Don't miss Tim Johnston's new novel, The Current, available January 22, 2019!
The Rocky Mountains have cast their spell over the Courtlands, who are taking a family vacation before their daughter leaves for college. But when Caitlin and her younger brother, Sean, go out for an early morning run and only Sean returns, the mountains become as terrifying as they are majestic.
Written with a precision that captures every emotion, every moment of fear, as each member of the family searches for answers, Descent races like an avalanche toward its heart-pounding conclusion.
“Read this astonishing novel . . . The magic of his prose equals the horror of Johnston’s story.” —The Washington Post
“A compelling thriller that is both creepy and literary . . . Descent is not just a mystery. It is an emotional story of evil, fear, acceptance and irony.”—The Denver Post
“What makes the novel unforgettable is its sense of character, its deliberate, unadorned prose and Johnston’s unflinching exploration of human endurance, physical and psychological.” —Miami Herald
“A super-charged, addictive read.” —The Missourian
“An original and psychologically deep thriller.” —Outside magazine
“Outstanding . . . The days when you had to choose between a great story and a great piece of writing? Gone.” —Esquire
“[A] dazzling debut . . . Exquisitely crafted.” —The Dallas Morning News
“Incredibly powerful, richly atmospheric.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“ [An] engulfing thriller-cum-western.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Brilliant . . . As gripping as any Everest expedition.” —Peter Heller, author of The Dog Stars
In Johnston's sorrowful and suspenseful first adult novel, a family is forced to face its worst nightmare when one of its members goes missing. Caitlin Courtland, an 18-year-old runner about to enter college on a track scholarship, is vacationing with her family in the Rockies when she fails to come back from an early morning run. Over the course of the next two years, the family fractures as no sign of Caitlin is ever found. Grant Courtland, Caitlin's father, remains in the Rockies, while mother Angela tries to pick up the pieces back home in Wisconsin, where she eventually makes a failed attempt at suicide. Meanwhile, Caitlin's younger brother, Sean, drives aimlessly around the country, getting in and out of trouble. Although it begins as one more variation on Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones, a late-in-the-novel coincidence sends the narrative in a new direction and turns it into a survival story involving a character who, heretofore, has played a relatively minor part in the drama. Johnston (Irish Girl) has a poet's eye for the majestic and forbidding nature of the Rockies, and a sociologist's understanding of how people act under pressure. He also has a knack for creating characters that the reader will come to care about, no matter how flawed they are. Combining domestic drama with wilderness adventure, Johnston has created a hybrid novel that is as emotionally satisfying as it is viscerally exciting.
Customer ReviewsSee All
One of the most gripping, complex, heart wrenching novels I've ever read. I will remember this story for a long time.
Too much work
What's the point of being purposefully obfuscating in a novel? I made it through 150 pages before giving up. Give me some clue about the story line, some character to relate to, something (anything) to make me want to turn the page. I tried, I really did.
Work for it.
Trying to get to the actual story is a bit difficult due to the Author's love of run-on sentences, some over 100 words in length. This book took me several days to read which is most unusual for me. I wanted to get to the main storyline but had to wade thru all the extra word salads.