Next book

DADDY LOVE

This is an uncomfortable novel to read; Oates makes us squirm as she forces us to see some of the action through Love’s...

Oates raises a troubling question here—whether moral fiction can emerge out of a morally reprehensible character.

Chester Cash, aka Daddy Love, is an itinerant preacher with a penchant for abducting and torturing young boys, and the novel begins with one such abduction. Five-year-old Robbie Whitcomb is doted on by his mother, Dinah, but one day, in the parking lot of a shopping mall, she neglects her son just long enough to have him spirited away by Daddy Love. In trying to prevent this horrifying act from occurring, Dinah is run over by Love’s van and never physically recovers. Love makes off with Robbie and eventually moves him from Michigan to New Jersey, where they live in virtual seclusion. Love gives out that he’s a widower who doesn’t want to talk about his late wife—a statement which is, by the way, true—and a suspicion lingers in our minds that he might well have murdered his wife, a well-to-do woman about 40 years older than Love. Through confinement and humiliation, Robbie is trained to see the preacher as his “real” father, although Love, like his ironic name, is obviously a grotesque perversion of paternal solicitude. He deprives Robbie of food, confines him in a “truth box” and sexually abuses him. After six years, Robbie is able to escape and reunite with his parents. Dinah is jubilant about this reunion, though Whit, Dinah’s husband, is somewhat less so, in part because his status as the father of a missing child made him a quasi-celebrity. But Robbie, of course, is not the same child at 11 that he was at 5, and their family reconnection is, to put it charitably, uneasy. 

This is an uncomfortable novel to read; Oates makes us squirm as she forces us to see some of the action through Love’s twisted and warped perspective.

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8021-2099-1

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Mysterious Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2012

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 170


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Next book

DEVOLUTION

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 170


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z(2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 22


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller

Next book

THE SILENT PATIENT

Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 22


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller

A woman accused of shooting her husband six times in the face refuses to speak.

"Alicia Berenson was thirty-three years old when she killed her husband. They had been married for seven years. They were both artists—Alicia was a painter, and Gabriel was a well-known fashion photographer." Michaelides' debut is narrated in the voice of psychotherapist Theo Faber, who applies for a job at the institution where Alicia is incarcerated because he's fascinated with her case and believes he will be able to get her to talk. The narration of the increasingly unrealistic events that follow is interwoven with excerpts from Alicia's diary. Ah, yes, the old interwoven diary trick. When you read Alicia's diary you'll conclude the woman could well have been a novelist instead of a painter because it contains page after page of detailed dialogue, scenes, and conversations quite unlike those in any journal you've ever seen. " 'What's the matter?' 'I can't talk about it on the phone, I need to see you.' 'It's just—I'm not sure I can make it up to Cambridge at the minute.' 'I'll come to you. This afternoon. Okay?' Something in Paul's voice made me agree without thinking about it. He sounded desperate. 'Okay. Are you sure you can't tell me about it now?' 'I'll see you later.' Paul hung up." Wouldn't all this appear in a diary as "Paul wouldn't tell me what was wrong"? An even more improbable entry is the one that pins the tail on the killer. While much of the book is clumsy, contrived, and silly, it is while reading passages of the diary that one may actually find oneself laughing out loud.

Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-30169-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

Close Quickview