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A Necessary Act

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  242 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Can you stop a serial killer before he starts? If so, should you? How far would you go?

The students at Lake Mills Community High School knew there was something wrong with Scott – but what David saw firsthand was more than they could ever imagine. He and his best (only) friend Matt were content to keep their suspicions to themselves until a simple trip to the library sets
Paperback, 276 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by Broken Bricks Publishing
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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  242 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Christine by: RPL
I downloaded a copy of A Necessary Act, a book I have never heard of, because the author will be participating in a 5-author panel discussion at my local library next week. I took delight in two things right off the bat. First, it is a prize winner. It won 2017 Novel of the Year by Underground Book Reviews. And even better, according to the acknowledgments, this book was partially written at Dunn Brothers in Rochester, my favorite coffee shop located about a mile down the road. That was big!

It a
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Holy Icy Hot, Tony Wirt! That was one intense book! And yes, folks, there IS a scene that involves Icy Hot that had me gasping. That’s all I’m saying, except, Tony, where did that idea come from? Yikes!

I had never heard of Tony Wirt or of his debut novel, A Necessary Act, until I saw a poster at my local Rochester, Minnesota, public library promoting a five-author Minnesota mystery writer panel, so I looked up the three authors I hadn’t read. Lo and behold, Mr. Wirt lives in my very own city! I
Apr 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Astounding Thriller!

It is a quick and an engaging read. You get hooked to the story & there's no keeping the book down.

It left me shocked and appalled and thinking and gave me chills.
It has the feel of a small town where everybody knows everybody and chances of anything bad happening are quite low. But is that really true?
What you'll do if you know someone who has all the traits of being a serial killer?
Would you stop him? or Steer clear of him?

This novel will keep you on your toes at ev

Sam (Clues and Reviews)
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
For all my reviews, follow Clues and Reviews

In 1996, students at Lake Mills Community High School knew there was something wrong with Scott. One student, David, witnessed first hand what type of violence Scott is capable of; with the help of his best friend Matt, they set off to prove what they believe to be true. That teenage Scott is destined to be a serial killer. Flash forward, fifteen years; Matt is back to his childhood home just as a teenage girl is found
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Reviewed by Mystery Thriller Week 2017

The Book
He’s not normal. He’s a psycho. David knows it; he’s seen it firsthand. He knows something needs to be done. Someone needs to stop Scott. But no one is listening. No one cares.
When Matt returns to his small home town taking up a position at the local newspaper he is thrown right into a potential serial killer case. He remembers all those years ago, his best friend David telling him that horrific story. He knows he’s on to something and won’t stop un
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, mystery, thriller
The whole story starts in 1996 and I was disgusted with the beginning of the story- I fucking hate bullies. Scott is a total psychopath and every student and teacher who never did anything to address the issues with Scott are a bunch of pansies! Yeah, pretty riled up, me. Hook, line, sinker- I was into the whole book.

David and Matt witness Scott’s awful behavior. David, in fact, has experienced Scott’s psychopathic tendencies first-hand. Some horrors never leave David’s memories. Some horrors st
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
A fun, quick and engaging read! While thrillers are not my favorite genre, on a recommendation, I picked this up and had a great time. It took me a minute to get into it, but by 50 pages, I was hooked and the rest of the book just flew. My favorite thing about the book was how the author really seemed to capture the experience of being in a small, mid-western town. This is something you don't often see in novels and rarely see it done well. You get a sense of what it is really like to be in that ...more
Bob Miller
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Here’s an interesting question: What would you do if you were certain that a psycho acquaintance was going to become a serial killer? What if he had all the signs and perfectly matched the profile?

What if you’d seen him do something gruesome?

Would you wait until he killed someone? Or would you try to stop him?

Scott is the would-be serial killer that best friends David and Matt have known since high school.

At first, the story is about Scott’s increasingly disturbing behavior, and David and Matt’s
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
E. A. Fry
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Very well written story with an intricate plot. I loved this book and could not stop reading it. It starts off in a gym with two high school watching a bully. They do not intervene. Then. Later David does and it is astounding.
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Superb debut folks, superb! Such a great twist on serial killer fiction. Truly, one of those - you can't put down - so I warned you. Read my review at
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-03-mar
4.5* Very, very good.
Timothy Kauphusman
Wow, great book! A very well written and easy to read novel. I'm still trying to figure some of it out! Great mystery.
Marlene Shofner-Daves
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anthony Eichenlaub
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
A Necessary Act is a psychological thriller that makes the reader wonder, "What would I do if I saw something bad coming?"

How far would you go? How far SHOULD you go? These questions are the backdrop of an intense story that doesn't always go the way the reader expects. Thrillers are not my usual read, but I found that this book really kept me glued to the page and kept me up late at night. I'd definitely recommend it for anyone who wants to spend a whole weekend reading.

Disclaimer: I read a fre
Erin O'Brien
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I always read at night but with this book, I had trouble falling asleep, which is the sign of a good thriller. I'm going to look at the woods and back alleys of Lake Mills differently after this.
Sylvia Diamond
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A real page turner!

Couldn't put this book down! One of the most suspenseful books I've read. Can't wait to read his next book
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a book with an interesting premise and a very complex character in David. The first half of the book was deliciously creepy with David suspecting Scott of being a psychopath and going to drastic measures to stop him. The second half of the story transitioned well with Matt being able to pick up the pace as a main character. David's obsession with attaining "justice" for Scott's wrongdoings was fascinating to read about.

However, the ending was where I had a huge problem with this book. (
Amy Shannon
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant and Creepy!

The essence of evil jumped off the pages of this story. I found it wonderfully creepy and suspenseful. I have a weakness for books about serial killers and this is one of those book that I will always have in my mind. It's a great story and it keeps the reader engaged, so much that you don't want to leave the pages. The story shows a unique perspective of "knowing" that someone could possibly be a serial killer and not doing anything to stop it, but sometimes nothing can sto
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Задумка отличная, реализация ученическая. Жаль.
Oct 01, 2017 rated it liked it
As another reviewer said - this story almost worked, but for me it fell a bit short. Does the end justify the means? I didn't think the necessary act was necessary at all.
Jun 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Easy, quick read. Didn't love the main characters but like the surprises in the plot. Kept me interested.
Lee Charlson
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A Necessary Act hooked me from the beginning. The decisions the main characters faced really put me in the story and made me think about what I would do. But the highlight was Scott, the "bad guy". He was as creepy as you can get without being cartoonish. Definitely a character that will stick with you.

It's hard to talk too much about the plot without spoiling it, but I'll say the story had plenty of twists and turns to keep me turning pages the whole way. Once you start, it's a book you'll hav
May 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
I thought that it was interesting that everyone seems to rave about this book. It got very good reviews on both Amazon and Good reads but for me it was kind of Meh.

Although I did find the end fairly predictable the author did throw in one "oh my" at the end that I wasn't expecting.

Unfortunately, this is not a book I will be recommending to others, although it appears that most everyone else disagrees with me.
Jess Kissir
Jul 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was liking this book until about half way and the story lost any depth. This had the potential to be a great read, but it seemed like the author either was in a hurry or ran out of ideas. I still liked it, because everyone has this feeling about something they know at some point in time (even if it's completely crazy).
Jul 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: murder, mystery, fiction, teen
I downloaded this book because of all the stars. I found this an OK read for me, not a real page turner though I did want to finish the book. I figured it out about 1/2 way through which would have been fine, but then the author did one of those weird endings that leave you up in the air and that was a put off for me. I like my books tied up with a bow at the end.
Underground Book Reviews
TOP PICK! A page turning psychological thriller that had me on the edge of my seat. An interesting and debatable subject matter; would you kill a killer before they killed? Something similar to the moral question about whether or not you would go back in time and kill Hitler as a baby. Also a brilliant and convincing portrayal of small town life.

Read more at UndergroundBookReviews (dot) org
Gail Hansen
Apr 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have read this book several times and it gets better every time. Very suspenseful with plot twists and turns I did not see coming. I couldn't put it down once I started it. An up-all-nighter for sure.
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
An Iowa friend recommended this to me. I'm not a fan of serial killer thrillers but the premise of two high school boys trying to stop a killer before he starts caught my interest. Well written page turner!
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in 2 days. It sucked me in from the beginning and having grown up close to Lake Mills, IA I could see in my head every place he referenced. I thought I had the conclusion of the story figured out until the twist at the end! I'm ready for his next book!
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I got my first taste of publication in first grade, when my essay on Airplane II: The Sequel appeared of my elementary school’s Creative Courier.


Questionable parental movie supervision notwithstanding, seeing something I had written in print was invigorating. So after spending my formative years running around a small town in rural Iowa, I enrolled in the University of Iowa and eventuall