NetGalley Review: Ill Will by Dan Chaon

31575382Title: Ill Will
Author: Dan Chaon
Published: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine Books
Pages: 496
Genre: Mystery, Thrillers
Review: ebook provided by NetGalley and Publisher
Buy Links: Amazon, 

“We are always telling a story to ourselves, about ourselves,” Dustin Tillman likes to say. It’s one of the little mantras he shares with his patients, and it’s meant to be reassuring. But what if that story is a lie?
A psychologist in suburban Cleveland, Dustin is drifting through his forties when he hears the news: His adopted brother, Rusty, is being released from prison. Thirty years ago, Rusty received a life sentence for the massacre of Dustin’s parents, aunt, and uncle. The trial came to symbolize the 1980s hysteria over Satanic cults; despite the lack of physical evidence, the jury believed the outlandish accusations Dustin and his cousin made against Rusty. Now, after DNA analysis has overturned the conviction, Dustin braces for a reckoning.
Meanwhile, one of Dustin’s patients gets him deeply engaged in a string of drowning deaths involving drunk college boys. At first Dustin dismisses talk of a serial killer as paranoid thinking, but as he gets wrapped up in their amateur investigation, Dustin starts to believe that there’s more to the deaths than coincidence. Soon he becomes obsessed, crossing all professional boundaries—and putting his own family in harm’s way.
From one of today’s most renowned practitioners of literary suspense, Ill Will is an intimate thriller about the failures of memory and the perils of self-deception. In Dan Chaon’s nimble, chilling prose, the past looms over the present, turning each into a haunted place.

I received this book via NetGalley to give an honest review.

When I read the blurb I really was interested in what this story was going to be about. It seemed to right up my alley. Well that wasn't the case for me I was really totally lost through out the whole book. It seemed too have two different plots trying to come together, not too mention the sentences not being finished. Another thing that bothered me was the jumps between characters and I didn't know who we were dealing with at first, until I read a few pages then it clicked. 
What really bothered me is what looked like maybe journal entries??? Not really sure what too call them but they were incomplete sentences that drove me crazy. 
I really liked how it seemed that this story deals with memories and how being young you can have your memories altered which seemed to be the case with Dustin. Though we slowly learn this throughout the story. 
It seems that Dustin's adopted brother Rusty likes the dark side of things so when their parents along with two others are murdered. Rusty seems to have the murders pinned on him, though is he truly innocent? It seems that Rusty has a few things to deal with when he gets out. Now while Dustin is dealing with his brother, he is dealing with things going on in his personal life and trying to solve murders. It seems that Dustin isn't running on all cylinders. 
The twist about the murders doesn't come into play until well towards the end and at the time I kept wondering if the murder was Dustin's alter ego or maybe even a figment of his imagination. I wasn't really sure as I was just not able too keep up. 
The book has possible potential maybe a clearer plot line or if the author is going to bring two plots together do it in a way that you are left with no questions. 
As far as characters go I felt they were just one dimensional I couldn't connect or relate in any way.  

Dan Chaon
Dan Chaon is the author of Among the Missing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and You Remind Me of Me, which was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, The Christian Science Monitor, and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications. Chaon’s fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction, and he was the recipient of the 2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Chaon lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and teaches at Oberlin College, where he is the Pauline M. Delaney Professor of Creative Writing. His new novel, Await Your Reply, will be published in late August 2009.


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