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4.2 out of 5 stars104
4.2 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 12 June 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Davis' The Fort is a novel about Tim, Luke and Scott. Three young boys who witness a strange man with a gun to a missing girl's back and are not believed. They set out to find the killer and to prove themselves truthful.
I really enjoyed this book. It is a coming of age novel with three believable young lads as the key characters. The boys are trapped between enjoying life as kids and playing war games in their fort in the forest and growing up and facing the realities of the adult world. They try to tell adults in authority about the things they witnessed, and tried to prevent, but are not believed. They set out to uncover the truth about the murderer in their midst and are sent on a dark journey.
The book is well written and the characters are rounded and developed. The kids have individual personalities which work well in the story's progression. The adults are believable and don't impinge too much into the kids' journey. The writing is good and the story unfolds at a good pace. No great mysteries here but it's not meant to be a thriller, it is a story about three boys. I enjoyed it and I think most people will.
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on 16 June 2013
Couldn't put it down had to read it in one sitting. The main characters were true hero's and a lesson should be learnt about listening and respecting our children
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Aric Davis is a skilled writer who weaves an interesting and well-paced tale of three young men coming of age. The backdrop to their loss of innocence is a series of local murders that they become embroiled in when they see a kidnapped girl and are disbelieved by everyone.

I was drawn in very quickly with this book and enjoyed the characters. However, this could have been spun out over another couple of hundred pages easily, Davis is a good writer and he would have served this story much better by slowly revealing these characters. Instead, they leap fully formed onto the page. Whilst this is fair enough this is a story that should have been given a Stephen King type sprawling feel, slowly revealing inter-connections between the characters, delving into their back stories and allowing us to fully absorb the small town feel.

This is no criticism, it shows how well Davis has lured me into this tale that left me wanting more.

As it stands, a fast paced and tense read.

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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Fort is set around a clever concept. A veteran of war, horribly psycholigcally damaged, does an unspeakable thing witnessed by three young boys who are out playing their own brand of war games in a make believe fort. When the boys later relate their story to the police something happens to throw doubt on their credibility and nobody believes them.

What ensues is a cat and mouse chase as the three pretend soldiers stalk a seasoned veteran in an attempt to prove their story, save a life and clear their names.

The way in which the boys are cast down and not believed by the police when they report the crime is well handled. They're at the age, 12ish, when you can feel all of that adolescent anger welling up in them which makes you believe they could actually go off and do what they do. I also enjoyed a series of reveals which opens up the domestic lives of the boys and adds a lot of shadow and shade to their characters.

Ultimately; this is a coming of age novel. You're left with absolutely no doubt that once they set off on their journey the boys will either never return or return completely altered.

Their are some decent twists and turns along the way and the standard of writing is generally good.

Unfortunately I do have a couple of negatives.

I was never in any doubt about 'whodunnit' and I was left wondering why, if it was all so transparent to me, hadn't the police worked it out?.

At only 252 pages long, and plenty of spacing, I think the novel's too short and lacking in the necessary darkness and tension a plot like this needs to hook the reader in.

I'm being extra critical because this novel could have been fantastic but it's missing a certain something to lift it out of the ordinary pile and I was a little bit disappointed.
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VINE VOICEon 12 August 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A book about three boys and the events that surround one summer, how they witness a kidnapped girl and her captor and how these circumstances spiral out of control.

A really engaging coming of age crime thriller. I really enjoyed the writing style, it was quite simplistic and straight to the point, which I found hooked me right from the start.

It was a short book, and although I found it intresting throughout I did feel that some parts felt slighly rushed, especially in the character development of the three boys, two of which I found particulaly interchangeable. But I found that the boys difficult journey into adolescence was described well, and there were some intresting perspectives from the parents and police that also added depth to the novel.

Some parts of the book did feel a little Nancy Drew to me, when the boys are trying to solve the mystery themselves and at times it did feel like a YA book rather than an adult crime novel.

Overall it was a great book to pass the time with, it's not the best book I've ever read but it did keep me constantly entertained, and I did enjoy it.
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on 25 July 2014
Having only recently finished my first Aric Davis novel, A Good and Useful Hurt , I was keen to read more of his work so was pleased to see he's written a handful of other books, all with pretty good reviews.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I liked all three of the young boys characters. The story was set at a good pace and I couldn't wait to find out how it ended. I just wished it had been longer - there was definitely room for developing the characters a bit more, and really getting inside the boys heads. All in all, a great read.

The last few pages set the scene nicely for A Good and Useful Hurt, if you haven't read it I'd highly recommend it.
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on 19 June 2013
After accepting the offer of sample chapters I decided to order this book. Three young boys in a small town in northern US are part way through their summer holidays, playing war games in their fort in the woods, when they see a girl who has gone missing. She is being forced through the woods by a man with a gun.
Like most 12-year-olds, some aspects of their play are not known, or allowed, by their parents, but nonetheless they report this sighting to the police. Initially interested, the police are then presented with evidence which contradicts the boys' story, leading to the three being accused of lying. Two, Tim and Scott, are punished by their families, while the third, Luke, is left to his own devices by his troubled and neglectful mother.
The reader is never in any doubt about who is responsible for Molly's abduction, or the other murders which have taken place in the area; we read on in the hope that the detectives will cotton on soon. The story is set in 1987, hence the absence of mobile phones, the internet, I-pads etc: children are still free to roam, play and have unsupervised adventures. Crime detection is harder as sophisticated DNA tests are not yet available, which partly excuses the seeming incompetence of the police.
I was quite surprised that the author dedicated this book to his young daughter, given the subject matter: I wonder what she will think when she's old enough to read it.
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VINE VOICEon 2 August 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a competently told story. It's not high end writing but the author gives us a book which is both easy reading and yet compelling enough to want to see where and how it ends.

Set in 1987 rather than the current day, it features (yet another) ex Vietnam soldier traumatised by the events and the death of his young sister. He takes his anger out on some fourteen prostitutes brutally murdered and then, by chance, latches on to Molly, a naive but innocent young girl, taking part in a student's prank.

The story weaves its way around the fact the he doesn't kill her. Unfortunately for him, three boys spot the girl being chased by the killer and, although they are unable to follow him, they do report it to the police.

The main thrust of the book centres around the three boys, whether the police officer in charge believes them and since he doesn't, what they do about it.

In the main, the boys and their families came across as realistic - almost. Maybe parents did things differently in America in the 1980s but, notwithstanding, the author manages to keep the interest level on high until the finale which has its repercussions for all involved.

I hope the book is well received. It deserves to be recognised, especially so since it provides a different outlook where crime and mystery stories are told.
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VINE VOICEon 25 April 2015
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a great little book and I enjoyed it a good deal more than I was expecting, racing through until the end. I simply couldn’t put it down. Short chapters and punchy, economical dialogue give very little padding, so whilst it makes for a dynamic read, at times it would have been nice to have a little more back story here, a bit more plot development there.
The story centres around the three boys, Tim, Luke and Scott, who see something they shouldn't (or is that something they maybe should have, given how things pan out? Is fate at work here?) and the detective who is investigating the disappearance of a local teenage girl. It is the character of Van Endel who could have perhaps done with the most development and I could easily see him in further books, should the author decide to follow this with further thrillers.
There are a few additional characters, though not an overly large amount, the parents and siblings of the boys and a child psychologist who Van Endel uses as a sounding board. Perhaps the greatest star of this book is the atmosphere and setting conjured by the author. We are effortlessly transported to late 80's USA, a balmy summer where something damaged and dangerous is lurking in the woods...
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VINE VOICEon 6 July 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having read and enjoyed Aric Davis's novel `A Good and Useful Hurt' I thought I would give this a try. The Fort is like a coming-of-age novel but with the added element of suspense because there is a killer on the loose in the neighbourhood. The perspective changes with each chapter so is either told from the viewpoint of one of the three twelve-year-old boys at the centre of the story or that of the killer, a man called Hooper, who also happens to be a Vietnam Vet who seemingly is suffering from PTSD.

I really enjoyed this book and felt that it rattled along at a great pace. The chapters are also reasonably short, so you find yourself reading on and on! The characters are believable as is the level of violence (which some readers might find a little graphic.) The only criticism I have is that Davis seems unable to write a female character without killing her off or making her a victim and I hope that in future books he has the confidence to write a female character with some degree of conviction and without killing her.

One the whole, I'd recommend this book but more for its strong plot than the quality of the writing.
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