by Sally A. Allen

"Why me? he asked himself. Why did I survive relatively uninjured when everybody else is dead?"

Wayne Baker's life is altered forever when he becomes the sole survivor of a plane crash that puts him in the crosshairs of a terrorist organization. When he miraculously walks away from the disaster, he decides to leave his old life behind and live in anonymity as he sorts out his future. At first, he plans to return to his family and reveal the truth of his survival, but he slowly realizes that he has information about who blew up the plane and begins to fear for his life. He goes deeper into hiding, and as time goes by, he builds a new life and a new identity. In the meantime, his family is grieving and losing themselves in the upheaval of Wayne's death. The family splinters and struggles mightily under the strain of grief. More death ensues as each member tries to reconcile life without Wayne. His girlfriend suffers dire consequences in his absence, and his immediate family is set adrift. Wayne must find a way to salvage his life and connect his past to his future in the wake of unimaginable trauma.

This riveting thriller combines a survivalist storyline with a domestic drama that moves quickly through dilemmas that pile up as the characters navigate through extreme scenarios. With shades of a soap opera in the relentless plotting, each character is tested by circumstances beyond their control. No one is left unscathed in the aftermath of Wayne's assumed death, and everyone is challenged to keep up with the twists and turns and shocking reveals. Allen's storytelling prowess is on display with one horrific event that dismantles a family. She ultimately seeks to rebuild that family with Wayne's renewed purpose in the knowledge that life must go on in the midst of loss. Readers sticking by these characters through turmoil and triumph will find themselves on a propulsive journey.

Allen plumbs the depths of tragedy and the reverberations it can have directly and indirectly on lives in unexpected ways. Some people like Wayne's girlfriend become inconsolable, lost in a world of delusion, and victimized in their vulnerable state. Others, like his brother, become angry and feel overshadowed and unable to make space for grief. The people in Wayne's life are all touched in different ways by the plane crash they believe killed him. Wayne's fateful decision to leave the crash site sets this story in motion, and the action doesn't stop spinning as the story unravels. As he embarks on a new shadow life, new people come into his life to shake up his desires and cause him to question the life he has lived and the life that he wants. With so much at stake, readers will await the ending breathlessly, hoping for Wayne to reunite with his family, embrace his new love, and escape again with his life as the terrorists close in to keep him quiet. The troubled lives of the people circling the miracle of Wayne's survival fuel the drama that seeps from the pages of this book. And like a good daytime soap opera, this story is fraught with tension, unexpected storylines, and compelling characters.

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