“Stay” by Victor Gischler hits home for several reasons. It’s clear that Gischler knows how to clean a house — and he does it, or has his character do it, with an efficiency that would be envied by many (this reader, for one). Gischler writes stories for publications like X-Men and other action comics.
This story is also pure action. Mostly. The protagonist, David Sparrow, is on leave from his Army job. The reader finds out that the job is not the bland, moving-equipment job that his wife, Assistant District Attorney Amy Sparrow thinks it is. Rather, David Sparrow has been Solo Ops, going deep into other countries to perform often violent acts for the government.
Now that he is on leave, David cares for their two children, takes them to school, cleans the house and cooks a rather elegant meal. The role reversal (Amy eating while reviewing cases while David hopes she likes the chicken) is well written, and Gischler manages to capture the difficulty of keeping a relationship going while juggling kids, jobs and the rest.
Then, a wannabe-respectable businessman who is really a bad guy is indicted, and Amy is the attorney who will be trying the case. When their best (and only) witness is gunned down a few feet from Amy, and someone breaks into their house and ransacks Amy’s office, David fears the worst. The bad guys do come after his family, but David’s got that covered. No matter how many bad guys there are, David can handle it. He is the supreme live-action figure made real. Gischler’s writing keeps readers on the edge of their seats as they turn page after page to see how David can possibly keep going. There’s also the mystery in the story of whom David and his wife can trust.
The characters and the situations are often humorous, and the writing is always well done. It’s a fun read and a read that once begun is difficult to put down. Love the cover with the gun sticking out of jeans and the kid’s pink-socked foot sitting on top of it. Although that’s not really from the story. David Sparrow keeps his kids away from the guns.
Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by St.Martin’s Press for review purposes.
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