The Unit by Terry DeHart
purchased from Amazon
Description from Goodreads:
Jerry Sharpe is an ex-marine and, for him, survival means protecting his family by any means necessary.
Susan is learning just how far a mother will go for her children. But how far will she go for a man she doubted before the bombs fell? As Jerry's training and instincts take over, she is certain of one thing -- her children need her.
Melanie was going to go to college. Now, she is struggling to find a way to live in a world gone mad without losing sight of what she believes in.
Scotty has a new mission - more than survival. He was saved, and he'll be damned if he won't fight for what's right.
And Bill -- Bill was locked up, but the power went out and the guards left. Now he and his fellow inmates have realized that everything is free for the taking...if you're strong enough to hold on to it
I like post-apocalyptic fiction and this definitely qualifies. The reader finds out exactly what happened to land this family and the rest of the country in this predicament gradually as the story progresses. The story is told from each of the family members' and Bill and Bill Jr.'s points of view in alternating chapters. Bill and Bill Jr. are some of the bad guys of the story and the reader gets their story too. It can be a bit disorienting at first, but the method does allow the reader to better understand the characters' motives, strengths, and shortcomings.
This story is very grim and I was uncomfortable with some of the things that happen in the story -- not because they were unlikley, but because they are far too likely to happen in such circumstances. There is a lot of violence and a fair amount of graphic description and language. Considering the subject matter, I think it is all pretty much relevant.
One thing I had a little problem with was that this family was so very knowledgable about firearms -- but then again, those would likely be the ones to survive in a post apocalyptic world. There were a couple of instances in the story where someone happened upon a stash of arms or food that just seems a bit too convenient.
One of the big events towards the end of the book was a complete surprise for me. I have to admit that I like it when I think I know what is going to happen and then the author just throws me for a loop. This one event did that for me.
From the extra in the back of the book, it looks like the story will continue from the son, Scott's point of view. I plan to read the next book when it comes out.