The Scout is a fascinating story that combines the intricacies of family, the end of life, human nature to succeed at all cost, and it is all woven around the added complexity of an alien incursion or the potential of one, here on earth.
The story starts out with some overlapping elements introduced to the reader. We meet sci-fi author Jack McAllister, his parents, and some local law enforcement and a news reporter we will all love to hate.
Jack has a challenging relationship with his father, but when his dad passes expectantly, Jack has to head to Merriweather, Indiana to take care of family affairs, including the continued care of his Alzheimer’s-stricken mother.
While dealing with his family matters, the local law enforcement asks for Jack’s help in identifying something that has landed in the forest a few miles outside of town.
Local folk think it’s a new fangled military plane. But Jack thinks otherwise. Jack ends up chatting with old peers of his father from JPL in Pasadena, CA and Jack finds out information about an object that was first on Mars, then somehow, is now on Earth, just outside of Merriweather!
And that’s how things commence in this story of an alien probe that appears to be taking a planetary survey of Earth.
But for what? Why? Who sent it?
Ah, great questions indeed. Questions that get answered through the tale that Tozzi tells us.
We have a sheriff, looking to retire, innocently making bad calls because he’s so close to retirement. And there’s his young, enthusiastic and resourceful deputy sheriff.
And we have an old flame of Jack’s who is now a very “enthusiastic” career hound of a reporter. Yes, she’s the classic reporter character that everyone loves to hate.
As the story develops, everyone thinks they have a horrible and unique situation developing in their very own small town. But it turns out to be something so much more than that.
I found the book to be entertaining and challenging as Tozzi jumped back and forth between the machine, Jack’s situation with with his mother’s condition.
On top of this event, the character of Jack experiences the events with a sci-fi author’s imagination that is tempered by a history of solid science in his life. Thus, he sometimes can see things for what they really might be versus taking the popular path of decision making when it comes to the locals identifying the crashed object.
Also of note, the science within the plot was well founded but not over the top for the casual reader.
As the third act got underway, I found a few things discordant with the flow, but to speak of them would spoil parts of the closing plot, so I’m holding my digital tongue on that one. And they aren’t huge, or more to the point, they would take a leap of faith, but not a huge one.
Overall, Scout was a fun read and worthy. It kept me entertained throughout and ran at a good pace.
On Amazon: “The Scout“