Derek Archer’s life is finally beginning. He’s just about to graduate from high school, land the job he’s always wanted, and move in with the girl he’s always loved, Victoria. There’s no reason for him to question or want for anything…until the day Victoria’s father is shot and killed, setting off a devastating, heartbreaking chain of reactions.
Now, the race is on, and Derek has only three days to right a terrible wrong. With the help of a childhood friend with a penchant for high-tech espionage, they investigate every lead, never imagining their search would take them deep into the heart of a seemingly perfect family, where old ghosts, bitter lies, and agonizing betrayal all collide. It’s then Derek discovers just how unimaginable the truth can be…and how unstoppable.
In Bethany Hensel’s Unstoppable, we’re introduced to Derek Archer at the point in his life where everything finally seems to be going right for him – until his girlfriend, Victoria, rushes through the emergency room doors with her dying father. Then everything seems to fall apart around him, leaving Derek to pick up the pieces and solve the mystery of who murdered Victoria’s father. While solving this mystery, Derek must also keep the Corps (the military organization that are the keepers of the peace) off of his tail long enough to find out the truth and the answer to the most important question at the center of it all: how far would you go to help someone you love?
This story is told in a non-linear fashion – and I loved it. The way the story is told, sometimes in the past, sometimes in the present – really enhances the urgency and frantic nature of the pacing, while giving depth to the entire tale. It definitely kept me wanting more! The pacing is almost perfect and I loved the non-traditional storytelling methods – we get both Victoria’s and Derek’s perspectives in this book (sometimes incredibly visceral and heart wrenching perspectives), but Bethany still manages to keep us guessing about everything until the end.
The characterization is also spot-on; I really felt for Derek and his struggle to right the wrongs of his world, but I also felt for Victoria, who finds herself caught up in a lot more than she ever expected. The setting is also very evocative – I definitely got a sense of the hopeless, crushing nature of the world that Derek and Victoria live in, a world where, even when you’re right, sometimes you’re wrong if someone higher up than you believes you’re guilty. The book definitely gives a great feel for the totality of the Corps and how easy it is to find yourself on the wrong side of these people.
Not only did I get a great sense of the main characters of the story, but I really felt connected to many of the secondary ones as well. That’s one thing I wish there was more of – more perspective from the secondary characters (or, I liked them so much that I wish I could have read more about them), though the story is very complete on its own. I don’t feel like I needed more, just wanted more. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get lucky with a sequel. Here’s hoping!
All in all, this was a very solid, entertaining book – from a genre that I’m not typically drawn to, but I will definitely be following Bethany Hensel with great interest all the same! I can’t wait to read more of what she publishes in the future. Unstoppable is a really great book that definitely should be on reading lists for Christmas!
If you like crime fiction – a definite “whodunit?” mixed with some romance, then this is your book!