Saturday 14 April 2012

Review - The Good Father by Noah Hawley

My thanks to Guy and Alison at Newbooks magazine for an advanced reading copy of this book.

The Good Father


Noah Hawley

The Good Father: A Novel
Doubleday Books (20 Mar 2012)

My Review 5 stars *****

When Doctor Paul Allen sits down to eat pizza and watch television with his family, he is shocked by the news report that a political assassin has shot a promising US senator. He is appalled to discover that the alleged perpetrator of this crime is Paul’s own son, Danny. To have the crime and the person responsible for the crime, displayed at the very beginning of the story, sets the pace for an unusual psychological thriller, which is as much about the very nature of political assassinations, as it is about the father and son relationship.
The story grips from the very beginning, we sense the growing desperation as Paul frantically tries to discover what could have turned his gentle son into a cold blooded killer, and yet we also sympathise with Danny, as with increasing unease, the dissatisfaction with his world is revealed.
Noah Hawley has created a very believable set of characters and events, and whilst he undoubtedly has the necessary skill as a story teller, it is his ability to dissect the minutiae of psychological profiles that keep the reader engrossed from beginning to end. The dialogue is crisp and precise, yet never seeks to sensationalise the growing sense of disbelief, nor does it compromise on the ability to deliver a cracking good read.
This story of fragmented lives, combined with parental culpability makes The Good Father a perfect book group read. There is much to ponder, as the overwhelming question of whether Paul Allen was truly a Good Father remains enigmatic through to the very end.

It's a great read for a sunny Saturday and I'm sure this is going to be one of my best reads of 2012.

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