An inmate’s deathbed confession turns Ben Keller’s life upside down. Fourteen years earlier a horrific act of violence shattered Ben, but slowly, over the years, he has remade himself. Ben knows all about safety and gets paid generously for his expertise. Now, however, he finds himself at a crossroads – risk everything or follow the safe, sane path.
This complex and riveting story had me literally biting my nails at times. The novel is suspenseful and entertaining; it unfolds ingeniously, slyly packing sucker punches in the places least expected. A few times, I thought the pacing became bogged down in slightly too much trivial information. There were times, also, when I cringed at some of Ben’s actions and choices – silently begging him to get a grip. But then I would chastise myself because, after all, severe stress can trigger uncharacteristic behaviors. As Ben’s life spirals out of control, those closest to him also discover truths about themselves. This is a book that will keep your mind racing until the final page.
Ben Keller lives life by one simple rule. Safety first. Ben is keenly aware of life's hidden dangers. Ben never smokes. Ben always uses the crosswalk. Ben always drives within the speed limit. He has to be because safety is his business. From his home in Simi Valley, California, one of the safest cities in the United States, Ben works hard at living a perfectly normal, perfectly uneventful, perfectly safe life.
And life is good until the past reaches into the present. In the dark of the night, a man crosses a lonely intersection and is struck by a car, setting events in motion that will unravel the finely stitched strands of Ben's cocoon, from a recently retired porn actress who is desperate to be a mother to the butch cop determined to shield her young son from the whisperings of the queen bee moms at his private school to the addict who is clawing to hold onto the sobriety which cages the violence within him.
A long dismissed demon has resurfaced, presenting Ben with a most unsafe dilemma: preserve the haven he has carefully built for himself or confront the evildoer who decimated his carefree young life all those years ago.
Ben is in danger. Ben's world is unsafe. Ben's life will be changed forever. Again.