The Good Samaritan

The Toby Garrison Chronicles, Book Two

Young Adult - Action
356 Pages
Reviewed on 05/10/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

In The Good Samaritan by Ellen Boyd, Toby Garrison is still suffering from disturbing nightmares since losing both his parents. As his future seems to be looking brighter with the arrival of his Uncle Jake, who promises to take care of him, Jake is sent on a Special Forces mission to rescue his friend. While Jake is away trying to free his friend from the clutches of a notorious war criminal, Dominic Havosi, Toby is sent to live with his mother's sister, Aunt Amy, her husband and their 13-year-old son Asher. Toby discovers that his aunt harbors a deep hatred for him. As family secrets are revealed, Toby believes he is to blame for his parents' deaths. To make Toby's life even more unbearable, he discovers Jake has been reported missing. Toby sets out to find his uncle in Central America, with the help of his computer genius cousin, Asher. However, their mission doesn't go to plan and Toby finds himself in mortal danger.

This coming of age action-adventure story is explosive from the outset. The characters jump out of the pages. I loved Toby; he has been betrayed by everyone, either intentionally or unintentionally, but he remained loyal, brave, and strong-willed. The relationship between Toby and his cousin Asher was amazing. You just wanted them both to find a safe place to call home with someone they could rely on. Uncle Jake and Tucker were formidable characters too. Although they were soldiers, they had a softer side to them which made my heart melt. There are some really funny moments throughout which were a welcome relief from the heart-stopping suspense. I thought the twists and turns in the plot were executed brilliantly and caught me off guard many times. The ending was a complete tear-jerker for me; the final line about the ice-cream spoke volumes. I look forward with anticipation to the next book in this series because I really need to know what happens next.

Rabia Tanveer

The Good Samaritan is the second book in the Toby Garrison Chronicles by Ellen Boyd. Toby is just a teenage boy who is trying to make the best of the situation he is in. Currently living with his Aunt Amy, Uncle Clayton, and his cousin Asher, Toby was going to live with them until his Uncle Jake came back. Jake is away on one final mission with the Special Forces and then he is going to settle down to provide a stable home for Toby. However, that becomes an unattainable dream when Jake goes missing. Desperate and out of his mind, Toby seeks help from Jake’s friend Tucker, a private investigator, but he is unable to do anything for Toby. So Toby joins forces with Asher and together the teenagers begin their search for Jake. The two are armed with determination and have no idea what they will find ahead. Can two teenagers find a Special Forces Agent?

Toby is a brilliant character, he is smart and has a spark that stands out. He may be a teenager, but he is very mature for his age. I was surprised by his determination and the way he handled the situation. I enjoyed the flow of The Good Samaritan by Ellen Boyd and how everything progressed one step at a time and nothing was rushed. I wanted to know how a man like Jake was captured, what really happened to him, and why no one was able to help him out of the situation. Toby’s growth was tremendous; he started the story as an angry young man and by the end of it, he had better control over his emotions and a greater appreciation of life. The descriptions were amazing, the dialogues were fun and I really enjoyed it!

Liz Konkel

The Good Samaritan by Ellen Boyd is book two in the Toby Garrison Chronicles. Toby Garrison is only fifteen, but his life has completely flipped upside down in ways he never thought possible. With his Uncle Jake now classified as MIA following a mission for the US Special Forces, Toby lives with his aunt, uncle, and young cousin. He uncovers a shocking secret that his family has hidden which propels him onto another path. He can’t sit idly by while his uncle is missing so he contacts PI Tucker Armstrong, who was the one that brought him to his uncle. This sends Toby and his cousin on a mission to Central America in an attempt to save his uncle and stop the organization holding him captive.

The story is fast-paced with action-packed moments and thriller level excitement that brings this action-adventure to life. Toby has a strong-willed personality and hero complex which drives him to protect his family. Toby’s heroism is seen several times throughout the story. His Uncle Jake is the biggest influence on Toby as he taught him how to fight, protect, and complete a mission. Jake’s mission with the US Special Forces is fraught with conspiracy and threats, which drive Toby’s mission to find him in a surprising direction. The adventure has high stakes and daring twists as Toby is willing to do whatever it takes in order to find his uncle. His uncle’s final mission is woven throughout to delve into the threat this organization poses and sets up the fight Toby has against them. Flashbacks provide heart throughout the mission as key memories with Toby's parents show their continuous impact on his life. The Good Samaritan is perfect for all ages as a young adult action-adventure with a fast-paced plot, endearing characters, and surprising twists.