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Good Start, But the Finish Was Torment - 'Torment' by Iona Blair
By [http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Erin_O'Riordan]Erin O'Riordan
Torment by Iona Blair was published by Club Lighthouse Publishing, ISBN # 978-1-897532-96-6.
Lt. Jay Sutherland, a Canadian stationed in Afghanistan, has a serious problem. He has a perfectly loving wife, Kerry, at home in Vancouver...but he can't stop thinking about a fellow soldier, Darren. Not just thinking about him, but having steamy sexual fantasies about him, though he's never thought sexually about a man before. Darren reciprocates his feelings, and they have a brief but torrid affair.
The army sends to Cyprus to decompress on his way home to Canada, and Jay has sex with a female prostitute to get his mind off Darren. He barely has time to put his pants back on, though, before learning that Darren and the rest of his patrol have gone missing. He goes back to Afghanistan, where he and his men find the patrol trapped in a mountain rock slide, moments away from death.
When he does return to Vancouver, Jay becomes the living embodiment of torment. He can't decide if he's gay, straight or bisexual. He doesn't want his wife to find out about what he's done...and, not only can he not keep his mind off Darren, wild rumors are beginning to swirl in public about what happened to the lost patrol.
Up to this point, this had been a decent novel of forbidden lust under extreme circumstances. About two thirds of the way into the story, though, I lost all sympathy for Jay as a character. He goes to a strip club in an attempt to get his mind off Darren. Though he justifies his actions to himself, Jay rapes one of the dancers. He then fixates on the woman as the cause of all his troubles, taking a drastic step to keep her out of his life. After Jay's violent actions, I no longer cared whether Jay decided to stay with his wife or run off with Darren. After the violence, I no longer enjoyed the book.
This book may be well-written for what it is, but the sexual violence and the main character's rationalization of it made me unable to give it more than two stars. War is hell, and this may well be a realistic depiction of what a soldier goes through when he or she returns from a traumatic experience. This reviewer is not a soldier, though, and doesn't wish to be traumatized by her reading. http://www.erinoriordan.blogspot.com
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