Ill Will

Ill Will

A Novel

eBook - 2017
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"Two sensational unsolved crimes--one in the past, another in the present--are linked by one man's memory and self-deception in this chilling novel of literary suspense from National Book Award finalist Dan Chaon. "We are always telling a story to ourselves, about ourselves," Dustin Tillman likes to say. It's one of the little mantras he shares with his patients, and it's meant to be reassuring. But what if that story is a lie? A psychologist in suburban Cleveland, Dustin is drifting through his forties when he hears the news: His adopted brother, Rusty, is being released from prison. Thirty years ago, Rusty received a life sentence for the massacre of Dustin's parents, aunt, and uncle. The trial came to symbolize the 1980s hysteria over Satanic cults; despite the lack of physical evidence, the jury believed the outlandish accusations Dustin and his cousin made against Rusty. Now, after DNA analysis has Meanwhile, one of Dustin's patients gets him deeply engaged in a string of drowning deaths involving drunk college boys. At first Dustin dismisses talk of a serial killer as paranoid thinking, but as he gets wrapped up in their amateur investigation, Dustin starts to believe that there's more to the deaths than coincidence. Soon he becomes obsessed, crossing all professional boundaries--and putting his own family in harm's way. From one of today's most renowned practitioners of literary suspense, Ill Will is an intimate thriller about the failures of memory and the perils of self-deception. In Dan Chaon's nimble, chilling prose, the past looms over the present, turning each into a haunted place. "-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Random House Publishing Group, 2017
Edition: First Edition
ISBN: 9781101885345
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


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Aug 06, 2018

Odd disagreeable characters. Meandering implausible plot, annoying gimmicks, disappointing ending. WAPO Review said it was the scariest of the year. Must have been referring to the length given what it had to offer.

Nov 27, 2017

This is about as dark a book as I have ever read. Those who don't enjoy at least an occasional visit to the darker reaches of the human psyche may be uncomfortable with this. It is at times close to be a transgressive story.

That said, this is one of the best books I have read this year. Choan intimately knows psychological darkness and despair, and that comes through in this novel. I audibly gasped at many passages, and I don't think I will forget this book anytime soon, if ever.

However, he does pull a few punches at the very end, and so I can only give 4.5 starts instead of five.

ArapahoeAnnaL Nov 09, 2017

A wild, unsteady ride as a father and son, separately, try to stay in touch with reality and a coherent sense of self, after the death of their wife/mother. There is a horrifying unsolved murder in the father's past and a troubling new friend has entered his present life.

Aug 29, 2017

I agree with jachayden's comment. VERY underwhelming. I've struggled to get 80% through it, but now that I've read that the end doesn't wrap up everything, I'm not going to bother to finish. It just drags so much. No likeable characters. I also didn't get whatever is deep about this, because I too was looking for a fast paced mystery.

Jul 21, 2017

I was underwhelmed by this book. The premise was really cool and could have made for a really great suspenseful novel. But it was very oddly and illogically written. The 'unique' structuring of some pages, ie. words and sentences written in random disorganized boxes, sentences with larges amounts of space between words and paragraphs, and sentences that stop altogether in the middle or themselves, were just distracting rather than engaging or intriguing. The whole story was very nonsensical and unappealing. The ending was abrupt and relied heavily on characters that were barely present throughout the story. Not a single story line was completed or explained. I get the impression that there was quite a bit of symbolism that I did not pick up on, but when the book I am reading sells itself as a fast-paced thriller, I'm not in the mindset to pick up and interpret surrealist notions.

Jul 05, 2017

This book is like a Hitchcock movie - lots of twists and turns. The story is told by a few characters.


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