Title: A Child is Torn (Whitley & Keal #1)
Author: Dawn Kopman Whidden
Narrator: Beth A. McIntosh
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?
This story really ponders the idea of which is more influential to our behavior—nature or nurture.
When young Brad Madison is found playing video games with his dead parents in the next room, Detective Jean Whitley is stumped. She doesn’t want to believe Brad could be responsible. Neither does Dr. Hope Rubin. However, as the story amps up they are both forced to look to the truth. Sometimes the correct answer is the easiest.
My favorite thing about this series (I started at book four and worked backwards) is how well the author creates these characters. They feel like real people. For instance, the scenes with the teasing in the police station and the genuine concern that Jean and Hope felt for Brad. Also, the pain that Brad experienced while coming to terms with what he was. It was a very powerful rollercoaster of emotions.
The narrator did a fine job of dictating the story. She spoke slow and clear, enunciating the right words.
This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.