The Returned by Jason Mott
(Harlequin MIRA, 2013, 352 pages)
Ever since the “returned” started appearing back from the dead in mysterious places trying to get home, Harold and Lucille Hargrave have wondered if their son Jacob would return. Jacob died on his eighth birthday more than thirty years ago. Even though they knew there was a possibility he could return, they were still shocked when Agent Bellamy showed up with their son. With the surge of the “returned” appearing all over the world, the government decided to start setting up camps to contain them, and one is in Arcadia where the Hargraves live. As more questions are left unanswered about the “returned,” tension builds quickly in the small town.
This was definitely an interesting concept for Mott to tackle. I’m sure everyone has wondered what it would be like if a loved one had never died, but what about if they returned years later looking the same as the day they died. It was interesting to see how different people reacted, especially people who have had someone return vs. people who are just spectators. Between chapters, Mott would add perspectives on various “returned.” This helped break up the chapters but with so many different perspectives, it made the characters hard to keep track of if they were actually mentioned in the story later on. “Resurrection,” the new show on ABC, is based off of this book. I’ve been watching the first few episodes and it seems like the framework is the same but many characters and plots have been changed or added. So I don’t think the book will spoil anything for you on the show, but time will tell on what direction the show takes.
You can also check out Julia’s review of The Returned.