This is Noah Hawley's third novel, he is also well known as the writer and producer of the TV series Bones. The Good Father is published in the UK on 29 March 2012 by Hodder and Stoughton.
The Good Father is a book of obsession. Dr Paul Allen has lived a pretty normal life to date, he’s made a few mistakes along the way; a bad first marriage and not being around all the time for his first son Danny, but he’s made a success of his career and has a new family. He and his second wife live a comfortable life with their twin sons.
Paul’s first son Danny has always been a feature in their lives. He lived with them for a while as a teenager and Paul and he speak every now and again on the phone.
As far as Paul is aware, Danny is fairly content. Paul was not happy that Danny decided to drop out of college and take a road-trip across the country, but he’s come to terms with it and their relationship seems pretty stable.
When the shocking news hits the airwaves that up and coming Presidential candidate Senator Seagram has been shot at a rally, the Allen family are as horrified as everyone else. When Danny is named as the prime suspect, and the Senator dies, family life changes forever.
So begins Paul’s obsession. His obsessive quest to prove that his son did not murder Seagram. His obsession with proving that this was a cover-up, that Danny could never be capable of such an act. Paul also becomes obsessed with his role as Danny’s father. Did he let him down? Did he do his best for Danny? Was Danny damaged by the divorce? So many questions, yet very few answers.
The Good Father is an intense and often complicated read, yet this does not take away from the story at all. Paul also becomes obsessed with infamous assassins, those others who have taken the life of a leader, and Hawley includes some very detailed information about these. This research adds another dimension to the story, giving it a very realistic feel – this is a fictional story, but could so easily be true, after all those real-life assassins must have had a family too. This book brings home the total destruction of life that can be brought about by one single act of terrorism.
I was very impressed by this book, it is an in-depth look at the love of a Father for his son. Paul’s emotions are deep-felt and often harrowing.