Books

The Mysterious Press
The Mysterious Press
The Mysterious Press

Daddy Love

by Joyce Carol Oates

“It’s hard to tear your eyes away from her grimly detailed portrait of Daddy Love . . . Oates has more knives to throw before bringing this harrowing tale to a close—but she saves the sharpest one for the very last page.” —The New York Times Book Review

  • Imprint The Mysterious Press
  • Page Count 288
  • Publication Date January 14, 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2224-7
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $16.00
  • Imprint The Mysterious Press
  • Page Count 288
  • Publication Date January 08, 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2099-1
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $24.00
  • Imprint The Mysterious Press
  • Publication Date January 08, 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-9365-0
  • US List Price $16.00

About The Book

Dinah Whitcomb has everything: a loving husband and a smart young son named Robbie. Then one day their worlds are shattered when Robbie is abducted from a parking lot and Dinah is run over by the kidnapper’s van, mangling her body nearly beyond repair. The kidnapper, a reverend named Chester Cash, aka Daddy Love, has for years abducted, tortured, and raped young boys. Daddy Love renames Robbie as “Gideon,” brainwashing him into believing that he is Daddy Love’s real son, and any time the boy resists or rebels it is met with punishment beyond his wildest nightmares.

As Robbie grows older he becomes more aware of just how monstrous Daddy Love truly is. Though as a small boy Robbie was terrified of what would happen if he disobeyed Daddy Love, he begins to realize that the longer he is locked into the shackles of this demon, the greater chance he’ll end up like Daddy Love’s other “sons” who were never heard from again. Somewhere within this tortured boy lies a spark of rebellion . . . and soon he will see just what lengths he must go to in order to have any chance at survival.

Joyce Carol Oates is peerless when writing about the terrors that lurk right next door, and in Daddy Love she delivers a terrifying novel about every parent’s worst nightmare come to life.

Praise

“After all these years, Joyce Carol Oates can still give me the creeps. Oates is a mind-reader who writes psychological horror stories about seriously disturbed minds, and it’s hard to tear your eyes away from her grimly detailed portrait of Daddy Love. But her insights into nice, ordinary people—the kind of people Robbie’s parents used to be, before their son was stolen—are no less incisive. Oates has more knives to throw before bringing this harrowing tale to a close—but she saves the sharpest one for the very last page.” —Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

“Wrenching, tightly written and focused . . . a grim examination of how humans cope with unspeakable physical and psychological pain. She illuminates the darkest corners and shows us the startled, troubled creatures hiding there, nursing their wounds, staring back at us, their kin.” —Cleveland Plain-Dealer

“I haven’t met a Joyce Carol Oates story or novel that I didn’t like and Daddy Love is no exception.” —Huntington News

“Haunting, terrifying, disturbing.” —Atlantic Wire

“Joyce Carol Oates, author of dozens of grim novels, knows the dark side of life better than most and explores it here in a lean and disturbing tale that reverberates after its ending.” —Columbus Dispatch

“Oates makes us squirm as she forces us to see some of the action through Love’s twisted and warped perspective.” —Kirkus Reviews

“This unsettling tale showcases Oates’s masterful storytelling.” —Publishers Weekly

“An urgently compelling and drastically revealing study of evil, habitual terror, and survival.” —Booklist

Daddy Love is a book not to be taken lightly . . . [it] pushes us to confront what lurks behind the front door.” —New York Journal of Books

“Joyce Carol Oates’s latest book is a horror. As in horror story, frightening, alarmingly realistic. The monsters in Daddy Love are people, not fantastical creatures from the deep or outer space. They are human.” —PopMatters

Excerpt

“Robbie? Our car is in the next row—I promise. Please don’t cry.”

One witness would report to police officers that the little abducted boy had seemed to be crying in the parking lot. He’d been pulling at his mother’s arm and she’d been speaking urgently to him. Asked if she’d overheard what the mother was saying to the boy the woman said No, she’d been too far away. And she’d been headed into Home Depot, not coming out. Witnesses who’d seen the mother and the child inside the mall as recently as fifteen minutes before the abduction would tell police officers, “There was nothing special about them. There was nothing that would make you look at them. A young mother with her little boy. Nice-behaving and nice-looking but nothing special.”

A sudden cry seemed to erupt out of the air. Not a plea for help but sheer sound—surprise, terror.

She’d have thought it was Robbie but it was not Robbie but herself.

What struck her seemed to come down vertically, from a height above her head. She’d seemed to see—(it was happening far more swiftly than she could fathom)—a large bird with flailing wings, a ferocious bird, like the bird that tore out Prometheus’s liver, and in the next instant she was falling, and Robbie’s fingers were wrenched from hers even as the child screamed Mommy!