Hilary Cantor is a good person, but like all good people, she has seen her share of hardship. A single mother of a son with Asperger’s syndrome, she has been working hard to maintain a quality life for herself and her son. Despite her best efforts, her world has begun to drop out from under her. Her deadbeat ex-husband is waning in his financial and emotional support, her bills have begun to stack up, and she has recently become a victim of the recession when she loses her job. Facing bankruptcy for herself and the possibility of losing the ability to properly care for her son, she makes a final trek to beg for her ex’s assistance.
On her way through the country to try and right her upended life, a miracle occurs. When Hilary witnesses a freak car accident and stops to help, she finds what seems to be a godsend… a bag containing $500,000. In the split second before someone else arrives on scene, Hilary makes the decision to keep the money. With the money, Hilary begins to fix her life; she pays off her debts and even makes sure that the money is not missed.
However, no miracle comes without a price, and for anyone to make money, someone else has to lose it. When another person associated with the crash is found dead it becomes apparent that the money is missed, and the owner is determined to get it back. Pursued by a ruthless hired gun, Hilary must work with the son of the crash victim and trace the origin of the money through death, desolation and 20 years of history before it’s too late for her and her son.
Andrew Gross produces a thrilling journey in Everything To Lose. The main protagonist is relatable and well rounded. Further, Hilary is filled with a sense of morality that closely mirrors what would be expected of anyone else facing her situation. The writing is typical of the genre and kept me engaged throughout my reading. Despite the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I couldn’t help but compare the plot to that of No Country for Old Men. While the books did not share an atmosphere, setting or writing style, I continuously drew connections to characters and plot points from the earlier novel. However, this did not detract from my enjoyment, and I am now excited to read more of Gross’s work. I would highly recommend this as a fast-paced, plot-driven thriller that could easily consume a weekend.
Review by Brett Schneider