24 July, 2016

Daddy Dearest by Paul Southern Book Review! @psouthernauthor

An estranged father’s weekend with his beloved five-year-old daughter turns into a nightmare when she gets into the lift of a city centre tower block and goes down without him. She vanishes without a trace. It sets off a race against time, and a nationwide manhunt, to find her. As the police investigation closes in, suspicion falls on those closest to her - with devastating consequences. Daddy Dearest is a terrifying story of love, obsession and psychological meltdown.

'My daughter has always had a thing about lifts. There’s something about the thrill of pressing a button and seeing the lift doors close which excites her imagination. It terrifies me. Every time she walks in, I imagine it’s the last time I’ll see her. What if she hits the button before I get there? What if the lift doors close and I can’t get her out? It drives me nuts. There are eight floors in the Sears building, nine if you count the basement, and the lift is fast: more like a fairground ride, really. It does top to bottom in twelve seconds. I’ve timed it. Taking the stairs, I’ve done it in forty-two. That leaves a gap of thirty seconds. You’d be surprised what can happen in that time. I was.

‘An enthralling tale, but the genuine mystery involves the protagonist, a spellbinding enigma from beginning to end.’
‘DADDY DEAREST’s unreliable narrator makes this psychological thriller a compelling read.’
‘Absolutely phenomenal.’
‘Paul Southern has a knack for taking humanity and presenting it on a truth-colored torture tool with a dash of added realism and gag-reflex inducing details...Well done Paul Southern, you wrote the whole world with its good and bad and evil and innocent into one book.’
‘A fabulous psychological thriller! Everything about this book is compelling.’
‘The story is compelling and is told in a unique way.’
‘Just when you think you’ve worked it out, the author throws yet another curve ball at you, completely knocking you off kilter.This was a great read.'
‘Stirred many emotions...I want to share it all.’

The Author

Following an induced labour some time in the 1960s (due date: Halloween night), I had my subscription to a normal life revoked by itinerant parents, who moved from city to city. Lived in Liverpool, Belfast, London, and Leeds, then escaped to university, where I nearly died of a brain haemorrhage. After an unexpected recovery, formed an underground indie group (Sexus). Met the lead singer through standing on a bee. Made immediate plans to become rich and famous, but ended up in Manchester. Shared a house with mice, cockroaches, and slugs; shared the street with criminals. Five years later, hit the big time with a Warners record deal. Concerts at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Melody Maker front cover, Smash Hits Single of the Week, Radio 1 and EastEnders. 

Mixed with the really rich and famous. Then mixed with lawyers. Ended up back in Manchester, broke. Got a Ph.D. in English (I am the world's leading authority on Tennyson's stage plays), then wrote my first novel, The Craze, based on my experiences of the Muslim community. 

Immediately nominated to the Arena X Club (the name Arena magazine gave to a select group of creative, UK-based men responsible for shaping the way their readers lived and enjoyed their lives). Wrote a second book, Brown Boys in Chocolate, which predicted the London bombings. Fell foul of the censors and subsequently gagged by the press. Got ITV interested in a story on honour killings and inter-racial marriages and was commissioned to write a screenplay (Pariah) based on my life story. ITV balked at the content. Subsequently, trod the Wasteland before finding the grail again: a book deal with children's publisher, Chicken House. 

Killing Sound, a YA horror set on the London Underground, was published by them in September 2014. The book, originally written for older teens (16+) and adults, was censoriously edited by the publishers to fit a much younger demographic, and inevitably failed to reach either market; the grail proved elusive and I returned to writing something it was impossible to dilute. Daddy Dearest, a dark, psychological thriller, will be released in 2016. 


My Thoughts

At first, I had a difficult time getting into the story. It is written in a much different style than I am used to. Very wordy and a lot of his history with his ex-wife and other people in his life. 

This unnamed man is an estranged father of a little girl who he finds is going to go out of the country with her mother. He panics, thinking that he will not be able to see her and comes up with a plan. The plan is, his daughter goes missing, at least that is what the reader is led to believe. A police investigation ensues and the lies begin. 

Like I said, I had a tough time at first but I am glad I persevered, the further along I got into the story the more immersed I was. I just had to see how far the father would take his story. At times heartbreaking, at times pretty scary, it is amazing how lies have a way of growing, causing a domino effect. This is definitely a psychological thriller to read. Lots of plot twists! I enjoyed reading this book more than I thought I would.

I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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