“No one would ever want to join the Dead Kids Club – the dues are a price too high to pay.”
Full disclosure: I received this book for free from the author as part of a book exchange. While that might have gotten me to start reading this book, that's not why I finished.
They say the worst pain a person can face is the death of their child, and I believe that’s probably true. After the sudden and senseless death of their son, two parents fall into despair. Nothing matters – jobs, housing, eating well, friendships – who cares? The life they were building was for their son Nick. Now that he’s gone, what does it matter?
But not so is the life of the man who killed their son. He still lives, still drinks and drives, still parties. For now.
With nothing to lose and an ounce of reprieve to gain, these parents pursue revenge. But it won’t work if they lose their lives in prison too. In order to reach their goals, they must get away with it. So, in order to appear normal and innocent, they reconstruct their lives and do what normal grieving couples do when they are trying to get better: they join a support group.
The group speaks of finding love once more, and of pursuing life beyond their traumas, but just below the surface of each well-meaning member is well of bitterness. Injustice abounds and so does the need for vengeance. But, at least, the newest members have a new sense of purpose. Now they’ll just need to decide if an icepick would work better than poison.
I liked this book. A lot. About 75% of the way through, I had to take a moment and message the author about how much I was enjoying it! The characters are well-developed, their motives understandable yet horrific at the same time, and I felt their emotions as they journeyed through this unspeakable pain. In fact, I had to go check on my own son a few times just to make sure he was still OK.
The Dead Kids Club kept me on the edge of my seat while an amateur killer fumbled through doling out vigilante justice. At times, I didn’t know who to root for – the cops, the mob, or the murderous parents! Each step through this journey was well throughout and believable, and I kept thinking about the story long after I had closed the book.
I have one complaint, but just the one. I thought the opening was a bit too fast. It took me a moment to really decipher what was happening. I didn’t feel like I had time to connect emotionally with the dead kid, and the only reason I felt bad was because he was, in fact, a kid. And he was dead. That feeling lasted for the first couple of chapters. Here’s the thing though: the first couple of chapters are about a couple of pages each. In my humble opinion, that’s not a good enough reason to not recommend this book. It was a lot of fun and, again, I really enjoyed it.
So, if you like a good anti-hero thriller, this book is for you!
I am accepting submissions for reviews at this time. I am primarily interested in thrillers, suspense, magical realism, dystopians, and light sci-fi. I have a taste for the grim and love novels that make you think. Leave me haunted but hopeful.