Richard and Judy Review: The Good Father – Noah Hawley

Richard and Judy Review: The Good Father – Noah Hawley

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“Dr Paul Allen begins his quest for the truth”

Richard’s review

Jay Seagram is the next president of the United States. A charismatic hybrid of Jack Kennedy and Bill Clinton, he is hugely popular and seen as a beacon of hope and decency for the world’s future.

All that is blown away on the day Seagram steps up to the podium to address an audience of cheering, flag-waving supporters. Backstage, he has just got off a video call to his young children. Now, he is about to clinch his grip on the party nomination and his place in history.

But shots ring out from the packed auditorium. Jay Seagram collapses to the floor, fatally wounded. After a brief scuffle, the punk dropout holding the murder weapon is shot in the leg by security agents and manhandled into custody.

The boy’s guilt seems certain – he was caught on camera, seen by witnesses, and the forensic evidence is overwhelming. It’s an open and shut case.

But his father, a respected doctor and professor and comfortably-off family man, is unconvinced. Long estranged from his son, he nevertheless refuses to accept he could be capable of such a barbaric act. And so, using the medical disciplines he applies to making difficult and complex diagnoses on his patients, Dr Paul Allen begins his quest for the truth.

It will make him one of the most hated men in America, and challenge everything he thinks he knows about himself and his son.

“It will keep you reading long into the night”

Judy’s review

Daniel is the product of his father’s first, failed marriage. He spent his childhood and adolescence flying between his mother’s home in California, and his father’s in New York.

But now, as the doctor delves into his son’s past and events surrounding the senator’s slaying, he is not so sure. He cannot accept that Daniel has what it takes to be a cold-blooded killer, but how well does he really know his boy?

The Good Father is a hugely emotional, almost unbearably tense journey into the meaning of fatherhood and the power of truth. It also takes a bleak, unsparing look at the seething mass of contradictions at the heart of American gun culture, and how conspiracy theories are spawned and nurtured. The parts of the book that examine the murder of president Kennedy’s brother, Robert, are both absorbing and surprising.

>But ultimately this is a story of love and trust and acceptance, wrapped beautifully inside an old-fashioned thriller. It will keep you reading long into the night, and leave you haunted by its central characters long after you have turned the last page.

Press reviews

Here are a selection of the reviews for The Good Father

“Timely and unsettling… curious but beguiling mixture of fact and fiction”

The Telegraph

“Brilliant and heartbreaking, THE GOOD FATHER is a thriller, a mystery and above all else a savagely contemporary, hugely important story… it will haunt the reader for a long time.”

Tony Parsons

“Riveting, moving, unique. This novel deserves to become a classic.”

Sophie Hannah