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The Boy Who Could See Demons: A Novel Hardcover – August 13, 2013
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On the fourth anniversary of the suicide of her beloved 12-year-old daughter, Poppy, Dr. Anya Molokova is asked to help another child in distress. For half his life, 10-year-old Alex Broccoli, only child of a depressed and suicidal mother, has been seeing demons. Now Ruen, the demon who appears to him in various shapes and has become his friend, wants Alex to kill. As the newly hired adolescent-psychiatry consultant at a Belfast mental health facility for young people, Anya suspects Alex of being schizophrenic and wants to admit him, while social worker Michael Jones argues strongly for keeping the boy at home with his mother and the family unit intact. Potential danger mounts as Anya uncovers the truth about Alex and his father before the plot takes an unexpected twist. Jess-Cooke is every bit as skillful in her vivid portrayals of unworldly beings—demons here, angels in The Guardian Angel’s Journal (2011)—as in illustrating the dreadful toll taken by mental illness. But the final twist, suggesting the TV melodrama Dallas, may lessen the impact of this otherwise impressive novel. --Michele Leber
“A well written, engaging read filled with compassion for those suffering the whims of an untamed mental illness . . . A poignant read, The Boy Who Could See Demons is a suspenseful novel that probes the issues surrounding the devastating effects of mental illness. The author delves into the psychological issues of schizophrenia and mental disorders with such dexterity it leaves the reader stirred and affected, questioning throughout the story what is real and what is not. . . . As the conclusion draws near, the story takes unexpected turns, making it even more dramatic and compelling.”—New York Journal of Books
“Impressive . . . Jess-Cooke is every bit as skillful in her vivid portrayals of unworldly beings . . . as in illustrating the dreadful toll taken by mental illness.”—Booklist
“A searing novel of suspense.”—Publishers Weekly
“A psychologically complex thriller, told with compassion in a marvelously suspenseful narrative that keeps you engaged from the first page to the last . . . This book has it all: a dark and dangerous setting, characters full of depth, rich emotions, and a clever plot. You’ll fall in love with Alex—and his demons.”—Chevy Stevens, author of Still Missing
“Top-notch psychological suspense . . . Beware what you think you know. It might be only the demons talking.”—Lisa Gardner, author of Touch & Go
“Brilliant! Rich with fully formed characters, this heart-gripping novel will keep you riveted from first page to last.”—Jeffery Deaver, author of XO
“Utterly captivating, this is a book I adored and savored from the first to the very last magical page.”—Tess Gerritsen, author of Ice Cold
“An absolute chiller, deep, moving, and utterly gripping . . . I was riveted from the unsettling beginning to the mind-bender of an ending. This is a stellar read that will stay with me for a good long while.”—Lisa Unger, author of Heartbroken
“A rare and intriguing book, both emotionally and intellectually challenging . . . The cerebral challenge is the puzzle at the heart of the novel: Whose truth is real?”—Helen Grant, author of The Vanishing of Katharina Linden
“A stunning story—a well-researched, authoritative delve into psychosis, guilt, and damage . . . thrilling, wholly plausible, and utterly satisfying.”—Julia Crouch, author of Every Vow You Break
“Gripping from the opening paragraph to its final revelations, this is a brilliant exploration of the point where imagination, psychology, art, politics, and the supernatural meet and merge in a young boy’s mind. The Boy Who Could See Demons is touching and painfully funny.”—Christopher Fowler, author of The Memory of Blood
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And then that last fated chapter... I hesitated even giving this 3 stars as I cannot in good faith recommend it to anyone, but had such fun reading it that I couldn't dismiss it completely. I was left with such utter and complete disappointment to a book that gave me such high hopes that I was actually a little depressed.
Like I said, I can't recommend it - I would hate for someone to love it the way I did and then hit that ending - it was like walking off a cliff.
So many ways this book could have ended. A real shame.