Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Lion The Lamb The Hunted By Andrew Kaufman - Book Review

          I would start out this review with a warning to the readers.   Don’t read the previews on Amazon or Goodreads for this book.   If anything, the preview gives the whole book away which is very surprising.  I’m glad that I didn’t read the preview and I’m very surprised that the author approved this preview on Amazon and Goodreads.  

          The book is actually about Patrick Bannister, his mother dying, and suddenly finding a connection between the death of a three year old boy named Nathan and his mother and uncle.    The book will shift between the memories that Patrick had about his mother to the mystery that he needs to solve. 

           The memories of Patrick’s mother are disturbing.   If you’re a mother who reads this book - or anyone for that matter - you’ll probably be shaking your head at all the abuse Patrick puts up with like I did.  It’s nothing physical and while we don’t like to think of a mother as someone who is abusive to her son, it does bring a lot of tension to the book since she is evil and you would want to see other mothers have a long talk with her if you know what I mean.  

            While the memories served as a great foundation for the story and the explanation for the abuse, I thought that some of the memories brought out flaws in the story.  One memory that Patrick has is that he is with his mother in the mall and she says that if they get separated for any reason, she would leave him stranded at the mall.  She does carry out that threat.  

             I thought that the challenge that the author needed to make was to convince me that there would be consequences for this.  Instead, the story moved back to the mystery and we were left to use our imagination to what happened to Patrick afterward.  This seemed strange since this needs to be dealt with since a child is being left stranded at the mall.  

              The other scene was when Patrick discovered that his mother was putting Valium in his food.  In this case, the author only explains this by saying his mother told the police that Patrick was on Valium for years and she would send him for drug rehabilitation.  Patrick said that he didn’t want to say anything about his mother because he had given up on her.   

              The memories would have been more believable to me if the author took Patrick away from his mother or if a employee from social services allowed Patrick to stay with her.   Of course, there were other ways that this could have gone but that seems like the simplest way to deal with this.  

               I don’t feel that I’m giving anything away by saying this since the heart of the story is the mystery where Patrick and CJ, two journalists, go on a quest to find out what happened to Nathan.  The truth is surprising, exciting, and makes this book difficult to put down.  It’s feels like a quick read but with the action and suspense being high and unpredictable, I never knew what was going to happen next.  That’s the reason it only took me three days to finish this book. 

               If the author dealt with the memories of Patrick’s mother in a more believable fashion, then I would have gone to five stars on this book.   Even with these flaws, I would say that the author did a great job in writing a great psychological thriller that is still worth four stars.  

Ron Hummer

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