cover image Son of Destruction

Son of Destruction

Kit Reed. Severn, $28.95 (234p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8232-5

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.)