt…and life and death.


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