Early within “Caught in a Web” readers are taken on a morning walk through George’s routine. During this walk about the house, it is casually mentioned that there is a David Baldacci novel sitting partly read in one of the rooms. As I continued through this book, I couldn’t help but be reminded of this very novel sitting out. Not because it had significant relevance to the plot, but rather because this very novel read much like a classic Baldacci book. Thus, how fitting and foreshadowing for the reader as “Caught in a Web” laces several points of view together as it quickly encases the reader in its sticky web. From the detective work, a seemingly normal Evans family, and the unnamed, unknown criminals being chased down, each spun us into this read tighter and tighter until it had us constricted within its jaws.
Like Lewis’ book “Fan Mail,” “Caught in a Web” gives us the same great characters, each with a brief backstory, and one that takes more of the intentional focus. Similarly, readers enjoy the presence of a police case, circling the drain, as we flip between the hard-working detectives and unsuspecting school aged Evans boys. Slowly the case begins to edge ever closer to the boys’ lives until it all comes to a head. This is what Lewis does so spectacularly, he furnishes these two ostensibly unconnected lives, each of which draw readers in, before culminating in a memorable, action-packed conclusion.
I thought “Fan Mail” would be a tough read to beat, and yet “Caught in a Web” exceeded my expectations. Following George, readers are given a brief introduction to his joining of the Evans family before catapulting us into Tat Man and Fat Man’s drug antics and the detectives frantically working to stop the senseless over doses of school kids. As we explore Jeremy and George’s relationship, we are shown a tender side of George’s adoptive father, Jeremy, including his dreams and history, the good, the bad, the failed and the realized, we have the opportunity to see Jeremy peel back some of his layers in this book as George takes on his new role in the family. This book also offers readers first glimpses of Brian, the predominate focus of “Fan Mail,” as we learn more about his origin story within the Evans family tree. My heart is warmed by the love these boys have for one another. Their backgrounds, and the things no kid should ever have to see, only seem to make their hearts swell ever larger for one another. Once again, Joseph Lewis shows off his writing chops in this Baldacci-esque, thrill ride.
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