I have never read anything by Thomas H. Cook, but this book had "wowed" me. It is no wonder that Mr. Cook received six Edgar Award nominations to date, most recently in 2006 for this novel, Red Leaves, which was also shortlisted for the Duncan Lawrie Dagger and the Anthony Award.

Eric and Meredith Moore seems to lead a happy life, together with their teenager son Keith. But one evening, their neighbours Vincent and Karen Giordano are out visiting and they ask Keith to babysit their eight year-old daughter Amy. This is not the first time Keith babysits Amy so he said yes.

But the next morning, the Moore family receives news that Amy is missing, and suddenly everyone in the neighbourhood thinks that Keith is involved since he is assumed to be the last person to have seen Amy last night. Eric and Meredith think otherwise and don't believe their good son will do anything to Amy. However, Eric notices their son has been acting very strangely ever since he returns home on that fateful night although he didn't voice out. He consults their lawyer friend, Leo who thinks someone might be planning something against them and ask if they have any enemies. Eric couldn't think of anyone, but he does remember someone, likely an insurance man asked about his family when he was younger. His brother, Warren is then an alcoholic, his sister dies of a brain tumor and his mother is suicidal.
The suspicion builds on when Eric begins to look deeper at his own family history and later even wonder if Meredith is betraying him by having an affair. From there the story slowly unfolds and the ending leaves me speechless.
Although Red Leaves classifies as a crime thriller, I can say it is also more like a family drama where one will look at his own family members and wonders if he really knows them well even though they are the closest.
Red Leaves is beautifully well written, both gripping and haunting. It has definitely leaves me a deep impression.
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2 Responses
  1. 1morechapter Says:

    I really like Thomas H. Cook. My favorites of his are Breakheart Hill and the Edgar-winning The Chatham School Affair.

  2. Melody Says:

    Hi 3M, thanks for visiting my blog. I hope I'll be able to find "The Chatham School Affair". Thanks. :)

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