First-time novelist Hawley has written a thriller for literary fiction readers. A successful rheumatologist finds out, along with the rest of the world, that his 20 year old son has been accused of assassinating a leading presidential candidate. The evidence against him is overwhelming. The father applies the skills of an expert diagnostician to determine for himself if his son did, or even could, commit the crime. He discovers a young man he hardly knows and a father who was not there for him. — Stan Hynds
“How much does divorce really affect a child? How responsible is a parent for the acts performed by his adult child? Is the unconditional love of a parent for a child truly unconditional? Paul Allen is a respected doctor living the American dream in Connecticut with his second wife and their twin sons. Daniel is the 19-year-old product of his first failed marriage. When Daniel is accused of shooting the Democratic candidate for president at a rally, things begin spiraling out of control. When Paul tries to rush to his son's side, he learns that not only does no one care that he is a doctor, but he is also viewed with suspicion because he is Daniel's father. Hawley has written a psychological thriller about the modern American family in a situation that is only too possible in today's society.”
— Sharon Nagel, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
From the author of the New York Times bestseller Before the Fall, an intense, psychological novel about one doctor's suspense-filled quest to unlock the mind of a suspected political assassin: his twenty-year old son.
As a rheumatologist, Dr. Paul Allen's specialty is diagnosing patients other doctors have given up on. His son, Daniel Allen has always been a good kid but, as a child of divorce, he is also something of a drifter. Which may be why, at the age of nineteen, he quietly drops out of Vassar and begins an aimless journey across the United States, shedding his former skin and eventually even changing his name. One night, Paul is home with his family when a televised news report announces that the Democratic candidate for president has been shot, and Daniel is the lead suspect. Convinced of his son’s innocence Paul begins to trace his sons steps to see where Daniel, or perhaps Paul, went wrong, beginning a harrowing journey--about the responsibilities of being a parent and the capacity for unconditional love in the face of an unthinkable situation—that keeps one guessing until the very end.