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My Father's Son Hardcover – September 2, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up—In the range of things that can make one a misfit in high school, having a father who has been arrested on suspicion of being a serial killer is probably at the top of the list. Kevin Windor, 17, finds himself in that situation when his dad is apprehended at a crime scene where a woman has been brutalized in the manner of the DB25 Monster, a killer credited with 11 murders. Kevin cannot imagine how his loving, tech-savvy father could possibly be guilty, but lingering secrets about his parents' marriage and divorce and Dad's past eventually convince him that these ugly accusations may be true. His social relationships fall apart as the world dubs him Monster Junior; his dream girl ends up in his best friend's arms; he gets suspended several times; and tension grows as he and his mother face this horror. The guilt or innocence of Greg Windor remains a mystery through most of the book, leaving readers on the edge of their seats. Some of the dialogue seems strained, and Kevin's reversal of opinion about his father halfway through the story is abrupt. Still, fans of Sean Olin's Killing Britney (S & S, 2005) and Elaine Marie Alphin's Counterfeit Son (Harcourt, 2000) will be pleased to discover another novel that will raise goose bumps on the backs of their necks.—Nora G. Murphy, Los Angeles Academy Middle School
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
TERRI FIELDS, author of more than fifteen books for young readers including HOLDUP, taught high school English for many years. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
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Kevin's mother struggles to make ends meet, having dropped out of school young to get married and have Kevin she's had a tough time since the divorce. Kevin's father, Greg is much better off. He's a computer programmer and lives a very comfortable life.
After a normal teenage day, Kevin sits down to watch some TV and sees the Newsflash, the DB25 killer has been caught and the photo on the screen is his father! Of course Kevin knows he's innocent because he's a great Dad and could never cut up and torture these women like the TV says.....or is he??? Kevin's life turns inside out, his mother will not talk to him about anything of her early days with his father, and he doesn't even know that he really does have Grandparents. His father refuses to see him in jail and his lawyer is barely polite to Kevin. Soon the whole school is looking at Kevin as if he's the killer and eventually after loss of his temper Kevin's best friend will suffer his wrath.
I read this book in one sitting; it grabs the reader and holds onto you. The ending was not expected and I could not wait to get there. I just couldn't put the book down until I knew how it turned out. I felt for Kevin during his struggles. His mother, I felt, should have been more open with him; I understand his father not wanting to see him, and I also felt Kevin's hurt with that. I felt sorry for Jason, his best friend, he was just trying to get on with life. But the one character that most moved me was Linda, Kevin's mother's friend. I didn't like her at all. I felt she was completely out of line with Kevin from the minute she set eyes on him. Just because the kid looked a lot like his father didn't make him his father and her attitude was ridiculous.
I recommend this book to all ages, it was great, the mystery and the life of Kevin were gripping. The characterization was very good as well. It really grabs the reader and pulls them in.
Over the following days and weeks Kevin struggles to adjust to his new reality. He knows, truly knows, that the police have made a mistake. His father would never do the things he's being accused of doing. But even as Kevin fights to convince others of his father's innocence, he must also learn to deal with a world that no longer makes any sense.
Kevin's friends at school - even those who know his father well - seem to take Mr. Windor's guilt as a proven fact and Kevin can't get any answers from the adults in his life. His mother has never been willing to talk about her long-ago marriage to his father. His dad's lawyer won't answer any of Kevin's questions, he even goes so far as to tell Kevin that his father wants him to move on with his life - forget her ever had a Dad. Kevin is scared, angry and confused. Worst of all, he's having trouble holding on to his own faith in his father's innocence.
Kevin Windor's world is sent spinning off its axis when he sees his father's mug shot on the evening news. The same father who spends every other weekend kicked back, playing video games with Kevin. Authorities believe he is the hideous DB25 Monster -- the monster who tortures women and leaves them to die.
As the investigation proceeds at a snail's pace, Kevin is denied access to his father, which means he has no explanation as to why all of this is happening or how he's supposed to proceed with his life. How do you get back to normal when you share the face of a monster and are suspected of the same horrific acts purely by association?
Terri Fields, veteran author, plops readers into the hot seat and forces them to imagine what life would be like if usual comforts, like friends, privacy, and freedom, were stripped away.
The raw suspense of this novel will keep pages fluttering by and engage readers until the wee hours of the morning, which is when they'll finally be able to put the book down. The images and ideas remain long after, though.
I'll let you know when they go away.
Reviewed by: Julie M. Prince