In Finding Zach by Rowan Speedwell, the story begins at the point when a military group rescues a group of hostages in a Venezuelan jungle. During the course of searching the camp, the military discovers and recognizes Zach as the son of a wealthy software mogul who was kidnapped five years ago from a Costa Rica airport. Zach was fifteen years old. The military transports Zach to a hospital in Fort Bragg. He’s given medical care and evaluation and is reunited with his parents.Zach is far from normal. He suffered horrific physical, mental, and sexual abuse. The depth of torture that will break your heart. For the next two years Zach will submit himself to therapy, twice daily, seven days a week, the best money can buy. He does it for his parents. Expensive therapy cannot entirely fix post trauma stress. Zach is, at times, irrational, fearful, suffers delusion of reality, has nightmares, and panic attacks. Zach carries the scars of captivity in his head and on his body.Finding Zach is also an M/M Romance story. David accidentally runs into Zach at a bar. David hasn’t seen Zach during the two years since he came home at no fault of his. Zach and David are childhood friends. Best friends actually. At fifteen, Zach kissed David and for this reason, Zach was sent to Costa Rica. You can imagine the guilt David feels because he’d agreed with the parents thinking Zach was far too young for romance and I suspect a gay one at that.What I love about this story is treatment of PTSD and the connection between David and Zach. David suffers right along with Zach. He moves on to obtain his education, has relocated “nine different times within the past seven years.” His latest partner defined David as “emotionally unavailable.”Love is not the magic bullet in this story where all is suddenly perfect. The author does a wonderful job narrating Zach and David struggles with misconceptions, misunderstandings, the need to be who they were before Zach left for Costa Rica. Zach is actually behind in terms of education and socialization. He doesn’t know how to love or be in a relationship, all this complicated by the fact Zach is slightly nuts. He views sex as sex and not making love. Rightfully so, after the treatment he received by his captor.Who is to say what the trigger is to speed along the healing process. As realistically depicted in the story, Zach will never be normal. Isolated by his choice from friends. Surrounded by the love of parents who Zach thinks don’t want him. (His captor did a wonderful job of destroying Zach’s image of his parents.) It takes a special connection with David, the innocence and joy of their past to spark Zach to another level of healing. It’s rough. It’s difficult.I feel the author could’ve played down Brian’s part in the story. We didn’t need more evidence of Zach’s conflicts to believe in the story. I personally don’t approve of publicizing private pain no matter the social status of the person. What people don’t know will not hurt them. And really, what does this get Zach if not more added pressure he certainly did not need.