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The present: Black Friday arrives as an economic hurricane that sweeps the country in a single day. There is a run on dry goods where store shelves are swept bare and soon even the gas pumps have run dry. Very few people have prepared for this cataclysmic event and chaos ensues.

Ken and Patty Dahlgren have vigilantly planned for this scenario. Ken saw this coming a long time ago and has been stocking their summer-home with the supplies he believes they will need to ride out such a storm. When the dreaded day arrives, Ken is shocked to find out that Patty has invited nearly everyone she knows, including her hairdresser. Ken is angry and there is an argument, but Patty is a strong woman with a kind heart and a mind of her own. The result is a diverse caravan of refugees who quickly find out that everyone desperately wants what they have.

Jimmy Logan reports for work at Dahlgren Industries that morning, never suspecting that his world has spun out of control and is about to crash. Jimmy suddenly finds himself struggling with decisions of his own. Bill Huggins is Jimmy's neighbor, Bill is unemployed, recently divorced, and has a teenage daughter to look after. It slowly dawns upon Jimmy that he can't leave them behind. Reluctantly, he invites them along. Bill has no social skills and is regarded by many to be a complaining wind-bag, responsible for his own troubles.

Paula Peterson is Jimmy's girlfriend. She has the good looks of a runway model and the attitude of a spoiled princess. Paula hasn't been happy for a long time and her wealthy family would like nothing better than to separate the two of them. Julie Hartman is Jimmy's old flame. Julie is everything that Paula isn't and sparks are rekindled as things heat up.

Days pass and for a short time things are quiet. There is a resort next to Ken's where despite all that has happened, everyone seems to be on vacation. Ken has his people out working from sunrise to sunset, painstakingly preparing for the worst, while the group at the resort spend their days living the high-life. There is soon dissension. Some of Ken's people are lured across the fence by their leisurely lifestyle, only to find out that the other group is nearly out of provisions.

Desperate Times is a realistic look at an economic apocalypse and is ultimately the dramatic story of one man's survival. These are everyday, ordinary people and the premise could have been lifted from today's headlines. The result is a thought-provoking, entertaining read with a powerful message.

Published: Nicholas Antinozzi on
ISBN: 9781452341002
List price: $2.99
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