Before and After
book — USA — 1992

What if your child became a killer? You`re too young to be a parent for a child that could become a killer? But what if you weren`t? Or if you were a killer yourself? In this novel by Rosellen Brown we encounter an American family that`s seem to be pretty normal on the outside. Ben and his wife Carolyn are happily married, their children Jacob and Judith are smart and do well at school. But one day a girl is murdered in the little town where the family lives. And Jacob who was her boyfriend and who was the last person she was seen with becomes the prime suspect. Jacob flees after the murder and his parents have little doubt that he really is the killer. Difference can be only found in their approach towards this fact - while Ben tries all means possible to save his son by destroying all evidence of the crime there is Carolyn is prepared for Jake to go to prison (which is a thing he deserves for sure). The weird thing about the book is the fact that there`s no twist - Jacob has commited murder, although we may not have heard the true circumstances of the case but there is no doubt that he is a murderer. And there is no doubt that his father is a bit crazy too, otherwise he wouldn`t do what he does, which leads to Ben going to prison instead of his son (quite similar to "Deadeye Dick" where the main heros father is the one imprisoned and not the murderer himself). Whas everything that happened to Martha (Jacobs dead ex-girlfriend) mostly an accident? Should her parents forgive Jacob? I don`t really know. The book tends to be a bit too film-like for my taste (a film starring Liam Neeson and Meryl Streep was done after the novel but I haven`t seen it yet) yet it`s quite a rewarding read. Not too much brain usage required but a decent book nevertheless.
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