Son Of Destruction by Kit Reed (book review).

‘Son Of Destruction’ charts the journey of a boy seeking out his roots. The death of his mother, Lucy, leaves journalist Dan Carteret in limbo. Unable to move forward, he takes the scraps of memorabilia, things he knows she kept for a reason and tries to piece together his mother’s life and find his father. Most intriguingly is the scrap of a newspaper report on a case of spontaneous human combustion in his mother’s home town of Fort Jude. Dan resolves to follow this through and when he arrives there, sets off a chain of event amongst the residents. There are secrets, lies and immorality lurking under the surface but there is some kind of truth waiting for Dan.


Although quite short, ‘Son Of Destruction’ does the job of a good novella by not getting bogged down too much. The descriptions are economical and dialogue sparse and to the point. There is more than one narrator here and it cranks up the intensity rather than reduce it. I felt compelled to keep reading to get to the end, especially as it doesn’t have a massive page count. The plot and people hummed along the surface of my mind and lingered awhile after I finished it.

If you are looking for the weird element then this is only part of how it develops. ‘Son Of Destruction’ reminded me a little of some of the Stephen King books where the people become more interesting than the supernatural element which also forms part but not all of the interest in this book. Family and other relationships are the key in ‘Son Of Destruction’ and the truth, such as it, is saved for the very final pages leaving us shocked but in a way not surprised.

Sue Davies

(pub: Severn House Publishers. 240 page paperback also available as an ebook. Price: £19.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-72788-232-5)
check out website: www.severnhouse.com

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