Book Review: Bad Man

BAD MAN | Dathan Auerbach
08.07.2018 | Doubleday Books
Rating: 3/5 stars


It was a regular day that turned into every family’s worst nightmare. Ben was in charge of watching his three-year-old brother, Eric. The boys went to the local grocery store to pick up items for their parents. Ben looked away for a few seconds and when he turned back, Eric had vanished. In a wave of panic he ran through the store shouting and searching for Eric. The police went on a hunt for the young boy. Missing persons fliers were hung up on every possible surface. Eric was nowhere to be found.

Once upon a tuh-time, there

wuh-was a bad man.

Five years have passed and Ben must now get a job to help support his parents. Ben and his family’s lives have fallen into ruins over the past few years and they’re just barely scraping by to make ends meet. Eric finally finds a job, but it’s at the one place he never wanted to set foot in again. It’s at the grocery store where Eric disappeared. On night shift as a stocker, Ben starts to learn that strange happenings are common at this store. He’s never stopped looking for Eric, but now that he’s back in the scene of the crime, his suspicions are at an all time high. Can Ben finally find out what happened to Eric? Just how much will his search tear his family apart?

Because that’s the thing about hope – when it seems that there’s no point in moving, it pushes us so forcefully that we come to feel like we need it to keep going.

I recently read PENPAL by Dathan Auerbach and fell head over heels in love. I thought BAD MAN would be a longer version of that same greatness, but unfortunately at the end of the day that same spark didn’t exist for me. BAD MAN is a story of family, brotherly connection, and how the disappearance of a sibling can tear that world apart. There are a lot of positives to this story, starting with the overall concept and the setting. I love the idea of looking in on a family and how a catastrophic event has impacted their lives. I always find it fascinating the different ways in which people deal with situations. I also love the setting of this book. You can feel the heat and downtrodden section of Florida in which this family lives to the point where the setting becomes its own character in the story. I wasn’t a fan of the pace of this book and I think that this is ultimately what left me wanting more. I think this story could have been condensed more, which would have made the situation more tense and the book a more edge of your seat read. I love Dathan Auerbach’s writing style and unique plotlines, so I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!

A special shoutout to Doubleday Books for sending me a free copy in exchange for my honest review!

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Bad Man

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