Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Ill Will by Dan Chaon

Ill Will
by Dan Chaon

My rating: 4 stars

Publisher: Ballantine Books (March 7, 2017)
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Print Length: 480 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Two sensational unsolved crimes—one in the past, another in the present—are linked by one man’s memory and self-deception in this chilling novel of literary suspense from National Book Award finalist Dan Chaon.

“We are always telling a story to ourselves, about ourselves,” Dustin Tillman likes to say. It’s one of the little mantras he shares with his patients, and it’s meant to be reassuring. But what if that story is a lie?

A psychologist in suburban Cleveland, Dustin is drifting through his forties when he hears the news: His adopted brother, Rusty, is being released from prison. Thirty years ago, Rusty received a life sentence for the massacre of Dustin’s parents, aunt, and uncle. The trial came to symbolize the 1980s hysteria over Satanic cults; despite the lack of physical evidence, the jury believed the outlandish accusations Dustin and his cousin made against Rusty. Now, after DNA analysis has overturned the conviction, Dustin braces for a reckoning.

Meanwhile, one of Dustin’s patients gets him deeply engaged in a string of drowning deaths involving drunk college boys. At first Dustin dismisses talk of a serial killer as paranoid thinking, but as he gets wrapped up in their amateur investigation, Dustin starts to believe that there’s more to the deaths than coincidence. Soon he becomes obsessed, crossing all professional boundaries—and putting his own family in harm’s way.

From one of today’s most renowned practitioners of literary suspense, Ill Will is an intimate thriller about the failures of memory and the perils of self-deception. In Dan Chaon’s nimble, chilling prose, the past looms over the present, turning each into a haunted place.

Ill Will by Dan Chaon

Ill WillDo you like dark and gritty suspense novels that threaten to make even the strongest of constitutions a little faint? How would you feel if satanic cults were blamed to be involved as one disturbed ward of the system is witnessed killing his foster parents? What if the witnesses were young teens, traumatized and unsure of what they witnessed? Were they having a mass episode of hysteria? Were they truly watching a satanic ritual in progress or were they so confused, they were unable to differentiate fact from fiction?

Feel something vile crawling under your skin, feel morbid curiosity and dread fear that this could really happen in a society as lost and unstable as ours can be.

Dan Chaon will take us into a world beyond our control, beyond our comfort zones and into the world of ILL WILL where the villain is actually a victim himself and may truly NOT be the villain after all. As this tale is told, oen man will relive the times he remembers as a horror, after he hears his foster brother will be released from his life sentence, because guess what, he didn’t do the crime. So who did? Will Dustin’s brother Rusty seek revenge?

As Dustin gets roped into another cold case by one of his patients, he finds himself tumbling headlong into the dark abyss of murder, mystery and strange tie-ins to his brother’s case. A Psychologist be trade, has Dustin’s own fear of his brother’s return set him on a path of discovery that will reveal more than he bargained for?

Very dark, with a heavy and ominous feel, this chaotic read will send you into a twisted world where fact and fiction become stuck in a murky quagmire that threatens to never let you go.

I received an ARC edition from Ballantine Books in exchange for my honest review.

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