Saturday, June 7, 2014

Review: Moving Day by Jonathan Stone

Moving Day is a suspenseful thriller about two men who refuse to claim defeat. Almost immediately Stanley Peke thinks there's something wrong with his moving men. He was certain that they arrived a day early to pack up his life. As each item leaves the safety of the house he's shared with his wife for 40+ years, Stanley Peake figures his increasingly unreliable memory is to blame for how he's managed to screw up his moving dates. After spending a night in an empty huge house with his wife, he wakes to a morning quite different from its predecessor.

Stanley opens the door to the true moving men. The (true) moving men reveal to him that his initial recollection of the moving date was accurate and that he's been the victim of a crime. At the age of 72, Stanley finds all the proof of his wealth and accomplishment has been taken right from under his nose. He's unwillingly been forced into the role of being a victim. That's a title he refuses... no matter what.

Unable to resolve his new-found status in life, Stanley decides he is no one's victim, and has escaped threats greater than the present situation, goes on a mission that should result in him getting back all his things. Things... plain ol' perishable items.

I sometimes find it hard to accept that my car is a perishable item. It defines who I am at some moments. After years of driving a car that was embarrassing, at best, having a car that was a current model meant the world to me. Like Stanley, and his nemesis Nick, I figured that item defined who I was/am. I could never be content with the memories provided driving my hamster car with the sunroof open and the music blaring. Any threat to my car was/is a threat to me.

Jonathan Stone introduces readers to two men who are hellbent on proving there's no such thing as surrender. Stanley follows Nick, by clever means, in order to get back his possessions. The only problem is that Stanley never took into account that once Nick got ahold of those items, he felt a certain entitlement to them. 

Nick travels the states making victims of wealthy older citizens by posing as a moving man who's been hired to oversee the safe travel of their personal effects. He has made a victim of many unsuspecting elderly citizens he feel doesn't deserve their proofs of life because he's had the bad fortune of being raised without. Nick is scum. Very intelligent scum.

Moving Day forces readers to consider the lengths they will go for their "trophies". Stanley came from a world of nothing, similarly to Nick, yet overcame his obstacles to accumulate a wealth that made chasing these items pointless. It's all about the mere audacity. We hear it in politics all the time. How dare the poor think that they are entitled to healthcare, food, or housing provided by the ones who work hard, all but forgetting how it felt to wonder where their next meal would come from. Too much?

Basically, Jonathan Stone provides readers with a great cat and mouse thriller that begs either character to scream checkmate. Stanley is one of the best "old persons" I've read about in a long time. I mean, this guy is the senior citizens Rambo. Stone allows us a view into his past by making that past an antagonist as formidable as Nick, the thief, is. I loved Stanley.

I don't have many, if any, gripes with this novel. Moving Day is fast-paced, engaging, and fun. Jonathan Stone forced me to consider whether or not the perishables I accumulate really define who I am. What lengths would I go to in order to prove that my worth can be measured by the items I accrue? And most importantly, would it be worth proving at all?   ****

Copy provided by Thomas & Mercer via Netgalley

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