03 March, 2015

#BookReview :: Candy from a Stranger by Daryl Buckner

Child abduction told by the father, but has he gone insane?

What would you do if your child went missing and the police were ineffective? Exactly. You would start investigations yourself.
When eight-year-old Lucas Cain is snatched, his father, Ben, dedicates his life to finding out what happened to his only child. His desperation leads to his life being torn to shreds: his marriage in tatters, his job lost and even his mind is altered. They all believe Ben has gone insane. Has he? Self-fulfilling prophecy kicks in as Ben starts to believe he may well have had a role in the disappearance. The police close in on him just as he is about to uncover the complex mystery. 

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When an eight year old boy, Lucas, is kidnapped and the police make no progress in the case, the child’s father takes on the case on his own. He becomes kind of obsessed about finding his child. In the process, he alienates his wife, loses his job and takes to drinking. At one point he feels like he is not making any progress either. People think that he has gone crazy and his nightmares don’t help much. But then another child goes missing and Ben gets to the crime scene to try and discern whether the kidnappings are related or not. With the police deriding him, he thinks he has found a pattern and races against time to connect the dots… But will they lead him anywhere? Will the police be of help or a hindrance to him? Does he have any chance of finding his son alive?

The book is totally and completely gripping right from the beginning. The character of Ben is such that the reader never really gets a complete read on him till the very end. At one point the reader empathizes with him because losing a child is the worst thing that can happen to a parent. But then his attitude and actions cause the reader to sympathize with him thinking that the loss may have been too much for him to handle and that he is going mad. Then there is a point where one wonders whether he might have been actually responsible in some way for his son’s kidnapping and suspicion falls on him. With so many angles going on at the same time, it was really hard to get a complete read on Ben and that was what kept me going. I just had to find out!

I also liked the twists that came along the way of the plot. The author’s narration style is a bit different and it took me some time to get used to it. But once I got into the groove, I totally enjoyed it. The descriptions and the settings are a bonus.

A complete thriller!

Review Copy received via NetGalley

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