I think it would have put things into a clearer perspective if some of the info from the last page had been at the beginning, then again perhaps that was intentional. I am talking specifically about the duration of the event.
Time seems to wander by in drip drop moments throughout the story, so much so that I started to wonder why no-one was rushing to their aid.
Surely the world outside isn’t ignoring the tragedy unfolding in the high school?
Then in the information about the book and promotion of said book it states a specific time-frame, 54 minutes, and it all made much more sense. So I wondered why the time-frame wasn’t mentioned as part of the foreword.
Perhaps the author wants the reader to comprehend how time stands still during such an event. Each second and minute seems like an eternity. It also puts the emphasis on how quickly such a tragedy can occur. Lives are lost within mere seconds. Time cannot be stopped nor can it be wound back.
The beginning was a little confusing. Hopping from one person to the other seemed a little arbitrary, until the doors closed on the auditorium.
One thing these events always have in common in hindsight is the why. Why did he or they do it? Why my child, son, daughter or spouse and not someone else? Were there any signs? Could someone have stopped it?
Unfortunately none of us possess the power of being able to see into the future. All we can do is be vigilante and try to pick up on the subtle and not so subtle signs. It is hard to comprehend the kind of anger that festers deep inside and takes over someone, who ends up killing innocent, men, women and children.
Tyler isn’t the nice boy next door. He is a troubled young man, with violent tendencies and a penchant for abusing others. Perhaps not such a surprise that he is capable of killing.
It is a powerful story, a frightening one and a nightmare for every parent. There isn’t really a moral to the story, but rather a shock of reality for readers. It is more a story about loyalty, love and compassion for others. In times of great fear and need we humans can do the one thing nobody would ever expect us to do. To protect and save others. A selfless and yet such a brave act.
Nijkamp is definitely an author to watch out for.