Red Leaves Review
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Something isn’t quite right under the mask of Eric Moore’s family life, but he chooses to remain blind to what is and what isn’t—until things start unraveling and the dark glass clears, showing him the depth of a denial that started when he was but a child. Suddenly he wonders if he really knows his wife and his son—or the family he grew up with, for that matter.

On the night that Eric’s son, Keith, baby-sits Amy Giordano, she disappears from her room. The only trace left of her is her pajama bottoms, found near the water tower. The whole town believes that Keith did something to Amy, and they eye his family with suspicion and barely veiled hatred. Keith’s every move and every action becomes suspicious and ominous, but the police can’t find one shred of evidence to arrest him.

Eric Moore is tormented by the thought that his son may have committed a terrible crime, and no matter how hard he tries, he can’t help looking upon him with suspicion. Where did he go after he left the Giordano residence? Why did he come home disheveled with a strange look in his eyes? And why did he lie about walking home?

Once suspicious thoughts start, they spread like wildfire to those around Eric. He begins to suspect that his wife is having an affair, that his brother did something awful to their sister before she died at the age of seven, and that his father may have murdered his mother for insurance money. The mistrust eats at him like an evil cancer, damaging his family beyond repair at a time when they should come together and face the crisis united.

Red Leaves is a twisted, page-turning story. When you think you know the truth, something shifts and nothing is as it seems. You make judgments on insufficient evidence, thinking you’ve gotten at the truth, but then more evidence pops up, pointing you in a totally different direction until you’re forced to hang up your self-righteousness and see the situation as it truly is.

The ending will shock you, and you’ll sit there staring at the last page, wondering why it had to end that way. But deep down you’ll know why. The human mind can only be pushed so far before rational thought disappears. A person can become so sure they’re right that the truth, when it comes out, won’t make a difference. Or the truth may come too late.

Red Leaves gets a wow from me—which doesn’t happen often, because a book has to hit me deep, make me examine my life, and give me a wicked twist of an ending in order to leave me this stunned. But Mr. Cook has most definitely done all of the above with this novel.

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