The Three Day Affair is the debut novel of author Michael Kardos. It's also the first novel bearing the imprint of the newly re-launched Mysterious Press.
We meet Will - the narrator of the tale in the first chapter. And the hook is set deep with the last paragraph of that first chapter...
"Three years had passed since our move to Newfield, and we felt ready for this child in our lives, By then, violent crime was about the furthest thing from my mind, until the night when I helped one of my best friends kidnap a young woman."
Four college friends reconnect every year for a weekend to play some golf and catch up. This year they're meeting in Will's town. They stop at a convenience store for Jeffrey to run in and grab a few things. Well, he does grab something - but it's the teenage clerk. When he thrusts her into the car and yells 'Drive' - Will does. He believes the girl has been hurt and is heading for the hospital. But she's not - Jeffrey has just....taken her. And now they're all involved.
And as they argue over what to do, the clock keeps ticking.....until it's too late to just open the door and tell her to get out.
Over the next three days, we are privy to long held resentments, simmering tensions, outright violence and desperation as they frantically try to figure out a way to extricate themselves from an unbelievable situation.
Kardos paints intimate pictures of the players, flashing back and forth in alternate chapters from their college days to the present. We get to know them well - or do we really? Do they really know each other as well as they think?
The pacing is quite quick in The Three Day Affair. It isn't a long book - it had the feel of an extended short story for me. But in a good way. I was just waiting for a twist - I knew there had to be one. And, yes there was - and it was a good one - or two!
A very clever debut. I'd pick up another by this author. Read an excerpt of The Three Day Affair.
You can find Michael Kardos on Twitter.