The Family Man – T J Lebbon

You take one risk. Now, those you love must pay …  Dom Turner is a dependable husband, a loving father. A man you can rely on. But it only takes one day to destroy a seemingly perfect life.
 
Emma thought she could trust her husband, Dom. She thought he would always look after her and their daughter Daisy….
 
Then one reckless act ends in two innocent deaths – and Dom’s family becomes the target of a terrifying enemy.
 

There’s nowhere to hide. They’re on the run for their lives. And if Dom makes one more wrong move, he won’t have a family left to protect.

This was the very first time I had been introduced to Lebbon’s work, in fiction, it later transpired he has written some amazing novels and Pay The Ghost was made into  a film that I have seen.

The Family Man was such a captivating engrossing book. This is one awesome roller coaster of a  read with a very well-developed plot and a whole host of unique characters.

Many of the sentences I read with my eyes wide in disbelief and my hand clamped over my mouth

It almost feels simple with just a handful of characters and their circumstances within the journey from A to B yet intricately and beautifully delivered enticing the reader to sacrifice all time to sit riveted to the pages alongside the characters.

As I flew through the story and followed the journey each chapter got better and better making the story feel explosive almost ready to combust, being a hurtling breathtaking journey at break neck speed without pause to catch your breath. Many of the sentences I read with my eyes wide in disbelief and my hand clamped over my mouth. Any descriptions involving the nose area I winced and cringed and struggled to read without envisaging that felt pain and discomfort with displayed excellent writing right there!

The characters made the story for me. Dom wanting to be something he thought he needed to be for his wife makes a mistake and from that moment on, his life tilts sideways. The relationship with his wife is written realistically and with meaning. It is amazing how you can hold a conversation with the lack of words as a married couple. It felt too real at times and here’s hoping I never find myself in a similar scenario!

I wanted to share my observations of a handful of the characters who truly made The Family Man. The most disturbing of them all was obviously Lip, and I say obviously because of his lack of boundaries, morals and seriously having no scruples whatsoever. This is a character devoid of all emotion existing as an empty husk of skin with his need for violence, torture most specifically, driving his every breath. He is a force to be reckoned with and no-one or nothing preventing him from his aim and goal. His hunger for violence fuels him leaving him insatiable. He is a character of no attachments, no ties and the fact that he is with Mary, still with Mary after some time is questionable, which we find, he does question himself.

With his lack of boundaries, morals and seriously having no scruples whatsoever. This is a character devoid of all emotion existing as an empty husk of skin with his need for violence, torture most specifically, driving his every breath.

Rose is a woman on a mission, a woman with an outlook to save the innocent after the innocents were suddenly taken away from her. She harbours a past, one she does not divulged but one that motivates her passion. Her previous life is vaguely alluded to through-out The Family Man to give you a sense of her loss. I feel there is more to Rose than we are being shown and hope this may be covered in future novels, I would certainly like to see more of her, unless she has been introduced previously in another novel that I have yet to read, although I was given the impression this was the first introduction to her character. I love how Rose swoops in to save the day and focuses on those that matter, she can depict who are the genuine and what not to be fooled by. Rose is strong and solid character with an edge and exciting streak.

Emma is the wife of Dom. Emma thinks she wants more from her husband, she has fallen out with the everyday mundane life wanting to maybe reclaim her reckless past and misspent youth wishing for spontaneity and adventure. Yet, when we all believe we need something different, is suddenly thrown her way she yearns for the uniformed routine of her life, the 9 to 5 of reality with the homely presence and the family safety net. Albeit thrown headfirst into a nightmare adventure she stands tall, firm and as resilient as she can muster for the sake for her daughter and husband, that she vows to protect at all costs regardless of the mistake he made. Emma is fuelled by love. The maternal instinct is a powerful force indeed.

Then we have Andy, this character stands for every reason why you should not trust people at face value. As the story progresses we learn a lot more about this candid character and see sides to him you may not like or want to believe. I found I had a love / hate relationship with Andy’s character but found it convincing and believable.

Next time you are out with your mates for a beer, be careful what you agree to doing before you say yes.

This book was an excellent read. With 5 stars and a ‘I have already recommended it to anyone who listens’ slapped across the side of it I suggest you give it a whirl.

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