Author: Caitlin Wahrer
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Mystery & Thriller
Goodreads Rating: 4.22
When a small-town family is pushed to the brink, how far will they go to protect one of their own? An edgy, propulsive read about what we will do in the name of love and blood
Tony has always looked out for his younger brother, Nick. So when he’s called to a hospital bed where Nick is lying battered and bruised after a violent sexual assault, his protective instincts flare, and a white-hot rage begins to build.
As a small-town New England lawyer, Tony’s wife, Julia, has cases involving kids all the time. When Detective Rice gets assigned to this one, Julia feels they’re in good hands. Especially because she senses that Rice, too, understands how things can quickly get complicated. Very complicated.
After all, one moment Nick was having a drink with a handsome stranger; the next, he was at the center of an investigation threatening to tear not only him, but his entire family, apart. And now his attacker, out on bail, is disputing Nick’s version of what happened.
As Julia tries to help her brother-in-law, she sees Tony’s desire for revenge, to fix things for Nick, getting out of control. Tony is starting to scare her. And before long, she finds herself asking: does she really know what her husband is capable of? Or of what she herself is?
Exploring elements of doubt, tragedy, suspense, and justice, The Damage is an all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.
I’d like to thank Ella from Penguin Michael Joseph for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. After being part of the cover reveal earlier this year I was very excited and intrigued to read this one.
The entire story was centred around Nick, a young man who had just been raped and the effects that had on his whole family. It was refreshing to read a rape story where the victim was male as quite often we only associate this crime with female victims. The story is told from several POV; Nick, Tony, Julia and John Rice. It was very interesting to see how events after the rape unfolded and how each character felt at different points. The short snappy chapters kept the pace going and had me wanting to know more and more.
My heart broke for Nick and what he went through, his story was told with sensitivity and a care that matched his beautiful personality. I was in awe of his relationship with Tony and there were tender moments between the two of them that made feel so comforted by the strength of their sibling bond.
Tony at times seemed to have a harder time than Nick at coping. This was largely due to his need to protect Nick as that was what he had done his whole life. The role Tony had taken on his own life carried its own burdens and Caitlin Wahrer deals with these issues effortlessly. She showed the impact a rape case has not just on the victim, but the family as well.
Julia was desperate to be there for everyone and keep everyone happy. She truly was the rock, the go between and everything else that the two brothers needed. The conversations between herself and John Rice had me running a million different theories through my head and kept me on the edge of my seat.
Whilst we had a few twists and turns along the way the final revelation was well thought out and left me speechless. Caitlin Wahrer has created a brilliantly disturbing debut, full of emotion, that I found impossible to put down. It will stay with readers long after they’ve turned the final page.
Please don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour and get yourself a copy of Damage!