**This book was reviewed for Random House/Ballintine via Netgalley
Master storyweaver Laurie R King has done it again. Lockdown may be a novel of suspense, but more than that it is a novel of humanity in all our myriad glory and debasements. It is a novel of disconnect, where communications break down. And a novel of connection, with the various threads converging into the incident at Guadalupe on Career Day. If but one thread had been cut short, or played out longer, or skewed a different direction, events may have played out very differently indeed. We are all stories- little stories, blending to make larger stories, building to glorious life epics with colossal casts.
Lockdown is a vibrant mosaic of psychological suspense that will lure you in, snaring the mind and drawing the reader deep within. It is the weaving of a school on the verge of a life-shattering event, the second in only a scant handful of months. Things begin in a mundane enough manner. It is Career Day, a source of pride and stress for Linda, the principal who took over a neglected school rife with violence. On the surface, things have improved, rough as it has been. Beneath the surface though, on the flip side of that mosaic, that tapestry, one can see the abraded roughness, the snarled and tangled criss-crossing threads.
There is a shy imaginative boy, recovering from the unsolved disappearance of his best friend only months before. There is the Englishman, a former merc with a clouded past, and his wife the school principal, whose baby Guadalupe is. There is a boy thrust too early into adulthood and sacrifice, as he takes care of his younger siblings while his mother works for a meagre wage. There’s a young witness to a horrific murder, with people seeking to silence him, and his two friends, one the sister to the murdered girl. There’s a boy crying out silently for help, pushed to his breaking-point. There’s a man with a superiority complex and sense of entitlement the size of South Dakota, and an elderly man with tragedy lingering behind him.. Each thread, each tile, taken alone, is fascinating in its own right, but brought together they create a beautifully terrifying picture of the confluence of events that will change everyone, reader included.
Once started, I read this book in almost one sitting. Ms King has woven a rich, intricate story with beautiful language and a deep, abiding lesson- we are all connected. This was my first experience with Ms King’s work outside of Mary Russell’s memoirs, which are just lovely.
????? Highly recommended