Ravens Review
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It didn’t take long for Romeo Zderko’s dream getaway to turn into a nightmare. He and his best friend, Shaw McBride, left their dead-end tech-support jobs in Piqua, Ohio, planning to drive down to Florida and hop on a boat to wherever. But then, during a stop in Brunswick, Georgia, Shaw heard someone gossiping about a local family and their rumored lottery winnings—and it gave him an idea.

After checking into a cheap hotel nearby, Shaw gets online and digs up as much information as he can about the Boatwright family. Then he heads back into town to pay them a visit.

Using his faithful friend as his own personal Angel of Vengeance, Shaw terrifies the Boatwrights into agreeing to give him half of their winnings. If he even suspects trouble, he tells them, his crazed friend, Romeo, will start killing their loved ones, one by one.

But as Romeo circles the town, fearing the worst—that his best friend will ask him to kill someone—Shaw discovers that he wants more than just the Boatwrights’ millions.

Ravens is a disturbingly twisted story about friendship, love, and obsession. It’s full of dysfunctional relationships—not the least of which is the unbreakable bond that ties Romeo to Shaw. Scheming and manipulative since he was a kid, Shaw isn’t really Romeo’s friend; he’s a bully. Yet timid Romeo is eager to please, and he’ll do anything to prove his undying love and gratitude for Shaw—even if it means killing an innocent stranger. He doesn’t want to do it, of course. In fact, he absolutely dreads the thought of it. But if Shaw tells him to do it, he will. Unfortunately, though, for Shaw, one loyal subject just isn’t enough.

From power-hungry conman Shaw and loyal, loving Romeo to old Burris, the local cop who still carries a torch for his high school sweetheart, and Nell, the poker-playing grandma, Ravens is populated with fascinating (and carefully developed) characters. Throughout the story, each one goes through some kind of transformation—and each comes to his or her own realizations. But, in the end, you might find that, deep down, they all want the same thing.

Though it moves at the relaxed pace of literary fiction, Ravens is also a grippingly suspenseful psychological thriller—and a surprisingly quick read. So if you’re looking for something a little deeper—and more thoughtful—than the usual easy-going summer fare, I recommend George Dawes Green’s hauntingly memorable Ravens.

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