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What if it was YOUR child who fired the bullet that killed the President

goodfather.284x448A young man, who has become alienated from his family, his friends and even from himself shoots a Senator who is poised to represent the hope of the nation. There is no motive which makes any sense. The young man is the child of a broken home, but of a good and caring father. Other young men from broken and much more damaged homes do not grow up to be assassins. Why this young man?

I found The Good Father a compulsive read. It examines less the disaffected assassin, more, how is it to be a loving parent of that assassin. The book explores the father’s story, rather than the son’s. So part of that journey is to try and understand what is ultimately not understandable. The father’s natural inability to believe his child has done this, firstly believing a mistake has been made, secondly, when he has to accept his child was the one who fired the bullet, finding it impossible to believe that the act happened without an outside influence. So he believes that his child, if he is indeed the killer, has been groomed to perform his violent act by sophisticated organisations with vested interests to protect. The father seeks not only to understand his son, but also to save him, by finding those who he believes are part of a conspiracy, who somehow used and perverted his son.

Along the father’s journey to understand, he explores other presidential assassins and attempted assassins, other obsessions.

In a sense, whether there has been a conspiracy or not, is not really the central point, what is, is the compulsion to understand, to keep on loving someone who, for the parent may be the assassin who ended the hopes of a nation – but is also the fragile new-born which the mother or father held, at the moment of birth, and would die for.

There is one encounter which doesn’t work for me, one glaring use of `coincidence’ P50_Noah_Hawley_261886kwhere the central character meets someone in a way which just is not credible, so that certain information can be revealed. Outside this, a beautifully written, beautifully constructed, absorbing and heart and thought provoking read

I originally received this as an ARC from Amazon Vine UK

The Good Father Amazon UK
The Good Father Amazon USA