The Family Man

The Family Man

4.7 8
by Michael S. Patterson
     
 

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After years of frustrating fertility problems, Ellen and Eric Sommers are delighted when they find out they are expecting their first child. Their friends and family share their joy, but a stranger also revels in their news. Frank Mallory suffered his own frustrations in his attempts to become a family man and believes his destiny is to create a family by whatever…  See more details below

Overview

After years of frustrating fertility problems, Ellen and Eric Sommers are delighted when they find out they are expecting their first child. Their friends and family share their joy, but a stranger also revels in their news. Frank Mallory suffered his own frustrations in his attempts to become a family man and believes his destiny is to create a family by whatever means necessary, even murder.

Frank's maniacal fantasy unfolds as he kidnaps Ellen and plots Eric's demise by framing him for her murder. Using blood and hair he extracts from his kidnap victim, Frank creates a trail of evidence that lead police to Ellen's husband. The District Attorney's office follows suit and indicts Eric for his wife's murder. Frank meanwhile secrets Ellen and her unborn child to his utopian existence - a cabin deep in the remote backwaters of British Columbia. It is a race against time as Eric is on trial for murder and Frank's fantasy becomes Ellen's new reality.

Author Biography: Michael S. Patterson grew up in western Massachusetts and obtained his B.A. from Saint Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont, and his law degree from Loyola Law School. A former trial lawyer, he currently serves as in-house counsel for a television network. He lives with his wife Laura and their three children in Southern California. The Family Man is his first novel.

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Editorial Reviews

Bruce Southworth

First-time novelist Michael S. Patterson has, in "The Family Man" [MacAdam/Cage Publishing, 356 pages, $24}, revealed himself as a writer to watch.

After suffering several years of infertility, Eric and Ellen Sommers are ecstatic to learn she is pregnant and their hopes for a family are coming true. But even as they plan for the arrival of the child, they come under the scrutiny of Frank Mallory. Mallory has lost one family and he decides Ellen and her unborn child will be the perfect replacements. But Mallory must get Eric out of the way before beginning Ellen's initiation in her new life as his wife and mother of his child.

Mallory's skillful abduction of Ellen sets Eric up to be arrested for her murder. Though the evidence against him is circumstantial, Eric's defense is weaker, and much to Mallory's glee, it looks like Eric's conviction is assured. Ellen, bound, gagged and transported deep into the woods of British Columbia, watches as her chances of escape slip away under Mallory's careful planning. And her fear grows as Mallory's hair-trigger temper alternates with sweet sentimentality almost simultaneously.

" 'See, sweetheart, everything is fine,' Frank moved his hand down to stroke Ellen's cheek. She screamed.

"Now he had to punish her. She needed to learn her new role in their relationship. He stood at the head of this family. Frank raised his hand and struck Ellen across the face...He hit her again and again, his open hand closing into a fist...

" 'Please, I'm pregnant,' Ellen begged.

" 'I know. I'm sorry,' Frank said as he sat back."

Frank Mallory is a truly menacing character and one worth hating. The claustrophobic prisons, whether real or psychological, in which Patterson traps his characters resonate deeply and keep the pages turning.
Star Tribune

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780967370132
Publisher:
MacAdam/Cage Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
02/01/2001
Pages:
350
Product dimensions:
6.37(w) x 9.43(h) x 1.26(d)

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Family Man 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Mishka_OP More than 1 year ago
Would make a great movie, but the characters in the book weren't developed enough for print. Ending felt rushed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked the book up on a Thursday and finished it by the weekend. I would have finished it sooner, but I was savoring every word. Seriously! I don't generally like suspense thrillers, but I was bowled over by how well Patterson crafted the plot lines. Incredible attention to detail. His real places and settings really draws the reader in... as if the author had visited every site in the book. His own knowledge as a trial lawyer adds even more realism to the plot. A definite contender to become a feature film. The only flaw is the cover. It does nothing to capture the passion and intrigue in the book. It definitely pays to read the inside pages. It's a very satisfying, unpredictable ending. Can't wait to see the next book from this author!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an Excellent book, I couldn't put it down. It was thrilling, romantic and full of suspense. A must read !
Guest More than 1 year ago
An intriguing and frightening read that captivates your interest from beginning to end. Mr. Patterson has presented characters that are easily related to and he has woven the plot together so masterfully that it keeps one riveted - waiting for the next line. The abduction and evidence pointing to Frank as the guilty party is pulled together so thoroughly, one feels this situation could take place in one's own life at any time. It has certainly made me more 'aware of my surroundings.' I will look forward to Mr. Patterson's next novel with anticipation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the type of book that the minute you start it you can't leave it until you are finsished. A 'page-turner'. The characters are terrific and I loved how Mr. Patterson developed two seperate plots, both equally interesting and joined them as one. A great read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an extremely well written, realistic and frightening book. The pacing was excellent, the characters well drawn and the story totally believable. Anyone looking to read from this genre will not be disappointed. I look forward Mr. Patterson's next novel.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Ellen and Eric Sommers wanted to start a family, but for three years she failed to conceive. That is until today when Dr. Spyro¿s office called to inform her that she is in deed six weeks pregnant. When she leaves a message for Eric that Spyro said ¿he¿s positive¿, an elated Eric leaves his law firm to celebrate the good new with Ellen.

While Eric and Ellen share their happiness, Frank Mallory is also pleased with the news of the Sommers pregnancy. Frank, whose wife and child left him, decides Ellen and her unborn will make perfect replacements. However, he must insure that no trail leads to finding Ellen once he snatches her. He sets up a scene to make it look like Eric killed his wife while Frank completes the abduction by stashing her in an isolated section of British Columbia. Everything goes according to plan with the kidnapping and the eventual arrest and conviction of Eric for murder.

THE FAMILY MAN is extremely frightening because the plot feels as if it could happen to anyone. In spite of knowing how much he loves his wife, everyone including his father-in-law believes Eric killed Ellen. The audience is aware of what is going on in a manner reminiscent of Hitchcock's Frenzy and knows Frank commits the crime, but sees how overwhelming the evidence is that condemns Eric. That degree of certainty that Eric murdered his wife by the support cast and the question whether any proof exists exonerating Eric are what make this thriller a winner that will leave readers wanting more suspense novels from Michael S. Patterson.

Harriet Klausner