G.M. Weger’s debut novel, East Garrison, packs one heck of a punch. Make no mistake about it; this first novel is filled with brutal and gory details that are sometimes hard to stomach – especially if you are one of those who enjoy reading while eating lunch. Each time I figured the worst was surely over for Weger’s characters, she managed to top herself yet again.
Weger sets her story in an abandoned section of old Fort Ord called East Garrison, a sort of ghost town surrounded by acres and acres of what used to be shooting ranges and training ground for the U.S. Army. The property has been abandoned long enough that nature is fast reclaiming it, as evidenced by a bountiful wildlife population that includes at least one predator dangerous to man.
Tracy Dade finally has things going her way after years of struggling with family and personal problems. She is married to a police officer who patrols the Fort Ord area and she is about to give birth to their first child. Despite her good fortune, however, Tracy is still fighting a few demons from her past. She is insecure about her marriage, deep down inside herself wondering why her husband even stays with her, and she suffers from occasional depression. Tracy grew up in a family headed by a pot-smoking, neo-Nazi fanatic, a man with whom she seldom has contact, but she suddenly decides that reconciling her differences with her father is something she must do in order to ensure a normal life for herself and her new family – and she has to do it before she has her baby.
When Tracy, dangerously headstrong as ever, decides to search for her father in the most isolated parts of old Fort Ord despite being only hours from going into labor, things get interesting – and dangerous for all involved. Tracy’s husband has no idea where she is and only reluctantly begins a desperate search to save the lives of his wife and unborn child. Everything that can possibly go wrong for Tracy does go wrong and what happens to her, her father, and her best friend makes East Garrison one of the most gut-wrenching thrillers that I have read in 2009, so gut-wrenching, in fact, that I have to warn readers one more time that this is not lunchtime reading.
Rated at: 4.0