Borrowed Time - David Mark

This is a dark & intense story that proves evil doesn’t come with an expiry date. A family secret leads a young man to question everything he thought he knew about himself & ponder that old debate of nature vs. nurture. Are you the product of your childhood or your DNA?


Adam Nunn is an likeable 36 yr. old guy who has spent his life drifting between questionable jobs & relationships. His personal life is bit complicated. He has a daughter with Grace but lives with girlfriend Zara & her 2 kids. It doesn’t leave a lot of time for his aging parents. And visits have become increasingly difficult since his Dad’s dementia took hold. Especially the last one when his father casually mentioned Adam was adopted.


It’s a bombshell that rocks Adam’s world. He’s always been a people pleaser, at the expense of his own sense of self. Now he literally doesn’t know who he is. So Adam hires a shifty PI to search for his birth parents. And he might have got some answers if the investigator hadn’t ended up as landfill on property belonging to an infamous mobster.


This single event brings Adam to the attention of Alison Jardine, daughter & heir apparent to a man who’s ruled the area for decades. But she too, is dealing with an ailing father. Luckily, when she took over the family business she also inherited Irons, a hitman with a terrifying reputation.


Adam’s search for his identity goes screaming off the rails as soon as Alison enters his life. She has a story to tell that feeds his growing obsession to learn the truth. But as he becomes more involved in her world of casual violence, you begin to wonder if there are some things it’s just better not to know. Because this is not a story of happy families. It’s about how secrets only gain power as they fester over time.


We slowly learn about a chilling & poignant event that has haunted Alison, Irons & her father for decades. It has a profound effect on Adam as well & just a heads up, it’s not pretty. The author provides enough description to make you uncomfortable but never stoops to gratuitous detail. From this point, you become desperate for Adam to find the answers that hold the key to his identity.


Once again, Mark has crafted a tale that pulls you in with gripping plot lines & a cast that holds your attention. Some of them you’ll relate to while others are downright repugnant. At the centre of it all is Adam & as his life spiralled out of control, I couldn’t decide what he needed most…..a hug or a good thump upside the head. Of all the characters, I particularly enjoyed Irons. I expect if I saw him on the street I’d either run screaming in the other direction or faint. But as we spend time with him, you realize his persona masks an overwhelming sense of grief & regret. 


And the ending? Well, I’m just going to throw down the gauntlet here & dare you to guess how this winds up. I paid attention the whole way through & never saw it coming. Like Adam, I felt like the rug got pulled out from beneath my feet & had to take a moment. This is the third stand alone book I’ve read by the author. The stories have been incredibly diverse but they all send the same message….this is a writer who is gleefully embracing his dark side.