13-year-old Jon Bronson only has one friend: Chloe. She is the only one he confides in and shares his dreams with. The other kids torture him that’s why he takes the long way to school. Until one morning when he is kidnapped in the woods. With Jon gone, the world seems to stop for Chloe. She knows that one day he will return. Four years later, Jon wakes up in a mall. He doesn’t remember what happened in the time he was gone, only that his former teacher Roger Blair was to one to kidnap him. But something has changed, even though Jon cannot really say what it is. In his presence, strange things start to happen: spontaneous nose bleeds and people passing out. Since he has become a serious threat to others, Jon withdraws from to world to figure out what this evil teacher did to him in those ominous four years of absence.
“Providence” is labelled a thriller, unfortunately, I didn’t really find any thrill in it. For me, it was first and foremost a kind of love story and some supernatural or sci-fi added that did not really make sense to me.
I really liked the beginning of the novel. Jon is a bit strange, but a likeable, intelligent boy. The fact that he is bullied by his classmates just raises more compassion for him. When he is abducted and we only get Chloe’s grief for the loss, the novel even becomes quite gloomy and admittedly, I really despised the adults who were absolutely ignorant about the girl’s loss. Jon’s return is a real mystery, there is an inexplicable aura surrounding him which is hard to grab and explain. Then, unfortunately, the novel becomes quite lengthy. It’s a kind of hunt for the kidnapper without real progress. Added to Jon and Chloe is an elderly detective with a “gut-feeling” who is chasing ghosts, too. In the end, there was some kind of solution that I couldn’t really believe.