I don’t often get the chance to read literary thrillers; in fact, few of us do because there aren’t really that many written these days. Come Barbarians by Todd Babiak is the perfect example of the right blend of literary fiction and thriller, and a great example of how well the two work together.
I’ll stick to my guns and reveal as little about the plot as I can, mostly because I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. The story is based around Christopher Krus’s search for his wife, whose sudden disappearance is a mystery to Chris and those close to him. What really struck me about the book was how well the characters were portrayed. Christopher Kruse is not some sort of super hero husband; he is an extremely distraught father, a very vulnerable husband and a very realistic character. There are parts of Come Barbarians that made me stop and evaluate what I had just read in order to try and make sense of how this very real man could deal with all that had gone on. This is not a dull read in the slightest as the plot takes you all over with several twists that I never saw coming.
Thrillers often have the (unjust) characterization of a lot of action without any depth, but this book definitely takes a giant leap away from that stereotype. If you are looking for something exciting, but also deep and thought-provoking, this is the book for you.
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