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Friday, October 2, 2020

The Ancestor by Lee Matthew Goldberg

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  • Published: August 20, 2020 by All Due Respect
  • Genres: Suspense, Thriller
  • Edition: Paperback
  • Pages: 348
  • Rating: 3 stars

A man wakes up in present-day Alaskan wilderness with no idea who he is, nothing on him save an empty journal with the date 1898 and a mirror. He sees another man hunting nearby, astounded that they look exactly alike except for his own beard. After following this other man home, he witnesses a wife and child that brings forth a rush of memories of his own wife and child, except he’s certain they do not exist in modern times—but from his life in the late 1800s.

After recalling his name is Wyatt, he worms his way into his doppelganger Travis Barlow’s life. Memories become unearthed the more time he spends, making him believe that he’d been frozen after coming to Alaska during the Gold Rush and that Travis is his great-great grandson. Wyatt is certain gold still exists in the area and finding it with Travis will ingratiate himself to the family, especially with Travis’s wife Callie, once Wyatt falls in love. This turns into a dangerous obsession affecting the Barlows and everyone in their small town, since Wyatt can’t be tamed until he also discovers the meaning of why he was able to be preserved on ice for over a century.

Goldberg provides readers with a slow-burning, suspense-filled thriller that offers a fresh take on the genre. As viewers of my blog know, slow-burns are my least favorite in the genre so that is basically the explanation for why there was stars reducted; I also am not a fan of unknown endings, which the plot resolves partly but left me wanting to see if a certain secret would be revealed. Perhaps the author will write a sequel and give me this peace of mind? *hint, hint.*

As far as I can recall, I've never read a thriller set in Alaska and I must credit Goldberg for choosing this state for this particular story as it provides the perfect elemental environment for the events that plague his characters. It further drives home the fact that Wyatt is a cold, desolate man fighting to survive figuratively and literally.

Overall, I found this to be a unique read and will definitely check out future books by this author. I would recommend for those readers who love slow-burns, who are looking for a different take on the thriller genre, or those who just want a new thriller recommendation.

Thank you, Trish Collins from TLC Book Tours for allowing me to partake in this tour and to the author for providing me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Find the author on his site, Facebook, Twitter, and IG

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of THE DESIRE CARD, SLOW DOWN and THE MENTOR from St. Martin’s Press. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The second novel in The Desire Card series, PREY NO MORE, is forthcoming. THE ANCESTOR will be out from All Due Respect books in 2020 along with a reissue of his debut novel.


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