Daddy Dearest by Paul Southern
My daughter has always had a thing about lifts.
Every time she walks in, I imagine it’s the last time I’ll see her.
That leaves a gap of thirty seconds. You’d be surprised what can happen in that time. I was.
Daddy Dearest is written a bit differently than most books you read. It is told from the first-person perspective of a father who remains unnamed. Right at the beginning we learn that his worst fear has come true. While enjoying his custodial visit one weekend, his beautiful little girl got into the elevator and the doors closed before he made it in. When daddy gets to the bottom floor, his daughter is nowhere to be found. As the police investigation into his little girl’s disappearance unfolds, daddy goes back in time to tell us more, more about himself, more about his daughter, more about his distinctive view on life.
Let me just say that right from the start of this book I found the father unlikeable. He’s a balding, middle-aged, anti-social actor who complains about his neighbors’ noise, makes comments about race, gays, bohemians, the underclass…and yet, he proclaims himself to be PC! He just seems to hate the outside world in general and comes off as a real creepazoid. Don’t get me wrong, I think that this is definitely what the author wants you to feel. He paints a picture of a very troubled man with some real problems who seems to have only one redeeming quality. The one thing this daddy dotes on in life is his little girl. She is his treasure and life is just better when she’s around. Even his ex-wife thinks he’s a wonderful father and that counts because he really cares about what other people think. His very existence has been validated since becoming a father.
The book is well-written and as a side note, there were quite a few words here that had never made it into my vocabulary which I found interesting. That’s quite uncommon but I love looking up new words! If you are looking at the cover and the title of this book thinking it’s a bit spooky, you’re not wrong there. Daddy Dearest is a dark and deeply disturbing psychological thriller. One of those books that makes your skin crawl. Here it’s because the author takes an unflinching look at a very flawed human being, and he’s manipulating the reader as he goes about it. I feel like you will either love it or hate it. As for me, I was somewhere in the middle, but I did keep turning the pages to find out what really happened. This is where I think the author shows some real talent because I have to say it went in a direction I was so not expecting. But then I really wondered…why didn’t I expect that? As I said, manipulation, people! So I will leave you to decide for yourself. Check it out!
I want to thank the author Paul Southern for providing me with a copy of this book through the BookLikes Giveaways program for an honest review.