Counterfeit Son Review

Counterfeit Son
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Cameron Miller's father is a sadistic serial killer. He deeply enjoys beating and sexually abusing his son, and when he tires of this he kidnaps a boy and locks Cameron in the cellar, and Cameron has to listen to the victim until the screaming stops. This is his life; he knows no other. He can't remember much of his childhood, but seems to think that it's perfectly normal to be abused in such a fashion. Cameron survives by being totally obedient. He does whatever his father says. The reason the boys die is because they won't obey. Cameron notes that one boy who came did obey, and lived for three weeks, but went berserk and started screaming and throwing things, and Cameron's dad had to kill him.
Cameron gets a lucky break when his father is killed in a police shootout. He goes through his father's newspaper files on all the victims and decides to try to pass himself off as one of them, a boy named Neil Lacey. He picked Neil because he bore a strong resemblance to the boy, and because he knew Neil's family was wealthy (though another victim had been even wealthier) and had sailboats. Neil's parents immediately embraced him, but Neil's younger sister and the police detective in charge of the case were suspicious. Nevertheless, Cameron thought he could pull it off -- until one of his father's criminal associates showed up and started blackmailing him, and threatening to kidnap Neil's younger brother.
If it wasn't for the ending, I would have really liked this book. The ending is not quite so bad as in Terry Trueman's "Stuck in Neutral" but it certainly makes the book lose credibility. I'm not going to say what the ending is, except that Cameron Miller knows way more about how to sail a yacht than he should. Nonetheless, I would recommend this book, perhaps as a companion to Catherine Atkins's "When Jeff Comes Home".

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