The Cruelty is an action-packed young adult thriller (optioned for film by Jerry Bruckheimer) about a girl who must train as an assassin to deal with the gangsters who have kidnapped her father.
Gwendolyn's father kept his life a secret from her. When he goes missing, she's plunged into a world of assassins, spies, and criminal masterminds.
When Gwendolyn Bloom’s father vanishes, she sets off on a journey she never bargained for. Traveling under a new identity, she uncovers a disturbing truth: to bring her father back alive, she must become every bit as cruel as the men holding him captive.
This suspensful debut from Scott Bergstrom features a strong female character and nonstop, cinematic action.
Praise for The Cruelty:
"Liam Neeson’s 2008 film Taken concerned a spy who engages in mass mayhem while attempting to recover his kidnapped daughter. Bergstrom reverses this plot in his violent, well-crafted first novel. Seventeen-year-old gymnast Gwendolyn Bloom doesn’t learn that her father is a genuine spy?and not merely an overworked State Department employee?until after he is kidnapped by international gangsters, and the CIA makes little attempt to recover him . . . A grim, fast- paced tale." —Publishers Weekly
"[T]his debut novel is relentlessly paced, full of global sets, slick action...with a grim, ass-kicking antihero." —Booklist
The Cruelty is a nominee for the 2018 Edgar Award for best Young Adult book.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The debut novel by ad exec–turned–writer Scott Bergstrom is a gripping young adult thriller that follows sparky 17-year-old Gwendolyn Bloom as she embarks on a quest to find her abducted diplomat father. As Gwen morphs from an average teen into a calculating guerrilla (encountering Israeli operatives, arms dealers, and mortal danger), her steely resolve grows—and her perfectly wry narration provides a deadpan counterpoint to Bergstrom’s heart-pounding plot. This cross–Europe adventure is an exhilarating and frequently stomach-clenching trip.
Liam Neeson's 2008 film Taken concerned a spy who engages in mass mayhem while attempting to recover his kidnapped daughter. Bergstrom reverses this plot in his violent, well-crafted first novel. Seventeen-year-old gymnast Gwendolyn Bloom doesn't learn that her father is a genuine spy and not merely an overworked State Department employee until after he is kidnapped by international gangsters, and the CIA makes little attempt to recover him. Vowing to find her father, Gwen heads for Europe, where she is intercepted by a tough Israeli agent who trains her in Krav Maga and spycraft. The seedy, back-alley Europe that Gwen moves through comes alive as she traces her father to Prague and gains employment with his murderous captors. It's a premise that demands a degree of suspended disbelief, but Bergstrom manages Gwen's transformation from high school student to assassin believably enough, and he doesn't avoid the toll Gwen's actions take on her. Not for the weak of heart, this is a grim, fast-paced tale that stands knee-deep in dead bodies. Ages 17 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great book, must read. Great story line, keeps reader interested!