Synopses & Reviews
Dinah Whitcomb seemingly has everything—a loving and successful husband, and a smart, precocious young son named Robbie—until one day, their worlds are shattered when Dinah is attacked and Robbie is abducted from a mall parking lot. As Dinah recovers from her wounds, she struggles to come to terms with her new reality and to keep her marriage afloat. Though it seems hopeless, she retains a flicker of hope that her son is still alive.
The kidnapper, a part-time preacher named Chester Cash, calls himself Daddy Love: he has abducted, tortured, and raped several young boys, indoctrinating them into becoming both his lover and his “son.” He renames Robbie “Gideon,” slowly brainwashing him into believing that he is Daddy Loves real son. Any time the boy resists or rebels, he faces punishment beyond his wildest nightmares.
As Robbie grows older, he begins to realize that the longer he stays in the home of this demon, the greater the chance that hell end up like Daddy Loves other “sons” who were never heard from again. Somewhere within this tortured young boy lies a spark of rebellion, and soon he sees just what lengths he must go to in order to have any chance at survival.
"Oates's disturbing tale is chillingly conveyed in this audio edition thanks to Christine Williams's compelling narration. The story begins in 2007 with the kidnapping of five-year-old Robbie Whitcomb from a Michigan mall parking lot. During the abduction, the kidnapper runs down Robbie's mother, Dinah, leaving her near death and horribly wounded. The book then chronicles the next six years in the lives of Robbie renamed Gideon by his kidnapper and his parents, who struggle to come to terms with the loss of their only child and Dinah's traumatic injuries. Williams provides a calm, almost clinical reading that captures listener attention immediately. And when the plot of the book turns violent, the events become all the more unsettling via Williams's matter-of-fact delivery. Listeners willing to delve into dark material will find themselves in good hands. A Mysterious Press hardcover." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“This unsettling tale showcases Oates’s masterful storytelling.”
—Publishers Weekly Publishers Weekly
“Oates makes us squirm as she forces us to see some of the action through Loves twisted and warped perspective.”
“Oates is a mind-reader who writes psychological horror stories about seriously disturbed minds, and its hard to tear your eyes away from her grimly detailed portrait of Daddy Love. But her insights into nice, ordinary people—the kind of people Robbies parents used to be, before their son was stolen—are no less incisive.”
—New York Times
“Oatess disturbing tale is chillingly conveyed in this audio edition thanks to Christine Williamss compelling narration.”
—Publishers Weekly New York Times
From one of the most acclaimed writers of our time comes a horrifying tale about a young boy kidnapped by a sadistic killer and sexual predator known only as Daddy Love, a part-time reverend whose twisted desires know no bounds.
About the Author
In addition to many prize-winning and bestselling novels, JOYCE CAROL OATES is the author of a number of works of award-winning gothic fiction. In 1994, Oates received the Bram Stoker Lifetime Achievement Award in Horror Fiction. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.