Rogue Wave
by Robert Wesley Clement

"Misery loves company they say so we’re going to conduct a little test. How much do you love your family, Wayne?"

In the small town of Flagler Beach, Florida, Wayne Garrett, a Flagler Beach local, lives a contented, comfortable life with his wife and three daughters. A postman for the town, his happy-go-lucky spirit extends to all he encounters. Wayne loves his job delivering mail to residents. He and his wife, Becky, the manager of a souvenir shop along Highway A1A, meet each day for a mid-morning coffee. They walk on the beach at night together or with their daughters. The family’s quiet life is idyllic.

The Garretts' friend and benefactor, Jamie Collins, owns the tenement building where Wayne lived as a boy. As his alcoholic father never made even a minuscule effort at parenting, Wayne became close to his landlord, Jamie, who told him stories of Ireland as they sat together on the front porch in rocking chairs. The two remained close as Wayne reached adulthood and began a family of his own. Wayne never forgot the life lessons learned on that porch.

In the present day, however, Wayne and his family soon find their peaceful existence takes a dark turn that no one could have imagined. When Wayne’s mail truck breaks down and a mechanic is sent to repair it, Wayne’s life takes a turn after the truck’s brakes fail, and he careens into a house. This begins a long nightmare in which an unknown person with a vendetta against Wayne uses Wayne’s wife and daughters to seek revenge through a series of terrifying encounters.

In this mesmerizing novel, Clement examines the self-destructive tendencies brought on by festering jealousy and envy. Through a newspaper story, one of Wayne’s contemporaries, who also grew up in Flagler Beach, learns that Wayne is being celebrated as a local hero for saving a drowning girl at the beach. The story of Wayne’s heroics and the citizen’s award given to him by the city reignites the long-held grudge that Aeiral Steward has nursed for decades. Aerial returns to his hometown with the purpose of destroying Wayne’s happy life. The author reveals the connection between the two men through a series of flashbacks. As the tension builds, the assaults against Wayne’s family become increasingly intense, leaving the protagonist wondering who could be doing these horrible things.

Clement is a master storyteller who builds suspense through the actions of the antagonist, a man who becomes more obsessed with revenge with each new assault on Wayne’s family. The author’s talent for creating unexpected plot twists makes the novel, with its surprising revelations, an interesting and enjoyable read. This novel, with its well-rounded characters and fast-paced, well-written storyline, holds one’s attention from beginning to end. Readers will sympathize with Wayne as his unknown enemy continues to wreak havoc in his life. Clement addresses the underbelly of society in the character of Aerial and his unfortunate childhood and sad, alcoholic adulthood. It is a story that moves the reader with its exploration of poverty and self-destruction. As the novel comes to its dramatic end, surprising connections are revealed as the identity of Wayne’s nemesis becomes clear to him. This one is a great read for those who enjoy mysteries and intriguing plots. It is a page-turner that will have readers on the edge of their seats as they follow the Garrett family’s trying ordeal.

Return to USR Home