Author: Caitlin Wahrer
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Released: June 15th, 2021
Received: Own (BOTM)
Warnings: Sexual assault, trauma
Caitlin Wahrer’s debut novel, The Damage, cuts to the quick, blending drama, human nature, grief, and thriller elements into one. This novel takes a familiar subject within the world of thrillers and forces readers to look at it through a new lens.
One small family’s world is about to be permanently altered after one horrible night. The nightmare continues to live on as they learn to cope with the trauma while fighting for justice and peace.
All Nick wants is to find a way to make peace with what happened. Meanwhile, his brother, Tony, is desperate to find a way to make things right. That’s what he does – he’s a fixer. And that is precisely why his wife, Julia, has a particular concern for what is to come.
“It was the cookie-cutter morning-show template of overcovered local news split up by segments on recipes and shelter pets.”
The Damage is certainly a title that earned its name! This novel looks at the many layers of grief – how one entire family can suffer from the events that happened to a single member. It was heartbreaking and so human all at once.
The events in The Damage hit hard, as I’m sure Caitlin Wahrer intended. What I loved the most about this novel is how human each and every character felt. They had hopes, dreams, and most importantly: flaws. It made what happened to and around them feel all the more real. Which naturally added quite a lot to the impact of the story.
That alone would have been enough to make me appreciate this novel. Throw in Caitlin Wahrer’s writing style (detailed, emotive, and compelling) and the many twists and surprises, and it’s really no wonder I found myself enjoy this book immensely. I’m adding Wahrer to my list of must-read thriller authors.