The Real Michael Swann

The Real Michael Swann.jpg



In a new novel from New York Times bestselling author Bryan Reardon, a suburban family is rocked in the wake of a terrorist attack on American soil.

On a typical late summer day, Julia Swann is on the phone with her husband, Michael, when the call abruptly goes dead. Then the news rolls in: A bomb has gone off at Penn Station, where Michael was waiting for a train home. New York City is in a state of chaos.

A frantic Julia races to the city to look for Michael, her panic interwoven with memories of meeting and falling in love with the husband she's now desperate to find. When someone finds a flier she's posted and tells her they may have seen her husband, her dreams seem to be answered. Yet as she tries to find him, her calls go unanswered. 

Weaving between the aftermath of the explosion and Julia's memories of her life with Michael, new developments raise troubling questions. Did Michael survive the explosion? Why hasn't he contacted her? What was he doing when their last call was cut off? Was he—or is he still—the man she fell in love with?

Part family drama, part tragic love story, and part disaster narrative that hits terrifyingly close to home, The Real Michael Swann is a deftly plotted suspense novel with an unflinching portrait of a marriage at its heart, challenging us to confront the unthinkable--both in our country and in our own homes. 


Genres: Fiction / Thiller / Suspense / Mystery

Author: Bryan Reardon

Hardcover, 341 pages

Published June 12th 2018 by Dutton



My Review


Well there is a twist! Or is it a decoy???

Is your husband a homegrown terrorist? Has life in Corporate America become so overwhelming that he is so revolted with the world and bitter that he can blow up a train station with thousands of commuters traveling through?

This is what Julia has to ask herself!

The question is, who is the real Michael Swann? Was it her husband or is he the innocent victim? Plot twist at the end!!!

But now I am getting way ahead of all of it…If you have read the synopsis of the book, then I have to say that I cannot give anything more away as to what this book is about. I usually always write my own interpretation of the novel and then my thoughts about it. On this rare occasion I cannot do that or I know I’ll give something away. If follows the blurb perfectly with a twist!

BUT here is what I can say that is not found there:

Julia is a good mother to their sons, a good wife to Michael and a good daughter, neighbor, friend and community member. Their relationship started off like so many. After college they had dreams and aspirations and they consistently improved their life. Then came the day they wanted to have children and settle down, so they moved to the burbs and money got tighter. With all the activities the kids were in, life got busy, they became older, their relationship changed. But there was always love. When the intimacy is waning, and Michael’s job is in jeopardy because of the competition their marriage hits a rough spot. Sounds normal/, right?

We think that Michael loves Julia. He may not know, unless he is not who we think he is!
The plot is laid out with two lines to hold on to as the reader. One is about what is happening with the terrorist attack, Michael, the news, the family and friends. The other one is interspersed with flashbacks and memories that give the reader an idea about the couple itself and their relationship. Hence what I wrote above. 

The message: Even when times get hard, you have to keep the good times in mind. You may not have the chance to let loved ones know what they mean to you when they are gone. And if there is a chance that this person could be alive after a terrorist attack, you will do anything to find your loved one, as Julia did in the novel. 

The plot building was great. A perfect blend of feel and suspense. 

Explored are media manipulations, corporate schemes and emergency responder / police tactics. This novel could be real. What happens here could be a slice of America, happening to the average family. Tragic, but it had me thinking of what would I do? 9/11 comes to mind, when the phone lines were dead and you just did not know if your family member was safe for the longest time.

I have to agree with all the other gushing reviews. I loved this book and I am still wondering about that quick twist at the end. I almost want to say…let’s write a sequel! That would be alright, right?