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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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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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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!<br/><br/>I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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

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Family drama and a bit of romance

10-year-old Brad is found playing video games while the battered bodies of his mother and father are discovered upstairs in their bedroom. Brad confesses that he hurt his parents and is sent to an institution for children with emotional and behavioral problems. Here, Dr. Hope Rubin is tasked to evaluate Brad and find out what exactly happened in the Madison’s family home.
Told from various perspectives and switching between first- and third-person narrative, readers get a thorough insight into the lives of Hope as well as the police officers involved in the case: veteran officer Marty Keal and detective Jean Whitley. What surprised me was that there was very little to be discovered about Brad.
I generally don't like stories that switch between first and third person, but that's just a personal pet peeve. Overall, this was an interesting story that held my attention throughout; certainly helped by the fact that Dr. Hope and the two police officers were very likeable and realistic characters that were easy to relate to.
It wasn't quite the story I had expected at the outset, but if you don't mind a little bit of romance mixed in with some family drama, then you'll likely find something to enjoy here.
The audio was narrated by Beth A. McIntosh. She has a very pleasant voice and her pacing was great. I would have liked a bit more variety between the different characters' voices, but in general a good audio performance.
I received a free copy of the audiobook in exchange for a review.

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  • Dee
  • LA
  • 10-30-17

So much more than I expected

I hesitated to start this listen because I had just listened to a book about a troubled boy and was not in a hurry to start another. I am so glad that hesitancy did not last.

Listening to this book was like sitting down to a a meal of hamburgers and fries only to realize you are being treated to a eight course meal by a Michelin starred chef. Excellent!

The story centered around 10 year old Brad but the beauty of the story, and why I savored this listen, was because it was so much more. We got to see into the lives of the many people involved in Brad's situation. That was unexpected and I loved every minute of it.

From the cops, to the detectives, to the doctor, and the captain, this was a delicious listen and I could not stop listening.

The narration was easily one of the best I've had the pleasure. Beth McIntosh was the complete package. She brought the feels; she maintained the levity. She delivered a believable 10 year old just as well as a hunky alpha male cop. Loved. Her.

I cried a few times during this listen. This book is a real-life exploration into Brad's story and there were some definite emotional moments. I'm very glad (extremely glad, actually) that there is more to this story. I want back into this world.


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Pretty good story here!

I was given a free copy of this story for an honest review.

I love a story that is fast-paced and keeps the reader's attention; this was one of those stories. I was so interested (as I'm sure everyone else was after reading the summary of the story) as to who really killed Brad's parents if it wasn't him. Once I realized who the killer was...well, I wish there would have been a bigger twist as to why the killer did what was done. Yes, there was a twist, but I guess with the buildup of whodunit, it kind of fell flat.

I usually love a good love story, but the main focus was on Brad and what happened with him. Maybe it was the way the author wrote the story, I don't know, but most stories have a main focus along with minor ones and it's a combination of these that keep the story interesting, in my opinion. But whenever the story went back to the romance aspect between characters, I was screaming, &quot;Get back to Brad!&quot;

This was my first time listening to this narrator and while her variety in character voices needs work (being able to differentiate between them), I felt she had a very soothing kind of voice that caught and held my attention.

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More of a mystery and romance than thriller

Although the story starts off with an interesting and compelling set of events, which could have opened the door into becoming a true mystery/thriller, i turns into more of a tal eabout the different characters and their relationship to and with the child as well as each other. The book was well written, clearly done with a large dose of compassion (perhaps a touch of empathy?), but seemed to be in the wrong genre for its Audible listing and publisher's summary. That, and the fact that this appears to be the first book in a series, makes it difficult to give it more than a 3-star rating as a standalone listen.

I would recommend this book to those that have a heart and desire for more of a soft-core mystery surrounding a troubled child and those chartered to help search for some kind of resolution. A review copy of this audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in return for this unbiased review. My hope is that this review helps in your decision to obtain this book.

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  • TerryHeth
  • 11-09-17

Haunting

This story was a heart wrenching but pulling fabulous. Brad is found alone at home &amp; 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 &amp; 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 &amp; all every star to me

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  • 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.