The Destroyers
Arriving on the Greek island of Patmos broke and humiliated, Ian Bledsoe is fleeing the emotional and financial fallout from his father’s death. His childhood friend Charlie—rich, exuberant, and basking in the success of his new venture on the island—could be his last hope.At first Patmos appears to be a dream—long sun-soaked days on Charlie’s yacht and the reappearance of a girlfriend from Ian’s past—and Charlie readily offers Ian the lifeline he so desperately needs. But, like Charlie himself, this beautiful island conceals a darkness beneath, and it isn’t long before the dream begins to fragment. When Charlie suddenly vanishes, Ian finds himself caught up in deception after deception. As he grapples with the turmoil left in his friend’s wake, he is reminded of an imaginary game called Destroyers they played as children—a game, he now realizes, they may have never stopped playing.An enthralling odyssey and a gripping, expansive drama, The Destroyers is a vivid and suspenseful story of identity, power and fate, fathers and sons, and self-invention and self-deception, from a writer at the very height of his powers.

The Destroyers Details

TitleThe Destroyers
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 27th, 2017
PublisherHarper
ISBN0062329987
ISBN-139780062329981
Number of pages496 pages
Rating
GenreFiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Mystery, Cultural, Greece

The Destroyers Review

  • TL
    June 25, 2017
    I received this via Goodreads Giveaways in an exchange for an honest review. All my opinions are my own:).----Beginning: very good4 starsMiddle: still good but goes between slow and steady paced... stuf does happen but takes the time getting there (not all of that a bad thing)3.5- 4 stars at timesEnding: Lead up to it good, the ending itself written well but a bit abrupt.3 starsTwists and Turns: very well done, didn't anticipate most of them and one I thought I knew was turned on its head. 4.5 s I received this via Goodreads Giveaways in an exchange for an honest review. All my opinions are my own:).----Beginning: very good4 starsMiddle: still good but goes between slow and steady paced... stuf does happen but takes the time getting there (not all of that a bad thing)3.5- 4 stars at timesEnding: Lead up to it good, the ending itself written well but a bit abrupt.3 starsTwists and Turns: very well done, didn't anticipate most of them and one I thought I knew was turned on its head. 4.5 starsWriting: Gorgeous! 4.5 stars Characters: 5 stars*Quick Verdict*----A thoughtful, multi-layered story. The description by some is "literary thriller" and it does fit. Throw in mystery, drama of all kinds, and you got yourself a good tale.This is a book for the patient reader methinks... the story is very good and keeps you guessing but the pacing may be a factor for some. As I stated above, the pacing for most of the book varies between steady and slow... not that it is boring, stuff does happen.. just not at a breakneck pace. It does pick up once the puzzle pieces start coming together though.Giving the author props for a well-crafted tale that felt so real to from every aspect. Having never been to Greece myself and not having read much on it, it felt like I'd managed to land in the middle of this mess with Ian.Everyone in this has a secret of some sort of varying degree, some of them are more of a surprise than others is all I will say.Only downside, a certain something isn't resolved completely... probably done on purpose, but still wanted to know.. for myself. Would recommend... take the time and invest in this one, personally I think it is worth it :)
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  • Harvee
    May 24, 2017
    Two school friends meet again many years on the island of Patmos, Greece. One is from a wealthy Cypriot family, the other has been disinherited by his rich father at home in England. One helps the other, but which one helps who? A thriller with twists and turns in the plot, while the novel shows life on the islands for tourists and residents alike.
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  • Bridget
    May 9, 2017
    What a brilliant start to a story! The odd thing was that the beginning felt like a different style completely from the rest of the book, the beginning feels like an action thriller, the rest of the book is far more thoughtful and slow moving up until the end, which again moves briskly and concisely to a rattlingly good conclusion.Ian is down on his luck. He has been involved in an episode in his previous employment where his good intentions ended up getting him into all kinds of trouble in the What a brilliant start to a story! The odd thing was that the beginning felt like a different style completely from the rest of the book, the beginning feels like an action thriller, the rest of the book is far more thoughtful and slow moving up until the end, which again moves briskly and concisely to a rattlingly good conclusion.Ian is down on his luck. He has been involved in an episode in his previous employment where his good intentions ended up getting him into all kinds of trouble in the Panama branch of his family business. Ian is resentful anyway, he bitterly resents that he has been cut out of his father's will, he took some of the money he had access to and now his half siblings are after it. He has come to the Greek island of Patmos to hook up with his friend Charlie, they have been friends since childhood and he hopes that Charlie will give him a job and help him out. What he discovers though is that Charlie is not all that he seems. Shortly after Ian arrives, Charlie disappears, leaving no trace of a clue about where he might be. Now all the people in Charlie's life, all of those with vested interests are looking for him or very pointedly not looking for him.It is an interesting cast of characters, a cleverly constructed novel with clues being given gradually to what might be happening to Charlie but plenty of red herrings. It moves a bit slowly, there is a bit too much pondering and not quite enough doing and as a consequence it took me longer to read it than I expected. Overall it is a decent book.Thanks Netgalley for giving me access to this book.
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  • Sarah Beth
    June 22, 2017
    I received an uncorrected proof copy of this novel from HarperCollins. After his father's death leaves him destitute, Ian Bledsoe calls upon his wealthy childhood friend Charlie to bail him out of his financial straits. Charlie invites Ian to the Greek island of Patmos to assist him with his business. At first, the island escape seems like the perfect solution to his problems: a beautiful setting, the unexpected appearance of a girlfriend from his past, and the offer of a job from Charlie to hel I received an uncorrected proof copy of this novel from HarperCollins. After his father's death leaves him destitute, Ian Bledsoe calls upon his wealthy childhood friend Charlie to bail him out of his financial straits. Charlie invites Ian to the Greek island of Patmos to assist him with his business. At first, the island escape seems like the perfect solution to his problems: a beautiful setting, the unexpected appearance of a girlfriend from his past, and the offer of a job from Charlie to help him regain financial security. When Charlie asks Ian to cover for his absence for a few days but then ends up disappearing, Ian finds himself caught up in a deception that continues to grow larger and darker. Disappointingly, most of the characters lacked any depth to speak of, which left the book feeling flat. The much referenced bad blood between Ian and his family is never truly fleshed out and the tension between Ian and Charlie's girlfriend Sonny is left unresolved. Despite Ian's supposed increasing affection for his former girlfriend Louise, there's little evidence of this in his actions, which are instead characterized by repeated homoerotic elements. Ian and Charlie seem almost more than friends; Ian refers to a adolescent game they played where they pretended to be "prepubescent lovers" (46), Ian catches a glimpse of Charlie's testicle, a "single oblong ball peeking from yellow fabric" (150), and even other friends question the true nature of their relationship. Despite the text being littered with references to Charlie's physical presence, little true attraction or notice is made of Louise, Ian's supposed love interest. This sexual tension was really the only interesting character trait included in the novel. This novel did an excellent job of reeling me in and building suspense from early on; the opening chapter was excellent and compelling. Yet it dragged interminably in the middle, as Ian as narrator kept up an endless patter about his suspicions and concerns, while relatively little happened. The narrative is littered with ominous turns of phrase; a character "stabbed her key into the neck of the motorbike" (1) and the "the patio door is scythe-blade-streaked with glass cleaner" (131), yet the grand finale was a disappointment and difficult to believe. The early promise of this novel failed to sustain through its conclusion.
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  • Suzanne
    June 23, 2017
    This book has an amazing beginning with writing and action that breathlessly pull in the reader. Unfortunately, the vast middle of the book cannot hold up that level of excellence and the narrative changes. The book becomes far less engaging and far more work. The ending is good and almost makes up for the rough middle section. If the beginning hadn't been so good, this book would just be average. If the middle were removed, this would be close to an excellent book. I know that's strange to say. This book has an amazing beginning with writing and action that breathlessly pull in the reader. Unfortunately, the vast middle of the book cannot hold up that level of excellence and the narrative changes. The book becomes far less engaging and far more work. The ending is good and almost makes up for the rough middle section. If the beginning hadn't been so good, this book would just be average. If the middle were removed, this would be close to an excellent book. I know that's strange to say. Two women vacationing in Greece meet sudden deaths as they depart for home; were they targeted or accidental? Meanwhile our protagonist is disowned from his uberwealthy family and arrives in Greece seeking shelter from a childhood friend. The friend offers help but disappears. Stuff happens and our protagonist ruminates a lot. The story lines are finally tied up in fascinating ways. This is one very talented author. I received my copy from the publisher through edelweiss.
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  • Natalie
    May 16, 2017
    Exciting beginning, memorable ending, sluggish middle.
  • Siobhan
    April 16, 2017
    The Destroyers is a tense and ominous novel about childhood friendship and about the lengths people go to protect their power and assets. Ian Bledsoe flees the death of his disliked father to the Greek island retreat of his old schoolfriend, Charlie, whose life seems untroubled by worry or money troubles, the opposite of Ian’s own. The situation on Patmos is far from idyllic, however, with social tensions and shady dealings that start coming out of the woodwork just as Ian thinks he might have f The Destroyers is a tense and ominous novel about childhood friendship and about the lengths people go to protect their power and assets. Ian Bledsoe flees the death of his disliked father to the Greek island retreat of his old schoolfriend, Charlie, whose life seems untroubled by worry or money troubles, the opposite of Ian’s own. The situation on Patmos is far from idyllic, however, with social tensions and shady dealings that start coming out of the woodwork just as Ian thinks he might have found a refuge. This literary thriller becomes a complicated web of priorities as Ian tries to work out just what is going on which Charlie.Bollen’s writing style is full of witty observations and the narrative becomes gripping as the strands really start to take off, all held together from the perspective of Ian. He is a classic friend figure, a fellow rich schoolfriend of Charlie’s who is now saddled with a lack of inheritance and an inferiority complex about life. The importance of Ian and Charlie’s childhood game Destroyers adds a vivid touch, a thread of danger running from the start until the imagined threat starts to appear real. The novel shows the modern world as a place divided and tense, with the refugee crisis, the collapse of the Greek economy, and the thread of extremist violence all forming the backdrop of the story. At times this seems a little irrelevant - Ian’s time in Panama is shown in perhaps too much detail - but what Bollen creates is a thriller about privilege and power that focuses more on characters and on the society that made them who they are.Comparisons to Tartt’s The Goldfinch are easily made, though Ian does not feel similar to her protagonist and Bollen’s style isn’t as distinctive. However, the tense world evoked - one in which modern threats recreate old problems - is similar and the complicated formation of Ian and Charlie’s now-rekindled friendship feels similar to her work. The Destroyers is for anyone looking for a modern novel that looks deep at self-interest and self-presentation amongst a privileged world whilst also keeping up a tense, thriller narrative.
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  • RLM
    May 26, 2017
    from Entertainment Weekly's "Summer's 20 must-read books" (5/26/17 issue).
  • Ilyse Kramer
    June 28, 2017
    Heard Bollen on The Lit Up Show, and I was like YES! Can't wait to dive into this summer read, has all the ingredients I love--beautiful locale (Greek Island) + wealthy people behaving badly + murder/some kind of talented Mr. Ripley shananigans
  • Stephanie Driscoll
    April 18, 2017
    There was a lot going on this book, and at times it was fairly disjointed. The ending definitely saved it, but it took so long to get there, that even with great ending you're wondering why you're still reading it.
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