The Forever Young Prisoner
by Marcus Lessard
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Print Length: 352 pages
Reviewed by Akram Herrak
A thrilling and fresh mystery set in a prison with a secret
There have been a number of stories set in prison. Each of them has different ways to paint the image of the incarcerated life; some are graphic, some are sad, some are horrifying, and many are veiled in darkness.
The Forever Young Prisoner is the first novel set in a prison that I’ve read that does something completely different, which ultimately proves to be the book’s strength. Prison here is displayed as a place of life, friendship, mysteries, and adventures. Adjacent to its inevitable display of the sadness and horror of being locked up, it takes the otherwise hopeless setting and blows life into it, and the result is something singular and fascinating.
The story follows Tommy McConnell, a youth imprisoned after a rocky life of living with abusive foster parents and then being homeless, a writer with an affinity for gruesome stories, and an avid reader and fan of Sherlock Holmes.
Tommy hears rumors and stories about a mysterious man by the name of Henry Heck. The legends say that he’s been locked up since World War I for crimes that no one knows, and the amazing thing is that he hasn’t aged a day. He still looks the same as his mugshot in the 1910s. This mystery intrigues Tommy, and he sets out on a quest to find Henry Heck, as he questions inmates and officers, looks through records, and gets into trouble to go to Solitary.
The prison in The Forever Young Prisoner feels nearly as enchanting as Hogwarts. That is really what makes this book so special; it takes a setting usually associated with a negative life and fills it to the brim with mystery, character and weirdly-enough, charm. Its cells and corridors hold secrets that await to be explored as Tommy continues with his journey to find the prisoner that doesn’t age. This charming spell is often interrupted with what I would call flashes of reality, reminding you that this is prison after all; violent, vile, and destructive. This contrast creates a beautiful mixture of thrill and discomfort as the novel continuously switches between the two extremes.
A story filled with mystery, magic, and secrets, The Forever Young Prisoner proves to be a most entertaining read. I would happily recommend it to mystery lovers in search of a fresh, fulfilling setting.
Thank you for reading Akram Herrak’s book review of The Forever Young Prisoner by Marcus Lessard! If you liked what you read, please spend some more time with us at the links below.