The Good Father
by Noah Hawley
Doubleday, 2012. 305 pgs. Fiction
Dr. Paul Allen, a successful doctor in New York, is home with his family when a televised news report announces that the Democratic candidate for president has been shot at a rally, and his older son Daniel is caught on video as the assassin. The novel alternates between Dr. Allen’s attempts to understand his son’s actions and the time leading up to the crime, which Daniel spent traveling aimlessly across the United States after dropping out of college.
This was a fascinating book; it is both a literary novel about a family crisis, and a mystery that will keep you reading all the way to the surprising (but satisfying) ending. The author covers a lot of different contemporary topics, including divorce, politics, guns, youth culture, and family responsibility, but the book is really about the two main characters, a father and son, and what makes their relationship work or not.