Friday, May 26, 2017

The Only Child: when the monster is real

The Only Child by Andrew Pyper is the story of Dr. Lily Dominick, a forensic psychiatric, who is used to hearing bizarre and outrageous claims from patients. She was orphaned at six when her mother was killed by, what authorities would call, a bear. Until one day she receives a case with no name. He is a man who assaulted another man because he needed to talk with her. He has a gift for her. He claims he is over 200 years old, he’s not human and her father. Soon strange events lead her to suddenly go to Eastern Europe and track now this man’s history. The more she learns, the more his story seems unbelievable. He claims to be the inspiration for Mary Shelley’s Creature from Frankenstein, Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Lily soon finds herself in a race against time and against others who want to see this man destroyed. Is he really who he says he is? Will Lily finally learn the truth about her mother’s death? Will she be able to escape this real life monster?


The Only Child reminded me of Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian with more intensity and action. From the opening word to the closing chapter, The Only Child is a fast paced drama which intertwines the stories of classic gothic novels. Without giving too much away, I loved how Mr. Pyper was able to weave the novels into this story. I feel it is an interesting twist and modern look into these classic characters. As I do with every book I read, after finishing this book, I read a few reviews and some of the other reviewers didn’t like it. The main complaint was it wasn’t scary. True, it wasn’t. It was more of an intense horror than scary horror. But to be fair, in my opinion, Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dracula, were not scary either. I think it is also unfair to view The Only Child in comparison with these classics. Bottom line, I enjoyed this novel. I was able to finish it in two days, not that it was a fast read but shows that I couldn’t put it down. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good monster story. It will have you wondering who the real monster is.

The Only Child
is available on Amazon
in hardcover and on the Kindle
as well as
at Barnes and Noble

in hardcover and on the Nook