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Publisher's Summary

When dependable Evan Madison fails to show up for work, police are dispatched to his home. His 10-year-old son, Brad, is discovered inside, unharmed and seemingly alone. He is stoic, sitting in front of the television playing his favorite video game, Super Mario - and he's covered in blood.

Veteran Police Officer Marty Keal is the first on the scene. With his many years of experience, he thinks he's seen it all. That is, until he discovers Brad's not really alone after all. Upstairs in their bedroom lies the brutally bludgeoned and deceased bodies of both his mother and his father. When questioned, Brad confesses to the horrific murders.

When Brad is transferred to a local mental health institution for children, Dr. Hope Rubin is brought in to evaluate and treat the child. A preliminary investigation shows no evidence of any kind of mistreatment in his past. She must determine the disturbing truth: Is Brad telling the truth? Or is he covering for someone else?

Detective Jean Whitely rounds out the investigative team and she suspects there is much more to the case than what meets the eye. The happily married mother of two is unwavering in her determination to uncover the real truth about Brad. Was he abused? Or is he the product of an evil seed born to kill?

As the layers of truth about Brad are systematically peeled away, you will be compelled to ask yourself, which is the more dominate factor in contributing to who we are - nature or nurture?

©2016 Dawn Kopman Whidden (P)2017 Dawn Kopman Whidden

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Performance

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not what I thought it was.

This book was pitched as more of a book about the little boy, did he really kill his parents in cold blood... and if so why.
It sounded like it would of been one hell of a great book.
but sadly as the book goes on, its less about the kids, and why and IF he did it... But of of a tale about the romance and personal drama of the Drs, and cops involved in the case.
I think this book would of been a blockbuster if it would of just stayed with the story line.
Beth did a fine job on her performance.

Note: I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting psychological mystery

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I found this book to be engrossing. I wanted to find out if he did it and if so, how and why. This was one of the few books I really wanted to listen to all at once. I stayed up late to finish it.

Any additional comments?

Overall, I liked this book and I feel Beth did a fine job narrating. She has a beautiful voice that was perfect for this type of book, especially calm and soothing while talking to a frightened child. Her additional character voices were also fantastic. One of the top female narrators I've listened to. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Heartbreaking storyline

It was a little anticlimactic , but I enjoyed the storyline. It is a heartbreaking story of such a sweet little boy and some very caring people there for him during the worst time in his life. The narrator read too slowly for me, so I had to adjust the speed. But, other than that, she did a good job.
I was provided this title for free in exchange for an unbiased review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Might be More Romance Than Mystery

Any additional comments?

I opted to listen to this book because the premise of a 10 year old boy brutally killing his father was very intriguing to me. And while the beginning of the book did live up to expectations, the second half ended up being an unwanted romance story. It felt to me like the writer got board with writing a mystery and decided to switch gears. At the last moment, the mystery was solved, but I wouldn't say it was satisfying. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy mystery and romance stories equally. Myself? I definitely do not prefer romance so it was an unpleasant surprise!

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great!

This was a really intense story unlike anything I've ever listened to before. It broke my heart a little but I was hooked from the beginning. Great narration!

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

An absorbing book. Kept me interested to the end.

This author is new to me so I listened with no preconceptions. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be looking for other books written by this author.

I was engaged while listening, always trying to pick up clues as to the who and then why of the horrendous crime. The discovery of clues and information by the police and psychiatrist felt natural with no convenient (and annoying) coincidences used to push the story along.

As the first book in a series featuring recurring characters, you expect to gain an understanding of what drives them. There was enough information given and I didn't feel like focus was taken from the crime to achieve this.

I finished this book wishing I knew more about Brad. It's a fine line to walk given Brad is only a child, and rightly we hear his story in his own limited vocabulary. But yes, I am intrigued by him and wish I knew more.

The narration was good. Each character had their own voice and emotion was conveyed as described in the story.

A free copy of this audio book was given to me in exchange for an unbiased review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sara
  • Vermont
  • 02-22-18

Story was good, narrator was ok

I’m not sure if I should precede my review by saying that I have my bachelors in psychology and my associates in human services. So I’ve always been fascinated by the inner workings of the mind. “A Child is Torn” by Dawn Kopman Whidden was a fascinating listen and it puts a perfect example to the age old debate of Nature VS Nurture. I’ve always been in the mindset that the “VS” is not necessary. It should be Nature AND Nurture, both are so incredibly important in making a person, a person… ok, I’ll stop there, any psychology-fascinated person could start a huge spiel about their beliefs and really, in matters of the mind, no one will ever always be right.

“A Child is Born” introduces us to a cast of characters, I might misspell some names since I listened to an audiobook I don’t see the spelling of the crew so I apologize in advance for any incorrections. I really liked the partnership between Jean and Joe, her original partner before life threw him some curve balls and pulled him away from work duties. What I really liked about this book was that there was a building of relationships whether it’s partners, friendships, mom/daughter, husband/wife, and even a new-found relationship. This book is told from multiple POVs and it incredibly easy to follow.

Generally I read more thrillerish-type books. “A Child is Torn” isn’t exactly a thriller. It’s like a mix of several genres. So if you’re looking for a book that is a thriller with the police procedural with forensic information, this isn’t it. It does have all those elements though as well as almost a romance side to it. I personally wouldn’t have minded a bit more of information on the case and Brad. I was happy with the ending and that a story was finally told.

Now, the narrator, Beth A. McIntosh was ok. It made me feel like everyone in the story was older in age. McIntosh has a nice voice and all but she sounds a bit grandmotherly to me. She’s not what I could have chosen. However, she didn’t take away from the story but she didn’t exactly add anything either. I would have liked a bit more of a voice difference with the various characters but she pretty much stayed consistent in her voice.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • G. Wales
  • SANTEE, CA, United States
  • 01-29-18

proves that somethings can be unexpected

peel back the layers of a child reason for murder. like reality sometimes...not all things can be fixed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Child is Torn

This was a very good book.I did not want to put it down.The story follows a 10 year old boy accused of the horrid murder of his parents,but did he do it? Beth A. Mitchel gives a great narration.“I was given this free review copy audiobook and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Be Ready to Cry

This book hit on so many emotions in me often times I found myself in tears unable to explain to those around what was wrong.

I rooted for the child as I just could not fathom a child being able to do such a thing.

But the whole story that unfolded around the child and the skeletons it exposed. The hidden abuse, both mental and sexual. The mental illness the child suffered the help he could of possible of gotten if the truth was not hidden.

This book has many trigger points but it was beautifully written and I believe what we need more of in the book world

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • JS748
  • 02-28-18

intriguing story and one to make you think

fabulous storyline that keeps you wondering until the very end - would recommend to anyone and looking forward to book 2. have to admit I nearly gave up as I struggled with the narrator but the storyline won and im glad I continued to the end

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • DubaiReader
  • 04-25-18

Is this child a killer?

This book grabbed me from the very start, when a slight young boy of just ten, was found in his home playing video games, while his parents lay bludgeoned to death upstairs. The question of how, why, and whether, the crime was committed by the boy is the basis of the novel.

It was interesting to read a novel about the care system and what happens to a child under such traumatic circumstances. Maybe I'd have liked to have heard more from the young boy, but overall that was a small gripe. My main reason for the 4, rather than 5 stars, was the ending, which didn't entirely convince me, but I will say no more.

I enjoyed the interaction between the adult characters, the police and carers, grandparents and teachers, and it was interesting to see how they worked together and how different people held differing suspicions about the case. Some of this group will appear in subsequent books of the series and will no doubt become friends as I continue to follow them.

Unfortunately I wasn't a fan of the narrator, she read rather slowly and had a much older voice than was appropriate for the characters she was reading. Although she read clearly, she made little attempt to differentiate between characters, even between male and female.

I already have the second book, Faceless, lined up to read, and I'm looking forward to it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • KelA
  • 03-06-18

Highly recommended

Any additional comments?

I was so excited to listen to this story and I was gripped from the start, by both the story and the performance. Told from multiple viewpoints, A Child is Torn introduces us to Brad, a ten year old who claims to have murdered his parents! There are other storylines woven through the main one, each as gripping as the other. I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to listening to Faceless now! Four stars for Dawn Kopman Whidden.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • S. J. Hall
  • 03-04-18

I didn't expect the ending

I enjoy stories where I cannot guess the ending and therefore, the reasons why and the clues. This story cleverly sends you in many directions, wondering who did it and why. The result is quite a surprise. I had expected undue force from one of the boy’s family, but I was quite wrong.

The attention to detail forms the characters completely. The change between who was speaking took some getting used to, but the naming of the individual helped throughout.

I’ll go look our for books two and three to see how the lead characters have progressed.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Melanie Preston Lewis
  • 01-16-18

An intriguing start

We meet a lot of interesting characters in this book. Dr Hope, Jean Whitley, Keal and Keal's father, The Captain being just a few of them. The only reason this book doesn't get 5 stars is because it's not really a mystery. But, I don't want to say anymore about that issue because I'll give the game away, and this is a spoiler-free zone! It is though, a very sweet love story and, as an introduction to future Whitley and Keal mysteries is absorbing and enticing. Now that I am familiar with the characters, I am looking forward to seeing them work together to solve some difficult crimes. As an introduction to a series, it's very good

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Emily
  • 01-05-18

Enjoyable

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Overall this book was pretty good. I liked the plot (a ten year old is discovered in a house with his parents murdered) and the character development, and I think it was really well written.

I had two minor problems with the book, one being the change between first and third person, which I struggled with. The other issue was that it felt like there were two plots, one with the crime aspect which I personally liked and had expected from this novel from the outset, and the other being the character development and romance, which detracted from the crime aspect. However, the characters were good, they felt real, and it was a really enjoyable book. I look forward to book 2.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • TerryHeth
  • 11-09-17

Haunting

This story was a heart wrenching but pulling fabulous. Brad is found alone at home & when the police investigate they find a horrendous scene.
I felt so much for Brad, sympathy, sadness, revulsion, all mixed. The story pulls them all in. I liked the characters around the crime scene, the police officers and the investigating team. The child psychiatrists psychologists and teams were really good. Likeable people I’d like to learn more about in future stories. Hint hint!
I wasn’t sure about the narrator at 1st but after couple of chapters I didn’t even think about her. She managed the tempo & differing in voices keeping the tale running at a want to know more pace. Think I’m used to a lot of male narrators but not anymore.
Very good & all every star to me

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Norma Miles
  • 10-07-17

Please, Dr.Hope, make me stop.

Sent to discover why a trusted employee has not come to work, a police officer find a man and woman dead, battered, in the bedroom and a small boy, presumably the son, downstairs playing video games, apparently unhurt but covered in blood. He is in shock but everything points to him having been the killer.

From the book blurb given, it would seem to indicate that the story is about that small child, Brad, and the investigation into if, and why, the murders had indeed been committed by him.. And yes, this does form part of the narrative. However, it is far more about the people who become involved in the case and, in particular, the growing relationship between Marty, the cop who first found the bodies and Hope, the psychiatrist, placed in primary care of the boy. As a growing love story, this was superb. As a psychological thriller, not so good, with the final resolution being somewhat spurious at best

Beth McIntosh's narration was excellent - once the sound delivery was speeded to 1.25. Her delivery is warm and expressive, the voicings of each protagonist individual, distinctive and appropriate. And it still maintains a leisurely pace even after the increased speed is applied.

My complimentary copy of A Child is Torn was gifted to me by the rights holder, via Audiobook Boom. Thank you. This review is entirely mine and voluntarily given. Although I did very much enjoy the book, if a hard edged thriller is what is required, this is not the book for you. But it is a good , realistic-feeling peak into the everyday lives and hopes of individuals and families, nicely written, and with a little also set aside for the sad disturbed little boy.