A professor's life is turned upside down when he takes in his charming, wildly dangerous nephew, whose wealthy parents have just died under mysterious circumstances, in this propulsive, edge-of-your-seat debut psychological thriller.
Gil is living a quiet life as a creative writing professor in a bucolic Vermont town, when he receives some shocking news: His sister and her husband have been killed in a car accident, and their only son is coming to live with him and his family.
Gil and his wife are apprehensive about taking in seventeen-year-old Matthew. Yes, he has just lost both his parents, but they haven't seen him in seven years--and the last time the families were together, Matthew lured their young daughter into a terrifying, life-threatening situation. Since that incident, Gil has been estranged from his sister and her flashy, wealthy banker husband.
Now Matthew is their charge, living under their roof.
The boy seems charming, smart, and urbane, if strangely unaffected by his parents' deaths. Gil hopes they can put the past behind them, though he's surprised when Matthew signs up for his creative writing class. Then Matthew begins turning in chilling stories about the imagined deaths of Gil's family and his own parents. Bewildered and panicked, Gil ultimately decides he must take matters into his own hands--before life imitates art.
Told in limber, mesmerizing prose, A Flaw in the Design is a twisting novel of suspense that brilliantly explores the tensions surrounding class, family, and the drive to control one's own story.
The Sexy Nerd's Review. . .
I love it when an author manages to present several points of view to his readers to throw you off the scent. But I must say I was hot on the author’s trail.
Seventeen-year old Matthew was robbed of his parents’ lives due to a tragic car accident. One would think after having suffered a tragic loss like that, the teen would be a basket case, but to everyone’s surprise, including his Uncle Gil, he didn’t seem phased by it at all.
In fact, Matthew didn’t seem to feel anything about the entire situation. It was like his parents’ death was an inconvenience to his life. Of all the guardians for Matthew to end up with, his mother wrote in her will that her brother, Gilbert Duggan, should take care of Matthew. When he first arrived at his uncle’s home, his cousins and aunt knew Matthew, but they didn’t really “know” Matthew. I’m sure some of you readers have family like that. They were related and that’s as far as it went.
Even though Gil wasn’t thrilled to have his nephew living with him and his family, the one good thing Matthew brought to the table was his fat pockets. Gil may be a struggling writer and college professor, but his sister hit pay dirt. Matthew was extremely wealthy, thanks to his parents. And since Gil’s sister named him as guardian in the will, he would receive a monthly stipend for his inconvenience. So, life wasn’t too bad having to take in his wealthy, alleged grief-stricken nephew.
Right as Matthew began settling into his new life with his uncle and family, he decided to take some creative writing courses at Uncle Gil’s school. Gil wasn’t too thrilled about having his nephew in his class. It was bad enough (or so you’d think) to have Matthew living with him, and now he’s invading his work space as well. So, what does Gil do? He charges his students with a creative writing exercise to help broaden their writing chops and when Matthew began reading the gruesome story he wrote, Gil became agitated and fear settled in. For you see, the story that Matthew wrote was it fiction or fact? And that, Nerds, is where this story takes off.
This was a very interesting story in how it played out. It reminds me of the type of terror like the novel Bird Box whereas you know something horrible is happening, but you can’t see exactly what it is and that’s what makes it even more terrifying. Was this book the type you'd be able to read in one setting as some reviews have suggested? For me, I’d say no because I found several sections of the book to be quite long and dragging in sections. It had fear in it because you couldn’t just figure out what exactly was going on, which I loved, but then it began driving me nuts because it was like, “enough, already” let’s get down to it!
Overall, this was a decent read. And one other note I’d like to advise my readers of, what I absolutely liked about this story is that as you read and follow Gil and Matthew’s journey, you’ll begin to understand the title of the book and it will also leave you wondering, just ‘who’ exactly had a flaw in their design? It was like a play on words so the speak. I may be going a little deep for some readers, but if you’re the type of reader who truly dissects a story, then you guys will know what I mean by that statement.
The Sexy Nerd gives A Flaw In The Design four magical screw drivers to patch up the flaws. I really enjoyed this story. It was quirky, different, and had that special allure that kept me tapping the Kindle pages. I think you are going to truly like this story. A Flaw In The Design goes on sale Tuesday, March 21, 2023 at your favorite book retailers or wherever books are sold. If you get this book, please write me and let me know your thoughts. I’m interested to know if anyone caught the significance of the title and the parallels to our characters in the story. Until next time, Nerds, you know what to do!