Ten articles in eight days a tall order for any journalist, even for Polk Award winner Connor Reedly. But with a dying wife and an empty bank account, the promised payment of $250,000 is hard to turn down. More so, his enigmatic employer, Mason Becker, has insinuated Connor’s acceptance of the job will result in a supernatural healing of his beloved wife.
The people of Hailey, California the subjects of Connor’s charged articles are a secretive group, not willing to open up to strangers. When shots are fired and Connor is running for his life, he demands Mason answer his questions: Why are the articles so important is anyone going to publish them? Where is the money coming from? How can he be so confident that the completion of the articles will heal his wife?
Nothing in Connor’s vast journalistic adventures not Katrina, not September 11th, not even his first-hand experience in the genocide in Darfur could prepare him for the answers Mason gives. Now, it seems, the life of everyone in Hailey, including his wife’s, is in his hands.
Reedly, award-winning journalist shows up in the Mohave Desert town of Hailey not knowing his whole life is about to be changed and his values challenged. He’s confronted by a “fan” who insists he write ten articles about ten good citizens in town, or his wife, suffering from cancer, will die and the town destroyed. As the clock ticks, Reedly delves deep into this seedy town that life has passed by, finding ugly truths and unsung heroes that challenge his deepest beliefs.
If putting the protagonist in trouble makes a good story, Reedly should win a medal for bravery. I kept flipping pages to hope the hero would find safety and peace but at each bend in the road he was jerked in another direction, keeping me absorbed in the story.
Although The Bargain is not my typical reading fare as it has some violent scenes, Gansky does a very credible job of portraying the human condition in all its ugliness. In one of the most fascinating plots I’ve read, the author shows through his characters how twisted life can become, reminding us how we all need a savior. Beautifully written descriptions with an exciting plot.
-Carol G. Stratton
Very nicely done. Gansky’s language perfectly captures the conflicted spirit of a Mojave Desert town. I’ve read novels where an author paints vivid pictures of a place, but here I’m left with the impression of an old black and white photograph.
I don’t read very much Christian fiction anymore. It’s not the concept of it that steers me away, it’s the execution. The stories often feel like too much fantasy and not enough faith. Gansky has managed to avoid that. It’s quite a feat, considering the premise of the story. When I finished it, I was pleasantly surprised. Instead of being left with a jarring disconnected feeling of returning to the real world, where things don’t work that way, I found myself with a little boost of humanity and faith. Again, very nicely done.
– Amazon Customer
Aaron Gansky’s THE BARGAIN is an intriguing story that grips the reader on the first page and doesn’t let go until the last. Powerful prose, compelling characters, and dynamic description combine to tell the tale of a journalist who is hired to write ten stories in eight days about heroes in a town where it seems there are no heroes. His journey of discovery leads him to learn about faith: the faith of his cancer-stricken wife, the faith of people in the decaying town, and the path to his own faith. This novel is a must read.
– B. Gale George