Ill Will

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 May 2017

Member Reviews

This was a thrilling read indeed. Chain always manages to catch the attention of his readers immediately. This story was so full of twists and turns—the perfect noir thriller.
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I received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.

Honestly, I did not finish this novel. I was super excited for this novel because it sounded like a good story line and then just from the beginning I was skeptical. I did not like the writing style with the very short chapters and just stopping as that story is getting going in the chapter and then it would just stop...and the next chapter would move onto a different bit of the story that does NOT compliment the chapter you were just reading. So that was the issue to begin with that I was annoyed with. The book seemed to start to getting more interesting as the chapters began getting more detailed and then (SPOILER ALERT!!!) the novel began describing child sexual abuse between the main character and an older sibling and I was just kind of done. I have no interest in continuing this novel after I hit that bit. I am sure it could be good and interesting, however, I feel like that was a bit too much for me and certainly way to close to my real job as a social worker and dealing with people with trauma.
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It wasn't a bad book per say but I don't quite know how to review this book honestly. It was at places and moments very well written and at others incredibly choppy. Put me off to be fair with you.
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Not my favorite from Dan Chaon.  I felt it was very poorly written. I think the author was trying to be creative but many of the chapters ended in the middle of the sentence.  I didn't think it made the text at all suspenseful.  Would not recommend.
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This book wasn’t for me. I decided not to review it on my site or any of the major retailers/Goodreads.
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I have enjoyed everything this author has brought out. Super talented and this story was another edge of your seat tale that I greatly enjoyed.
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I found the book hard to get into and keep my interest. While I generally love the whole past rising up to meet the present genre I did not feel it was done well in this book. I found it confusing and hard to follow hence my interest failed.
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This was my first read by Dan Chaon and I have to say that I was completely surprised. I really think that this one is going to be a really good seller for Dan Chaon and I am anxious to see what we get next from him!

Dustin is a psychologist in his 40s that lives in suburban Cleveland. Dustin has just learned that his adopted brother, Rusty, that has been in jail for the murder of his parents, an aunt and uncle is about to get out.

Dustin goes about his work with his patients and they end up getting him engaged in several cases that are all drownings involving college boys. These cases strike Dustin as odd and he begins to wonder if they could have a serial killer on their hands. Dustin becomes obsessed with trying to figure out the cases and even ends up putting his family in danger as well.

This read will keep you turning the pages for sure. I am glad that I gave this one a chance and look forward to more from Dan Chaon.
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I had a bit of a tough time with this one. I liked the premise- a 40 something psychologist is trying to move on from the tragedy that struck his family years ago when he hears that his convicted killer step brother is being released from prison- but I found the writing convoluted and the characters to be just too unlikable. The Satanic worship was an interesting angle, and I do think it's reminiscent of the 80s, but other than that it didn't do anything to move the plot along. The writing was interesting and he used some unique techniques to tell the story, but in the end it didnt grip me and I found myself drifting out of interest in the story.
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Yet another book that apparently gets glowing reviews and I can't seem to figure out why.  I hated the writing and couldn't find it in me to care about the main characters.  I would not recommend.
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Depressing, and not in a good way. Just left me with a sad, ugh feeling. I received this ARC from NetGalley - thank you!
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Enjoyed this quite a bit. I might have seen the ending coming had I not made the mistake of reading the beginning right before falling asleep, more than once, but this was a good exploration about the fallibility of memory.
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Ill Will is dark and twisted, playing with memory and stories — lies and truths — that get all mixed up as the years drag on. The very flawed protagonist, Dustin Tillman, is a lost soul only getting more lost after his wife, who seemed to be his anchor, dies.

Readers get the story from many points of view, from Dustin to his children, his cousins, Rusty, even his suggestive patient. We have a front row seat to Dustin’s obsession and inevitable unraveling.

I love that this man is a psychologist. After he put the death of his parents in a box and shut the lid, Dustin’s denial of his wife’s cancer, her impending death, and the out-of-control nature of his one son is inevitable. His other son’s need to escape is understandable.

I remember the hysteria of Satanic cults. A teen in the 80’s, it freaked me out. We were sure, in Colorado, that there were cults in the mountains, or the woods, or out in the plains. In spaces just beyond where we could see, in the shadows of every corner. And those older kids listening to REAL heavy metal (not hair bands, but the really dark stuff), well, they were probably into devil worship. Or that’s what our 14 year old minds believed.

It was all hype and hysteria, and this was all before the internet. Word of mouth hysteria, which seemed to make it worse.

Ill Will is a true thriller, giving readers suspense on all sides. From Dustin’s past, to Rusty’s impending release, to the deaths of college kids at colleges throughout Ohio (and the fact that a few of them are in my backyard was just crazy!). All of the stories hinge on lies and false memories, and finding the truth is part of the mystery, with the thrill and suspense along for the ride.

Chaon’s written a truly dark literary thriller, exploring so many aspects of the mind, especially a suggestible mind. This is not a quick, easy read; instead, its one that will stretch your mind and make you question what you remember.
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Couldn't figure out how to get this book to load on my device, do unfortunately never got a chance to read it....
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You know that chill you get when you walk into shadow? That is this book. 

A cold dark truth emerges from beneath this twisted murder tale as the timeline of a man’s life plays out and he must grapple with each new revelation about the people he thinks he knows best. 

This book is a tightly written page-turner due to Chaon’s mature and polished style. He is able to casually fill the story with people who get weirder and weirder, and will stop at nothing to tickle your psyche. I really enjoyed being creeped out by this read! 

A copy was received from the author so I could create this honest review. This review and more at annevolmering.com.
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I had a hard time with this book..The story line was very interesting but the format was totally confusing to me. In addition, there were too many unanswered questions.
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Ill Will is more about the stories we tell to expose ourselves and Dustin is exposed.  This will not make you want to visit your local psychiatrist but the twists will keep you reading.  Enjoy
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DNF. It seemed more like rambling and was very hard to follow.
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This is one unique book.  I will first say that I had an ARC from NetGalley but chose to listen to the finished version on audio.   A few of the chapters end, just stop, right in the middle of a thought, of a sentence.  Why?  Being edgy, risky, gimmicky?   Mr. Chaon, I don't usually care for gimmicks or such distractions. (This IS at least explained later.) The narration switches between characters, between first, second, and third person, and between past and present.  Why all the jumping around in books these days?  I don't usually care for that either, and was one of the reasons I gave your book You Remind Me of Me only 2 stars.

But, again, this book is SO different, to put it mildly.  This book, gimmicks and all, hooked me by the neck and yanked me along its journey through no less than two gripping murder investigations, two cancer deaths, two estranged brothers, two sisters also estranged, hard drugs, and multiple versions of the past.  Our remembrances of our own pasts are called into question:  You think no one knows your past better than yourself, but Chaon takes you by the neck, again, looks you square in the eye, and says Hah!  That's what you think!  And when a traumatic event such as finding your parents, aunt, and uncle all dead is involved, and of course when buku drugs are being ingested, memories are even more sporadic or repressed.

The older I become, the more I am uncertain of my own memories.  This is a subject that always fascinates me, in books or in discussions.  So I  was simply captivated by this book and wished I could get back to it every time I put it down.   It was chilling, and the author's choice to be a little out there worked for me this time, but may not for others because....

I did read parts of the ARC aside from listening to it.  I could not get into the printed book at all and can see why some low ratings. My reason is that the formatting in some chapters gives us two or three columns of narration side by side on the pages.  Not so unusual, but then I could not figure out for certain if I was supposed to read all 3 columns on a page before turning the page, or was I supposed to read all pages of the left-hand column first, followed by all pages of the middle column, and then the right-hand.  I really didn't spend too much time on that since in the audio, that decision was made for me.  Thus, I for one would recommend the audio over other versions.  Plus, it was just excellent.
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