Son of Destruction

( 1 )

Overview

When Lucy Cartaret dies, her journalist son Dan returns to her hometown, Fort Jude, Florida, in search of his real father and claiming to be investigating the mysterious deaths of three elderly women. Spontaneous human combustion, experts say. But why? Surely it’s more than coincidence – and what links these deaths to Dan’s mother? It soon becomes clear that something terrible happened during his mother’s last year in town, thirty years before. But the social elite of Fort Jude remain tight-lipped. The families ...

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Son of Destruction

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Overview

When Lucy Cartaret dies, her journalist son Dan returns to her hometown, Fort Jude, Florida, in search of his real father and claiming to be investigating the mysterious deaths of three elderly women. Spontaneous human combustion, experts say. But why? Surely it’s more than coincidence – and what links these deaths to Dan’s mother? It soon becomes clear that something terrible happened during his mother’s last year in town, thirty years before. But the social elite of Fort Jude remain tight-lipped. The families who run the town will do anything to protect their own – anything.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Chelsea Cain
From her novels to her stories…Reed finds humanity in the most fantastic places. She does it without pretension. And she does it with a sense of humor and no apologies.
Publishers Weekly
This fascinating paranormal detective novel from literary fantasist Reed (What Wolves Know) shows a young man pursuing dangerous family secrets. The death of Dan Carteret’s mother frees him to track down the father he never knew. Pretending to research a series of deaths by spontaneous human combustion, Dan travels to the Florida town of Fort Jude and starts asking residents whether they knew his mother. They all did—but they try to hide guilty memories of what they did to her or didn’t do for her. Dan’s father knows that his anger probably gives him the ability to ignite people with his mind, so he is desperate to acknowledge his son while also protecting him from knowledge of the terrible power he may have inherited. The characters reveal themselves in overlapping chapters that give a convincing picture of community interaction. The story is only marred by a disappointing ending: when father and son do connect at last, the emotional conflagration is much less intense than readers would expect. Agent: John Silbersack, Trident Media Group. (Mar.)
The Guardian - Eric Brown
"A fragmented narrative, using half a dozen different viewpoints, tells the story of the "thin line between an organised society and raw nature", and presents a compelling account of people torn by clan loyalty and made desperate by love, hate and loneliness"
Financial Times - James Lovegrove
"Reed’s writing is pithy, poignant and never less than gripping. No one escapes her eye for mercilessly dissecting human failings. Son of Destruction is about the toxicity of buried truths. It is also about psychic powers, although to the very last line the reader is kept guessing as to whether these actually exist in the world of this novel – or are merely the product of coincidence"
Booklist
“This contemporary gothic mystery will keep readers guessing”
Kirkus Reviews
A reporter's cover story on spontaneous human combustion hits uncomfortably close to home. Apart from a faded photograph he once found hidden in her room, reporter Dan Carteret knows next to nothing about his mother, Lucy. Now that Lucy has passed away, the photograph is all Dan has to guide him through her past. Pretending to be tracking a story about three ancient, unexplained cases of spontaneous combustion in Lucy's hometown of Fort Jude, Fla., he plans to uncover his roots. When he rolls into town, he's greeted by a close-knit community that appears friendly and welcoming, even though no one seems to have information about the men in the picture Dan's been showing around town. Dan's not one to give up, however, and when he finds an abandoned house where local student Steffy McCall whiles away her school hours, he senses that he may be onto something. His hunch is confirmed when a meditative session in the house makes him feel as though he's communing with past inhabitants, although the message they're sending him isn't clear. He's even more thrown off his stride when he realizes that the residents not only recognize him, but have been trying to hide their own connections to his mother. Now Dan must figure out why. Parceling out her story among numerous narrators, Reed (Enclave, 2009, etc.) focuses less on suspense or surprise than on serving condign justice.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780727882325
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/1/2013
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.71 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Award-winning science fiction writer Kit Reed is the author of more than twenty novels and over a hundred short stories. She serves as Resident Writer at Wesleyan University, Connecticut.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    This, from The Financial Times: Reed¿s writing is pithy, poignan

    This, from The Financial Times: Reed’s writing is pithy, poignant and ... gripping. No one escapes her eye for mercilessly dissecting human failings. Son of Destruction is about the toxicity of buried truths. It is also about psychic powers, although to the very last line the reader is kept guessing as to whether these actually exist in the world of this novel – or are merely the product of coincidence. --James Lovegrove

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