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Counterfeit Son Paperback – January 18, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
After suffering at his father s hands, as well as being locked in the cellar while his father beat to death more than 20 boys over the years, Cameron sees a chance at normal life by passing himself off as one of his fathers murder victims. PW wrote, Readers will be enthralled by the suspenseful plot. Ages 12-up. (July)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Grade 8-10-A gripping but not altogether convincing psychological thriller. Cameron Miller's father was a serial killer who preyed on young boys; when he dies in a police shoot-out, Cameron takes on the identity of Neil Lacey, one of his father's victims who was abducted and supposedly murdered six years earlier. The Lacey family accepts "Neil" into their home with few questions, but he lives in fear that old dental records and a suspicious police officer will expose his lies. Finally, when someone from Cameron's past threatens his new family, the 14-year-old must decide whether to tell his "parents" the truth. The engaging premise will keep readers on the edge of their seats, though some of the plot points strain credibility. For example, the story depends on the fact that the parents refuse a DNA test to prove the boy's identity. The novel deals with the years of sexual and physical abuse that Cameron endured at the hands of his father, but only on a surface level and never in graphic detail. Many of the interactions between Cameron and his new family are quite moving, especially in the scenes where he expects punishment and finds kindness and love instead. Counterfeit Son ends with a clever twist that should surprise readers and leave them well satisfied with this solidly written, fast-paced read.
Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
In a market floodly by teen fiction primarily geared toward young girls, most of the offerings for young men are sports related or special interest. *Counterfeit Son* is that rare exception that appeals to young male readers without the heavy sports emphasis. 95% of the guys like it, from the football team to the marching band.
The main character is deeply wounded and sort of paralyzed by fear from his 'pop' but after the police kills his 'pop' he is reunited with a family that he dreams will come to love and truly accept him. There is a portion in the book where the kid cowards in the corner of a room in fear of a pending beating that he was convinced he was gonna receive from his new dad. (After I was adopted I remember that type of fear to, way more than once.) He came to realize that his new dad and mom were nothing like his 'pop' and that is a very good revelation to have. The story is moving and passionate. I really enjoyed reading this book. The naration of the main character is truly remarkable and believable. I only wish that this book was read by more people then it probably already is. I really hope that you buy this book, or check it out of your local library, because it is a really good book. My therapist gave me this book along with the ones that I listed below it actually took me three months to finally pick up the first one and read, but I'm glad that I did.
Bad Boy (Penguin Original)
I Know My First Name Is Steven
When Jeff Comes Home
When the serial killer is finally caught in a police raid, the young boy, who for years has been told he is the son of the killer, decides his only chance for a better life is to pretend to be one the missing boys. Neil Lacey's parents can hardly believe that the son they lost six years ago has been returned. Although at least one detective is suspicious of such a happy ending, they take Neil home and try to resume a normal family life.
Neil still thinks of himself as Cameron, and in his mind, he thinks of his cruel abuser as Pop. With knowledge he gained from newspaper clippings recounting stories of the missing Neil Lacey, he hopes to fool his new family. Between fear of discovery and the fear that the horrible beatings and other abuse he suffered at the hands of Pop will somehow return, Neil tries to settle in and renew relationships with his parents and brother and sister.
As the days and weeks after his rescue pass, Neil feels less and less secure. His sister, Diana, claims to have doubts that he is really her brother, and forensic testing on the bodies of the killer's victims might still ruin everything. Can he possibly pull this off? And why is he feeling more and more like maybe he might actually be Neil Lacey?
COUNTERFEIT SON is the type of story you might expect to watch on some TV docu-drama. It's the amazing story of survival of a kidnap victim being reunited with anxious family members, but with twists and turns that make this a riveting adventure. Author Elaine Marie Alphin creates an immediate emotional attachment to Neil. Whether he is the long-lost kidnap victim or the abused son of the maniac doesn't really seem to matter. His character will captivate readers and their desire to know his complete story make this book excellent reading.
Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"
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