Cruel Summer by Bernard Jan

The newest book by Bernard Jan continues to demonstrate Jan’s fabulous poetic prose and adds a very edgy feel to this story.  Bordering on a science-fiction read, Cruel Summer weaves a fantastic tale of a government-sponsored research project on the ability to control minds and mind-altering techniques.  To top it off, the story revolves around a teenage skateboarder with high-level skills whose primary focus is to become a pro.  

Michael Daniel’s Mother has died, leaving him and his sister struggling with their grief and living with their step-father.  The relationship between Michael and his step-father has always been tenuous at best.  His sister has gone to Colorado to spend the summer with his grandparents with Michael left alone to adapt to the loss of his Mom and his Stepfather being in charge.  The good news is that Michael has a support team in his skateboarding pack.  Victor and Allen have his back and are there for him in his struggles.

If you read my posts very often you know I do not like to include spoilers, so let me just say that this is a very intriguing book with several twists.  It is rather nerve-racking to think that this could be a true story because there was a time in the United States that independent thought was considered an asset.  If you are expecting a “usual” read from Jan you will be disappointed for this novel will be located in a whole different genre like those in which you might find Stephen King or Joe Hill.  It is always exciting when an author takes on a different type of storytelling!

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