Kindle Edition, 245 pages
Publication date: June 1st, 2016
When I first saw this cover, it reminded me of the twin girls and the blood pouring lift in The Shining. When I look at it again now, I have to think of Little Red Riding Hood, which is actually kind of appropriate after reading the book.
“An estranged father’s weekend with his beloved five-year-old daughter turns into a nightmare when she gets into the lift of a city centre tower block and goes down without him. She vanishes without a trace. It sets off a race against time, and a nationwide manhunt, to find her. As the police investigation closes in, suspicion falls on those closest to her – with devastating consequences. Daddy Dearest is a terrifying story of love, obsession and psychological meltdown.”
This is one of those books where you can’t really say anything about the story because it will take away the element of surprise for the new reader. The Goodreads synopsis nails it this time, though!
We’re reading a father’s thoughts on life and his little girl, written in the first person. Now, I honestly hope for the author’s sake that his writing skills are simply superb because I felt like these were the thoughts coming from a real person the whole time. It was as if I was reading the memoir of someone who could use a little CBT.
So yes, daddy’s a bit of a nutter. That doesn’t mean he’s unable to love his daughter, though. If anything, he loves her more than is good for him. Maybe it’s not her personality he loves so much, but merely her existence, which makes him feel good about himself. Take that away and what will be left of him?
Daddy Dearest is a fast-paced psychological thriller with twists and turns I never saw coming. Even though our nameless protagonist is a despicable human being, I can’t help but sympathise with him (I was secretly even hoping they would never find his daughter…). Now that’s craftsmanship people! Paul Southern takes those horrible little thoughts that sliver into the back of our own conscience sometimes; ones we don’t like or dare to think about, let alone speak out loud because they’re completely unethical. He takes them and puts them out there throughout the mind of a middle-aged
The only reason I’m not giving this book five brownies is that, even though the story is fast-paced, some parts were dragged out too much. Then again, it could just be my lack of patience and oestrogen while I was reading it, we’ll never know unless I read it again sometime when I’m not PMSing.
I can highly recommend this book to people who aren’t afraid of learning about the dark undercurrents of the human mind. This is Psychology 101, baby! Some accompanying quotes with this are:
“All parents mourn their children; whether it is the premature grief of miscarriage, or abortion, or the bitter sight of them in their prime, thrown through a windscreen, reduced to bone in some isolated hospital ward.”
“You’d be surprised the things people tell you; once they start, there’s no stopping them. For some, it’s a bit like confession; they want someone to absolve them; for others, it’s a cry for attention.”
I personally went “*reads up closer* FUCK YES! This is SO true!” after reading these quotes and many more like them.
Daddy Dearest has been published today. I strongly suggest giving the book a go if it sounds like something up your alley. It’s getting four shiny brownies with extra dark cocoa from me, and I’m looking forward to reading other books by this author (I already happen to have a signed copy of The Craze lying on one of my many bookshelves *cheers*!)
A big thank you to Paul Southern for providing me with a copy of his book in exchange for an honest opinion!
Links to the book: