Monday, August 31, 2009

Threshold by Bonnie Kozek

Honey McGuinness is the main character in Threshold. She is young, but the life her deceased mother served her and how Honey decided to live in the aftermath of her mother’s suicide were nightmarish and left her feeling emotionally drained. Now, all Honey wants to do is disappear, become anonymous and blend in with the crowd of hundred other anonymous, invisible people. She now lives alone, works for the pastor and his family, serving food to homeless people. All is well until the area becomes infested with drug dealers and addicts, and Honey’s friend, Billy gets murdered. Seeing that the police won’t do anything and there is no one she can turn for help to, Honey takes it up herself to find the killer and get her revenge. She enters the world she tried to escape for so long, the world of depravity, drugs and hopelessness. And maybe she’ll get more than she bargained for.

I should have known that this was no walk in the park when I read that Threshold was a hard-boiled thriller. I had never read one before and honestly just thought that a thriller’s a thriller and I’d have fun reading it. I did enjoy Ms. Kozek’s book but it was just so unexpected in its violent nature that I still catch myself thinking, ‘Did I read what I think I did?!’. Honey is a very sad character. Sad and tragic. She had a horrendous childhood, being abused by her mother and constantly prepared to commit suicide with her. When only Honey’s mother dies, Honey goes through life self-inflicting the abuse and perpetuating the violence as if in punishment for abandoning her own mother at the last minute. When she enters the world of drug lords to find the killer of her friend, things only get worse and Ms. Kozek spares the reader no details. The language and descriptions of what Honey subjects herself to are crude, brutal and shocking. If you are looking for a true roller-coaster ride, you’ll definitely find it in Threshold.

I said I enjoyed this novel despite the fact that it was so violent. The fact is that the author definitely knows what she’s doing. The writing flows smoothly, there are no real glitches anywhere and certainly no clichés. You probably won’t find much of character development as far as secondary ones go but you’ll get a pretty clear picture of Honey and how she comes through the horrid experiences in the end. All I can say is don’t let the 118 pages of this book fool you. They deliver enough punch to last quite a while and are not for the faint-hearted.