The Destroyers by Christopher Bollen
When Charlie and I were young, we played a game called Destroyers. . . . We were sharpening our instincts, jettisoning attachments. We were honing strategies for survival. . . . Arriving on the Greek island of Patmos broke and humiliated, Ian Bledsoe is fleeing the emotional and financial fallout from his father’s death. His childhood friend Charlie—rich, exuberant, and basking in the success of his new venture on the island—could be his last hope. At first Patmos appears to be a dream—long, sun-soaked days on Charlie’s yacht and the reappearance of a girlfriend from Ian’s past—and Charlie readily offers Ian the lifeline he so desperately needs. But, like Charlie himself, this beautiful island conceals a darkness beneath, and it isn’t long before the dream begins to fragment. When Charlie suddenly vanishes, Ian finds himself caught up in deception after deception. As he grapples with the turmoil left in his friend’s wake, he is reminded of an imaginary game called Destroyers they invented as children—a game, he now realizes, they may have never stopped playing. An enthralling odyssey and a gripping, expansive drama, The Destroyers is a vivid and suspenseful story of identity and fate, fathers and sons, and self-invention and self-deception, from a writer at the very height of his powers.