This Is Not A Drill - Beck McDowell

by 12:30 AM 2 comments
This Is Not A Drill - 
Beck McDowell
Released: November 1, 2012
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont

Synopsis: A father who misses his son. 
A soldier home from war. 
A man with nothing to lose.

When Brian Stutts walks into a first-grade classroom with a gun, Emery and Jake’s world is blown apart. They’re just teenagers helping to tutor some kids, but now they’re at the centre of a deadly hostage crisis.

While Jake tries to get a secret message to the outside world, Emery reaches out to the desperate, unstable man. But Brian Stutts is holding the gun, and one way or another he’s not leaving without his son.

"Fast-paced, suspenseful thriller...The hours-long standoff comes to a dramatic and violent climax... A vividly depicted and gripping tragedy." 
–Kirkus Review

What it's about: A soldier, returned home from war, just wants to take his son from school, but isn't allowed. Stutts becomes angry and violent - and Jake and Emery have to deal with their situation.

What I thought: Wow. You know that something like this must have happened somewhere, but to read it, to submerge yourself into this situation via words, is absolutely shocking, heart-wrenching and even touching. Brian Stutts is a man, a dangerous army trained soldier, who just wants to be with his son. You have to feel for him, in many parts of this story, when he talks about his time in Iraq. Sure, he's completely off the edge and wielding a gun, but it's a father's love that is causing him to do the irrational and unspeakable. Jake and Emery have a history - not overly exciting, but yes, it comes into the story. Together, they have to try and keep 18 little six-year-olds calm, while the police work to get to Stutts. There are some casualties, there are tears and there are realisations - that every moment counts.

This is an amazing look at what a mad-man will do for his son. It will keep you on the edge of your seat and stay with you long after you have finished reading.

The Good: The vivid descriptions that Beck McDowell places are fantastic.

The Bad: This book was quite short, and probably could have dragged out some part slightly longer.


  5 Bookstacks

Buy links:

Booktopia - Collins - Dymocks - The Nile - Seekbooks -

Claire Blennerhassett

Reader, Blogger

Twenty-something | book-blogger | tea-drinker | procrastinator | wannabe-writer | student


  1. I want to read this book. When I first saw it, I wasn't sure what it was about. The more reviews I see on it, the more I want to read it. great review.

  2. Oh, this book sounds really scary. I can't imagine being one of the tutors, children or parents!


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