The Drifter is 31 year-old Peter Ash, a former Marine Lieutenant who spent 8 years deployed. Peter fought in two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Having been schooled in economics, Peter should have returned home to a bright future, but instead he has returned with PTSD, in the form of a “white static” in his head, which triggers a panic attack from acute claustrophobia. Peter can no longer spend time indoors, in crowds, or in brightly lit areas, so he has spent the last 12 months on the trails of Northern Washington hiking and sleeping under the stars.
When Peter gets a call from one of his war buddies that his former sergeant and close friend Jimmy Johnson has committed suicide, he feels compelled to return to society to help out the man’s family. Jimmy has left behind a wife, Dinah and his two boys Charlie and Miles.
As Peter sleeps in his truck at night, he begins to help Dinah with repairs to her home during the day. He starts work on Dinah’s porch and makes two unwanted discoveries. The first is a dog; the meanest, ugliest dog he’s ever laid eyes on. The second discovery is a suitcase filled with explosives and $400000.00 in cash, leading Peter on a quest to find out what Jimmy was up to in his final days.
The Drifter focuses on the many things that happen to war veterans when they try to resume their normal lives, treating their plight with sensitivity and at the same time, educating us on the realities that they have to face. Peter’s character was well fleshed-out. I loved his interaction with the dog a lot, along with his sense of humor. He rescues this dog that will most likely try to tear his head off, and tries his hardest not to hurt it. Then, when he gets it out from under the porch, he immediately thinks of naming the mangy male dog Daisy or Cupcake! The storyline was wrapped up tidily, while at the same time leaving room for character growth in the next book of the series.
I want to thank the publisher (G.P. Putnam’s Sons) for providing me with the ARC through the Goodreads Giveaways program for an honest review.