The Kenyan runner was the favorite to win this year’s Boston Marathon. At least that’s what the sports broadcaster blurted on Ben’s car radio. He was on the Mass Pike, making his way through heavy traffic. Just a few more miles to go. Suddenly a shockwave of energy burst through the air. Ben’s car shut down.
Dumbfounded, he held tight to the steering wheel. What the fuck, he thought. His Honda Accord was new. He turned the ignition switch over, but there was nothing. He tried the lights, windows, and door, but again nothing. It was just dead as a doornail. “Damn,” he muttered and grinned. After a minute he looked around him. It wasn’t rush-hour traffic. He was in a huge parking lot.
Jessica, Ben’s daughter, was in her classroom. As a high school student, she was coming down the home stretch. Her whole life was ahead of her. The teacher was beginning the first lesson. Click the lights, and computers went off. “Stay calm” the teacher said. Seconds turned into minutes. A student raised his hand.
He had to go to the bathroom. Confusion and anxiety set in. The principal was beside himself. What was the protocol for this? There was no cell phone reception, and the police or fire departments weren’t showing up. Minutes turned into hours. Action was required. Would he make the wrong decision? Would he endanger lives? Would he be sued? His pay grade was high but not high enough for this.
Ben, Alice (his wife), Randy (his son), and Jessica were living the American dream. They were now confronted by an evil act of aggression, a life-changing event for this wholesome family, their neighbors, and everyone within hundreds of miles. This drama portrays a family’s efforts to survive. In their struggle, they are joined together by an unlikely collection of heroes—Ben, his shy teenage daughter, Jessica, and her friend Vivian. He has a rebellious son named Randy and an eccentric recluse of a neighbor who’s an intellectually challenged adult. There is a neighborhood construction contractor, a keen, quiet-spoken hip Native American father a fair-play, Easy Rider biker dude, a couple of “fly by the seat of their pants” local cops, the Massachusetts Turnpike, and of course Randy’s lovingly restored classic: a 1958 Buick. You’ll have to read it to believe it.