The Blonde Bookworm: The Real Michael Swann by Bryan Swann -- Review

The Real Michael Swann by Bryan Swann -- Review

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Title: The Real Michael Swann
Author: Bryan Reardon
Pages: 341
Publishing: June 12th 2018 by Dutton
ISBN: 1524742325


In a new novel from New York Times bestselling author Bryan Reardon, a suburban family is rocked in the wake of a terrorist attack on American soil.

On a typical late summer day, Julia Swann is on the phone with her husband, Michael, when the call abruptly goes dead. Then the news rolls in: A bomb has gone off at Penn Station, where Michael was waiting for a train home. New York City is in a state of chaos.

A frantic Julia races to the city to look for Michael, her panic interwoven with memories of meeting and falling in love with the husband she's now desperate to find. When someone finds a flier she's posted and tells her they may have seen her husband, her dreams seem to be answered. Yet as she tries to find him, her calls go unanswered. 

Weaving between the aftermath of the explosion and Julia's memories of her life with Michael, new developments raise troubling questions. Did Michael survive the explosion? Why hasn't he contacted her? What was he doing when their last call was cut off? Was he—or is he still—the man she fell in love with?

Part family drama, part tragic love story, and part disaster narrative that hits terrifyingly close to home, The Real Michael Swann is a deftly plotted suspense novel with an unflinching portrait of a marriage at its heart, challenging us to confront the unthinkable--both in our country and in our own homes.


As you can tell from reading the synopsis, this novel starts out with quite an exhilarating first chapter. It definitely had me hooked from the first page. The author is purposefully quite vague about who set off the bomb and I found myself questioning everyone and everything. 

There were portions of the novel that were a bit slow to me, and I felt that was a little unfortunate considering the fast pacing of the majority of the novel. There was a little too much unnecessary background information that I think the novel would have been better without. Other than the slow patches, this novel was intriguing and really kept me guessing until the very last page. I would highly recommend this to readers who enjoy thrillers and suspense novels. It was a quick read and perfect for a weekend on the beach. 

Rating 3.5/5

*Thank you to Dutton and Netgalley for sending this novel in exchange for an honest review.  


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