The Good Father: A Novel
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Doctor Paul Allen’s specialty is diagnosing patients with conflicting symptoms, patients other doctors have given up on. He is married, with two sons and has a son Daniel from a previous marriage. Things are going well in his life both at home and professionally. He doesn’t see Daniel as much as he would like, but Daniel is an adult, has always been a good kid and a decent student, but he is easily distracted, something inherited from his mother. He recently dropped out of college and it traveling around the states. Paul is worried about him but knows that Daniel will check in with him if he needs anything.
Home relaxing with his family he is shocked when a televised news report announces that the Democratic candidate for president has been shot at a rally, and Daniel is caught on video as the assassin. There has to be a mistake, that can’t be Daniel.
The book chronicles Paul’s journey to find the answers he needs to come to grips with what everyone is convinced his child has done. He researches other well known killers like John Hinkley and Sirhan Sirhan to try to get inside their heads and compare them to his son. Why did they do what they did? Could his son have been brainwashed or had a mental breakdown? He knows he wasn’t the best father but he was a “good father”. What did he do wrong to raise a son like Daniel? Did his son actually assassinate a man running to become President of the United States?
This is a very gripping novel. It uses several real events to ground the story in reality. As a parent you understand the unconditional love that you feel for your children and understand Paul’s need to find the truth. His job is to explain the unexplainable and this drives him throughout the story.
The author really had me with him in most places throughout the story but lost me at a couple of illogical turns. At times the writing felt forced but the subject matter was compelling enough to keep the story moving forward. A little more editing would have made this a great read. It is a very good read that I do recommend.
Thanks to Joe at Doubleday I have 2 copies to share!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”