Author: Jonathan Stone
Published: June 1/14
Publisher: Thomas and Mercer
Source: A complimentary advance reader's copy was provided for the purpose of this review. Receipt thereof bore no influence over this reviewers opinion nor this review.
Forty years’ accumulation of art, antiques, and family photographs are more than just objects for Stanley Peke—they are proof of a life fully lived. A life he could have easily lost long ago.
When a con man steals his houseful of possessions in a sophisticated moving-day scam, Peke wanders helplessly through his empty New England home, inevitably reminded of another helpless time: decades in Peke’s past, a cold and threadbare Stanislaw Shmuel Pecoskowitz eked out a desperate existence in the war-torn Polish countryside, subsisting on scraps, dodging Nazi soldiers. Now, the seventy-two-year-old Peke—who survived, came to America, and succeeded—must summon his original grit and determination, to track down the thieves, retrieve his things, and restore the life he made for himself.
Peke and his wife, Rose, trace the path of the thieves’ truck across America, to the wilds of Montana, and to an ultimate, chilling confrontation with not only the thieves, but with Peke’s brutal, unresolved past.
It's all innocent enough to begin with. Peke and his wife Rose have arranged for movers to transport their belongings, a wealth of 40 years of accumulation including some valuable art and antiques. The children are grown so Peke and Rose no longer desire this big house, their first home purchase. Already packed and ready to go, Peke is surprised when the movers arrive a day early. He tells himself he forgot the date, assures his wife that yes, today is the day, and then watches as the crew cheerfully load all their earthly belongings into a semi. Peke notes their attitudes, their demeanour, who's in charge. How nice to have cheerful friendly movers, right?
They spend the night on an old mattress, their last night spent just as their first when they had little money nor belongings. The years have been kind to Peke and Rose and they have done very well financially. Now they were retired and looking forward to it.
The next morning, however; movers show up to load their furnishings. Stunned, Peke informs them that there must be a mistake; their crew arrived the day before. No, not their crew. The police are called in but it doesn't look promising. There are over 240,000 semis on the highway on any given day. The semi might as well be invisible. Their belongings are gone, presumably forever. It's sad and awful but at least no one was hurt.
Peke and Rose aren't concerned about the financial loss. They are quite fit financially. Besides, insurance will reimburse them. It's not even the value associated with the memories (the thieves took their photos as well!). It's the fact that the "crew" chose them to defraud, two seniors who wouldn't put up a fight. Little did those "movers" know, they made the biggest mistake ever when they stole from Peke and Rose!
Moving Day is a bit wordy and descriptive and its pace was a bit slow. Despite this, Moving Day is a fascinating piece of fiction with a rare plot and a feisty protagonist! There have been a few feisty elderly protagonists of late, including The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson (2012), The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (June 2013), and The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules by Catherina Ingleman-Sundberg (Feb 2014). If you enjoyed any of these titles, you're sure to find Moving Day to your liking. Who says the years of wisdom, knowledge and hard work don't count for anything? Certainly not Peke!
Meet author Jonathan Stone:
Jonathan Stone writes his books on the commuter train from his home in Connecticut to his advertising job in midtown Manhattan. Honing his writing skills by creating smart and classic campaigns for high-level brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, and Mitsubishi has paid off, as Stone’s first mystery-thriller series, the Julian Palmer books, won critical acclaim and was hailed as “stunning” and “risk-taking” in Publishers Weekly starred reviews. He earned glowing praise for his novel The Cold Truth from the New York Times, which called it “bone-chilling.” He’s the recipient of a Claymore Award for Best Unpublished Crime Novel and a graduate of Yale, where he was a Scholar of the House in fiction writing.