Is it best for a story to start with a bang? If it’s a bleak contemplation of sexual isolation in a suburban wasteland, probably not, but if it’s a rocketing thriller, absolutely.
Switch does start with a bang — and a crash, and a sizzle — and having started, it doesn’t stop moving until the last word. Sam White comes home from his dead-end job to the sudden loss of his house and family. His life a scorched ruin, he receives a call to say that he can have his wife and daughter back alive if he’ll oblige the kidnapper by committing a series of increasingly brutal crimes.
Grant McKenzie (Monday’s editor-in-chief) has created a world that’s recognizable as reality, a world full of real people and real things. It’s not a Thursday night network drama filled with big-breasted coroners and vaguely supernatural criminologists, but a story about a normal guy with a normal life to whom terrifying things happen.
The combination of packed lunches and unseen villains is irresistible. The protagonist’s vulnerabilities are everybody’s vulnerabilities; his insecurities are ours. Switch is intense and delicious, a summer carnival ride of a thriller. Scream if you want to go faster.
— Giulia Mauro
(Review courtesy of
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Page count: 432
Released: July 5, 2011
Meet author Grant McKenzie at Munro’s Books on Saturday,
July 9 from
3 p.m. to 4 p.m.