The Good Father
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From the author of the New York Times bestseller Before the Fall, an intense, psychological novel about one doctor's suspense-filled quest to unlock the mind of a suspected political assassin: his twenty-year old son.
As a rheumatologist, Dr. Paul Allen's specialty is diagnosing patients other doctors have given up on. His son, Daniel Allen has always been a good kid but, as a child of divorce, he is also something of a drifter. Which may be why, at the age of nineteen, he quietly drops out of Vassar and begins an aimless journey across the United States, shedding his former skin and eventually even changing his name. One night, Paul is home with his family when a televised news report announces that the Democratic candidate for president has been shot, and Daniel is the lead suspect. Convinced of his son’s innocence Paul begins to trace his sons steps to see where Daniel, or perhaps Paul, went wrong, beginning a harrowing journey--about the responsibilities of being a parent and the capacity for unconditional love in the face of an unthinkable situation—that keeps one guessing until the very end.
sandwich. That’s science fiction. The only thing that can change who we are is life.” “What are you saying?” “I’m saying, once you realize that there was no second shooter, that nobody else pulled the trigger, you’re stuck with the truth. Which is that your son is a murderer.” I stood swaying on the white tiles, punch-drunk on rubbery legs. “No,” I said, “that’s—” “You have to stop now,” he said. “You have the truth. Your son is guilty. That’s all you need to know.” “No. I need more.”
missed birthday phone calls, who had forgotten to send presents. I was the weekend dad, the summer-vacation dad. I was the hypocrite who said Don’t do drugs, who told him not to get too serious about the girls of his youth, to play the field before he got married. I was the kind of dad you talk about in therapy. What did he owe me? Why should I expect a straight answer? “We don’t have time,” I said. “Ten minutes. You heard him. Give me something. Something I can tell your mother. Something I can
Ways to Leave Your Lover.” One June night he went to a Hollywood movie theater and bought a ticket to see Taxi Driver. The movie starred Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle, a disgruntled Vietnam veteran who becomes obsessed with an underage prostitute named Iris, played by Jodie Foster. In the film Bickle starts collecting weapons and shaves his hair into a Mohawk. He drives his cab through midnight streets. “June twenty-ninth,” he says. “I gotta get in shape. Too much sitting has ruined my body.
would depress his circulation, hindering his already compromised breathing. It would take a skilled surgeon to fix the damage in time. We ate pizza in separate rooms, everyone glued to their TVs. Fran sat at the kitchen table, typing on her laptop, scouring the Web for the latest rumors. In the living room the kids watched Disney pirates seeking adventure on the high seas, the whimsy of the score offsetting our hawkish watching of the news. Every few minutes I would wander in and make sure they
Danny stood next to the stage and watched as Senator Seagram raised his arms over his head. The crowd roared. Seagram looked down and his eyes met Danny’s and he winked. The next day Danny went to Seagram Campaign Headquarters. It was on Guadalupe, near the Co-op. He talked to a man in blue jeans and a white button-down shirt, Walter Bagwell. “What can I do?” Danny asked. Bagwell gave him a clipboard and some flyers and sent him out to raise candidate awareness. Daniel stood on the corner of