This book comes out next Tuesday – June 15, 2021
The Damage by Caitlin Wahrer is a compelling debut novel that will have you contemplating moral gray areas and where the line is defining right and wrong.
What I Loved
I loved that the story did not require even a moment of suspended disbelief. I’m so used to reading rather fun but outrageous plots that this story, with its plausible plot, is like a breath of fresh air. It also makes the novel even more impactful, as I had to acknowledge that this case could genuinely happen and does with more frequency than the general public is even aware.
The character development is deep and layered, portraying a family of tragically sympathetic characters to whom I found myself immediately drawn. Nick Hall is the victim of a crime he doesn’t recollect because the perpetrator knocked him out. His sister-in-law Julia is a lawyer who often finds herself the voice of reason for Nick and Tony, her husband and Nick’s brother. And Tony is the protector who feels he must correct all the wrongs that happen to every family member. Scarred by his father’s abuse, he is often his own worst enemy but has a heart of gold. They work together to get through a terrible ordeal that will forever change them.
I enjoyed the ending with its shocking twist that took me by surprise but is in keeping with the characters’ personalities and the realistic plot. The implications of the conclusion are far-reaching and explore the murky grey areas of morality that will prompt many discussions among readers.
I appreciated how male-to-male sexual assault and the mental health issues that come as a consequence are all handled. It’s covered in a sensitive way that shows respect to readers and the characters. There is not much detail provided about the assault itself, and it isn’t needed. Also, the mental health issues that arise are handled responsibly utilizing counseling and behavioral health departments and centers.
To Read or Not to Read
If you love psychological thrillers, you will love this refreshingly real thriller by debut author Caitlin Wahrer.