Vengeance is often sought and yet does not always leave you with a better feeling after your revenge or of who you have become. Anger is often what drives it and yet the ends do not always justify the means.
In Highway to Vengeance: A Thomas Highway Novel, Brian Springer has delved into that very subject. Thomas Highway, known to his friends as Highway, is an unassuming man. He is in love with his beautiful wife and does not quite understand what she sees in him. He has a solid background with the Navy Seals and throughout the story, we hear about the training and how formative it was to who he had become.
As his wife, a street smart lawyer, leaves him to his morning as she hurries away to a meeting with the District Attorney on a case she has been assigned, Highway watches her hurry on her way. Still absorbed in his musing about their relationship, he suddenly snaps out of his fugue as he sees her frantic glance down the road she is just crossing. As he tries to understand her fear, a car comes out of nowhere and hits her, killing her instantly. In his heart, Highway knows this is not an accident. Yet as the police follow their procedures, that is exactly what they are ruling it.
Unable to come to terms with her death, he becomes quite morose, drinking and planning but without a hope. As his best friend, Dave Willis shows up, he brings further news. Not only has Highways wife been killed but her client has also supposedly committed suicide. Because of his often-spirited conversations with his wife, he is sure he knows who is responsible. With his and his friend Willis’s background, he will be able to find and kill the man responsible. Someone must pay — in his life it is the only way.
What Highway finds is that there are others also in the fray. Those that are protecting the killer for his information, and yet others who are also on the trail of his death. Highway is dragged into the middle of this war without a real understanding of who these groups are. They are government, possibly a part of Homeland Security, and yet on the other hand they may be the ones who are government sanctioned and yet not acknowledged. Even seeing a badge he does not believe, would he know what the badge should look like? When cornered Highway only does what he believes, but could it get him killed? Bodies are piling up, but can he find the man responsible and make him pay, and yet save himself?
Springer has developed exceptional characters; he gives them both their weakness and their strengths and does not apologize. It is part of what gives the story character and makes the characters more believable. Throughout the book, we follow Highway on his training to become a Seal, the in-depth and harrowing training that can either make or break a man. Few succeed and yet Highway is one of those that do.
We also find out more about why he is no longer in the program and the fight he had to save his life from something too small to see and yet more deadly than any other foe he would ever face. We get a remarkable look into the workings of different government entities and the possible groups that are only bantered about in rumor.
Will Highway find what he is looking for, and is vengeance really the answer? As bodies begin to pile up and Highway finds himself on the wrong end of certain factions, can his friend Willis help him to save the day?
Highway to Vengeance is a good solid suspense, with just enough background to keep you turning the pages. Full of action and danger, it is difficult to put down. Part of what I found so interesting were the passages that dealt with the Navy Seal training that is quite torrid itself. If you are looking for a new hero, Highway may just fit the bill.