by K.C. Maher
Publisher: RedDoor Publishing
Release Date: May 9, 2019
Thank you Smith Publicity for sending a copy in exchange for an honest review!
Back Cover Synopsis: One afternoon in a leafy New York City suburb, Walter Mitchell walks into the local police station and turns himself in for kidnapping thirteen-year-old Amanda Jonette, his daughter’s best friend. The police chief tells him to go home – no one wants to prosecute. But Walter refuses, and is finally arrested and charged.
This is a novel about a man who is faced with temptation but does not succumb; the extraordinary relationship that develops between he and his beloved, and the bond between these two bright, lost individuals as the painful inevitability of the end draws near.
Review: Walter is a prodigy—a genius; Exeter, Harvard, and Wall Street, all before the age of 21. He grew up with an immense trust fund and absent parents. The story travels through the years as Walter marries, moves to the suburbs, the stock market crashes, and relishes in every moment he gets to spend with his daughter. Then the plot transforms, and we are left to dissect the twisted relationship between Walter and Amanda, his daughters best friend.
Amanda lives across the street and, similar to Walter’s upbringing, her mother is never home and her father is nonexistent. Walter’s obsession with Amanda seems paternal, but small inklings hint at sickness looming beneath the surface. He distracts himself with demanding days at work and vigorous exercise. He worries about her going to high school, gaining perspective, getting distracted, and moving on from him. His worst fears disgust him (and rightfully so, I might add).
Amanda fascinates me and becomes more alluring every day. If only Olivia were home, I wouldn’t need to worry about my feelings for Amanda. I would be her best friend’s father, and nothing more.
As it is, I keep slipping back to my dream of us encircling each other and floating away. Even in my subconscious, I have not—not yet!—strayed too far from decency. I cannot, will not, ignore her. So, here and now, I vow to treat Amanda Jonette with the utmost scrupulousness (pg. 105).
The story is alluring in the bizarre way that human nature compels us to understand the minds of psychopaths, but even more unsettling. Underlying themes of love, the all-too-common declination of marriage, and resentment are woven together with, albeit peculiar characters, simple writing and too much ‘day-to-day’. A bit too unconventional for my taste, but beguiling nonetheless.
Rating: 2.5/5 stars