Primal Calling by Barry Eisenberg #BookReview @NetGalley #Fiction #Mystery

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My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Many thanks to Net Galley, Vanguard Press, FSB associates and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.

A debut novel by Barry Eisenberg, Primal Calling embodies the emotional upheaval faced by a person in the search of a loved one. The whole traumatic experience in seeking out a parent or a child or a relative for years altogether to receive a spark of hope and then to find it all crashing down is somehow inconceivable for a human being. But in spite of this, there are success stories that inspire hope and a beacon of light for people attempting the same.

Jack Davies was just pottering around in the attic of his house to kill boredom when the discovery of his birth certificate reveals a devastating secret. His father’s name hitherto unknown was suddenly stark clear and the anonymous donor story that his mother had claimed was proven false. Thus, begins his long and arduous journey to search for the one-half of a parent who had birthed him. But Jack’s enquiries unearth deeper mysteries as his father’s job takes on a whole new cloak and dagger drama.

Barry Eisenberg writes an effortless story that connects to a reader in a meaningful way. A host of characters are introduced with enough backstory that each of them feels relatable. It was interesting to see how the story progresses from the discovery of a father to politics about oil companies in Russia, Germany and Saudi Arabia and the terrifying act that leaves another couple with unbearable grief.

Jack’s character was an absolute charm as the author clearly depicts the struggle, he faces in forgiving his mother for her deception but the sensible and sound advice from his newfound friend Cathy helps in opening his eyes to his mother’s choices. Linda’s reasoning honestly failed to convince me as a reader and also the angst and worry and gloomy prospect of failed leads in Jack’s search was not potent enough for me. The utter hopelessness of the situation that takes him a year, I thought could have been more compelling. But these are just minor points in a story that has been crafted brilliantly and is debut worth watching out for.

While rummaging through the attic, high school senior, Jack Davies, is surprised to find his never-before-seen birth certificate, revealing a startling bit of information that changes his life. The story his mother told about his birth, he discovers, is revealed to be a lie, shattering long-held beliefs and the trust he had for her. Jack becomes obsessed with discovering the truth, leading him down a dangerous path. Faced with unanswered questions and confounding obstacles at every turn, Jack finds himself deeply enmeshed in an intricate world of national security and international intrigue. Relationships are tested as his every move is tracked by a group of mysterious people. Who are they? Whose side are they on? Who can he trust? And, most importantly, who will he ultimately become?

This post contains affiliate links for products and services I recommend. If you make a purchase through those links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.


This review is published in my blog, Goodreads, Amazon India and twitter.

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