Back to the Year 1983
In the 80s, there was a sense that anything could happen. It was a time when characters like Mad Max and Freddy Kreuger roamed the earth. No one could say what a book or a movie was going to turn into – or how if everyone would turn out safe. Because the standards were different, the stories tended to grab onto people and hold onto them. When you immersed yourself in one of these stories, it took over your entire life. There was nothing outside of it, nothing to distract you. It was just you and the story, and you were happy to lose yourself in it, an hour, two hours, three hours at a time.
Perhaps more than any other place in America, Route 66 captured the heart and soul of this line of thinking. Out there on the open road, where the horizon seemed to stretch on into infinity, this type of story made sense. The idea that biker gangs were roaming the world seemed obvious, and anything they need, from the capers they pulled to the trouble they got into, it all seemed believable too. You could lose yourself out there, of course – or find yourself, if that was what you ventured out there to do.
This is the basic premise of A Massacre on Route 66 – a book just as gripping and exciting as any of the best stories that the 1980s produced.
In the book, Zeke Torvik is popular with the ladies, a real alpha with the guys. When he walks into a bar, people look up and take notice, and when he opens his mouth to say something, they listen. He walks with a rare swagger, drawing all of the attention his way wherever he goes. This works out well for him, as you may presume it would, until he runs into trouble. Some guys out on Route 66, it turns out, are not very friendly when they come across someone as cool, calm, and collected as Zeke always is.
Traveling in the desert, Zeke plans on hitting up a party. He intends to meet up with his sister, a reunion of sorts, but before he ever can, a biker gang crashes in and stirs up a ruckus. It’s chaos. Zeke won’t stand for it, stepping in to protect his sister, and just as he does, half of the bikers jump him, beating up on him, cutting him, and then shooting him up with an overdose of drugs. He dies – something that would be the end for most people, but not for Zeke, not out here on Route 66.
Heartbroken but refusing to give up on her brother, Zeke’s sister refuses to give up on him. She suffers a nervous breakdown and decides that no matter what it takes, she is going to bring her brother back.