Zombie, post-apocalyptic and dystopian books are like shoes - you can never have enough.
For me, Desperate Times had some very good things going for it, but also a few negatives thrown into the mix.
Desperate Times is the story of Jimmy, an average blue-collar kinda guy, with an average job, living in an average home with an average live-in girlfriend but a boss and family friend who predicts a financial collapse in the very near future and has thought through the possible consequences. With his finger on the pulse, Ken, a friend of Jimmy’s deceased parents, has prepared his cabin in the woods and has invited a select groups of friends to join him ‘for the duration’, including Jimmy and his girlfriend Paula.
However, Ken’s wife Patty has other ideas, and invites along far more people than Ken wants, and, as the woman wearing the pants behind the scenes, gets her way, no arguments.
As the impact of the financial collapse spreads across the state, Jimmy and his group find themselves thrown into a world where humanity’s morals have also rapidly fallen to the wayside. Throw in a bunch of bad guys (motorcycle gang, insane extremist pastor etc.), some more good guys (the town doctor, Patty’s hair-stylist) and a whole lot of vulnerable people who are easily influenced, and you have the makings of a good PA drama.
The characters in Desperate times are a little bit cookie-cutter, but also have some flaws that make them much more realistic and likeable than the characters of some other PA novels I have read recently. They make mistakes, they don’t believe that everyone has a good side, they have complicated romantic and personal relationships and they can’t miraculously save themselves while defeating the baddies. And sometimes good characters die.
The small excerpts at the start of each chapter make for interesting reading and add some more realism to an already probably scenario.
On the negative side, the dialogue is a little stilted in places, there is no mention of what is happening outside the lake and small town where the book is set, no travelers turning up out of the blue bring news from other parts of the state/country/world. There are also some editing issues, but I’ve definitely seen worse!