Cover image for The cruelty / Scott Bergstrom.
The cruelty / Scott Bergstrom.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Feiwel and Friends, 2017.
Physical Description:
371 pages ; 25 cm
When seventeen-year-old Gwendolyn Bloom's father vanishes, she sets out across Europe under a new identity to bring him back alive, even if that means becoming as cruel as his captors.


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1 Bob Harkins Branch BER Book Teen Collection

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When Gwendolyn Bloom's father vanishes, she sets off on a journey she never bargained for. Traveling under a new identity in a world of assassins, spies, and criminal masterminds, she uncovers a disturbing truth. To bring her father back alive, she must become every bit as cruel as the men holding him captive.

Taken meets The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Bourne Identity in this action-packed debut thriller (optioned for film by Jerry Bruckheimer) from Scott Bergstrom.

Author Notes

Scott Bergstrom lives with his wife and daughters in Colorado. The Cruelty is his fiction debut.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Liam Neeson's 2008 film Taken concerned a spy who engages in mass mayhem while attempting to recover his kidnapped daughter. Bergstrom reverses this plot in his violent, well-crafted first novel. Seventeen-year-old gymnast Gwendolyn Bloom doesn't learn that her father is a genuine spy-and not merely an overworked State Department employee-until after he is kidnapped by international gangsters, and the CIA makes little attempt to recover him. Vowing to find her father, Gwen heads for Europe, where she is intercepted by a tough Israeli agent who trains her in Krav Maga and spycraft. The seedy, back-alley Europe that Gwen moves through comes alive as she traces her father to Prague and gains employment with his murderous captors. It's a premise that demands a degree of suspended disbelief, but Bergstrom manages Gwen's transformation from high school student to assassin believably enough, and he doesn't avoid the toll Gwen's actions take on her. Not for the weak of heart, this is a grim, fast-paced tale that stands knee-deep in dead bodies. Ages 17-up. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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