Review – A Necessary Act by Tony Wirt

The question that author, Tony Wirt, asks on the cover of his book, A Necessary Act is “Can you stop a serial killer before it starts?”  It’s the same thing you’ll be asking yourself until even the last page of the book – perhaps even scratching your head.

The entire community of Lake Mills knew there was something amiss with Scott Alston and his band of merry misfits, the Blake boys.  Did anyone care enough to do anything?  Was anyone brave enough to step up and stop him from becoming the monster he seemed destined to be?  Hmm, you thought I was going to give you the answers, didn’t you?  What would be the fun of reading the book if I did?  The answer is that it wouldn’t be fun, so I’m not answering them but it is interesting going into the book knowing you have answering those questions to look forward to.

Scott Alston truly is a piece of work; I’ll give you that much.  And the stuff he does doesn’t go by unnoticed by anyone in Lake Mills…especially not David Rowe.  He’d known something was amiss since they were in elementary school and forced to hang out a day or two.  What he saw that day back behind Scott’s house would shape his world in ways no one could imagine.  But he never said anything.  Should he have?  What could he possibly have stopped from occurring if he had?  How might his life have been different if he had?

These are all questions Wirt answers in this dangerous tale of a troubled young man who could be destined for the life of a serial killer and of the person who might just have known but never spoke up.  The concept of A Necessary Act was positively amazing.  I sit and wonder how many times people who grew up around Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer must ask themselves this.  Was there some sign of what they were to become and if there was, could they have done anything to stop the madness these men lashed out on the world with?

Wirt really develops the major characters very well in addition to Lake Mills, which could be any small American town.  You believe in this story, that it took place just this way.  Sometimes with murder or mystery type books, you find yourself coming across a part that you question the fact that it could possibly happen or a character truly exist.  I didn’t find myself doing this at all with A Necessary Act.  I believed the situations Wirt put forth, not even thinking I was reading a piece of fiction rather the life story of some possible killer.

On the negative side, I don’t know if I cared for how the plot resolved itself in that I wanted more, for it to go further.  It almost felt as if Wirt got to the end and wasn’t sure how to resolve the ongoing conflict.  Of course, I’m sure a ton of us read books and wish for different endings.  I don’t mean it that way.  I only mean that I think the ending could have been stronger.

I felt that A Necessary Act was very well written and edited.  Again, it came together quite exceptionally.  I would give it my full number of butterflies, but I am too caught up on the ending just not being strong enough for my taste.  I would read another piece by Wirt.  I’d like it to be about exactly what he says on his Amazon page that he enjoys, “creepy bad guys, twists, and bad decisions made for good reasons.” (  Great job!  Please give me a shout if you publish again.

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