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." This is one of the little mantras Dustin Tillman likes to share 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 40s 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 epitomize 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 overturned the conviction, Dustin braces for a reckoning.
Meanwhile, one of Dustin's patients has been plying him with stories of the drowning deaths of a string of drunk college boys. At first Dustin dismisses his patient's suggestions that a serial killer is at work as paranoid thinking, but as the two embark on an 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.
©2017 Dan Chaon (P)2017 Random House Audio
This is a certain kind of book for a certain kind of person. It's going to divide people. To read it is to take a chance. If you are going to take that chance, don't spoil it by reading tons of reviews. Just dive in.
This is a very dark book which accounts for the disparate reviews. If you like uplifting stories of triumph over adversity, this is not for you. If you like brilliant writing and unusual characters, give it a try. It is totally unexpected and I am already listening to another one by the same author (equally dark...Mr. Chaon is not a happy man). Yes, the ending could have been different, but I didn't find it as jarring as some of the other reviewers. In fact, it almost had to be so. And the performances are stellar. Ballerini has always been one of my favorite narrators but all of the others do a great job as well.
After spending 3 days listening to a book I absolutely could not put down- an extremely unsatisfying ending. The narration for the most part was impeccable- except for 2 small sections where a female narrator took over. I have never heard a more irritating raspy abrasive voice- I actually had to skip those parts since it was so grating! How she was chosen is baffling. Again, other than that, the entire book was amazing on every level -therefore I trusted the author to bring it to an exceptional conclusion. I was extremely let down at the end so after all this, I cannot recommend it.
This was an overlong book. It starts out promising. A who done it. Then it goes off on a tangent about a conspiracy theory as to what happened to these college students who have drowned after drinking heavily. They go on and on about it. You never find out what really happened to the main character's parents that are murdered.
The ending was very unsatisfying. You don't get to solve the mystery of the murdered parents. I did skip some chapters in the middle because it was so annoying and repetitive.
I was tired of hearing about the drug use. It was depressing. The part where the son gets lured into an isolation tank is stupid.
The narrators were fantastic. They were the only thing that kept me interested in the story.
I was angry, sad and disappointed at the ending.
I would not recommend this one.
I have literally a few thousand audible books, I have Parkinson's, always an avid reader. I tend toward horror, paranormal, love Vampires .
Ill Will is horrible! Im just mad i listened to the whole thing. Okay at first, then got dumber and dumber.
You don't know if its schizo, a dream, or delusion. Definitely psychiatric problems. The narration was actually very good. Only reason i kept listened, plus i thought just maybe that it would come together finally. Nope ! I never read reviews before i write mine. If someone enjoyed it,, I'm glad.
You can't go wrong with this one! So many twists and turns. Love it!
This book is well written and very compelling. But a warning: a lot of questions are left unanswered. This is a long book, so if that's going to bother you as much as it bothered me, think twice before embarking on the journey.
This is the worst book I have consumed in several years, including free ones I've downloaded from the iBookstore. It was so uncomfortably written- jumping around in tenses and pronouns. It was really hard to keep up. I usually like books that are told from the perspective of multiple characters, but this was too much. It jumped around from 30 years ago to present day, to a few months ago. It wasn't until near the very end that I even realized the story took place over the span of a few years. A very large conflict in the novel (the murder investigation of the drowned boys) just got completely brushed aside near the end and never solved. The end was absolute garbage. I do not recommend this book at all.
I would have really liked to love this book and almost did. It was an interesting story but there were to many parts that droned on and on. The son's part of the story was drug induced boredom and droned on and on
"Dark and deliberate."
Interesting twists in p.o.v. Growly voiced narration pitch perfect. Prose self conscious at times. Good listen. Recommended.
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