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
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 the Chief of Rheumatology at Columbia Presbyterian, Dr. Paul Allen's specialty is diagnosing patients with conflicting symptoms, patients other doctors have given up on. He lives a contented life in Westport with his second wife and their twin sons—hard won after a failed marriage earlier in his career that produced a son named Daniel. In the harrowing opening scene of this provocative and affecting novel, Dr. Allen is home with his family when a televised news report announces that the Democratic candidate for president has been shot at a rally, and Daniel is caught on video as the assassin.
Daniel Allen has always been a good kid—a decent student, popular—but, as a child of divorce, used to shuttling back and forth between parents, 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, during which he sheds his former skin and eventually even changes his name to Carter Allen Cash.
Told alternately from the point of view of the guilt-ridden, determined father and his meandering, ruminative son, The Good Father is a powerfully emotional page-turner that keeps one guessing until the very end. This is an absorbing and honest novel about the responsibilities—and limitations—of being a parent and our capacity to provide our children with unconditional love in the face of an unthinkable situation.
Praise for THE GOOD FATHER:
“The father of a man who assassinates a presidential candidate tries to make sense of his son’s crime in Hawley’s gripping new novel…With great skill, Hawley renders Dr. Allen’s treacherous emotional geography, from his shock and guilt to his growing sense that he knows far less about his son than he thought…Hawley’s complicated protagonist is a fully fathomed and beautifully realized character whose emotional growth never slows a narrative that races toward a satisfying and touching conclusion.”
--Publishers Weekly, starred review
“The Good Father is hypnotic and haunting and I lost all track of time when I was reading it. Suddenly the day had become night and still I was engrossed in one father’s poignant story and Noah Hawley’s mesmeric tales of a long litany of assassins.”
--Chris Bohjalian, author of The Night Strangers, The Double Bind, and Secrets of Eden
“Brilliant and heartbreaking, The Good Father is a thriller, a mystery and above all else a savagely contemporary, hugely important story about the relationship between a father and the boy he left behind in his first, failed marriage. This is a rare and important book, and it will haunt the reader for a long time. It is impossible to read the final pages without weeping, and hard to read any of it without taking a long hard look at your own life, and the damage we do when we dare to love, or let love slip away.”
--Tony Parsons, author of Man and Boy
"This book pulls off something close to impossible. It's both a thriller and a moving, literary novel. A tender father/son story I couldn't put down, a page-turner with depth."
— Stephen Elliott, author of The Adderall Diaries