A Flaw in the Design
Nathan Oates' latest will keep your gears turning
Gil's life has been idyllic for more than a decade: after making the move from New York City to the countryside of Vermont and becoming an English professor at a local college, he now lives a peaceful life with his wife and two daughters — until his nephew comes to stay. In Nathan Oates' A Flaw in the Design, fiction and fact blur together to create a suspenseful mystery where not everything is as it seems.
When Gil's estranged sister and brother-in-law die in a mysterious accident, Gil is surprised to find that they've left guardianship of their teenage son Matthew to him, the very culprit behind the falling out between Gil and his sister seven years prior.
Now seemingly changed, Matthew shows little of the sinister child he used to be, instead putting forth a persona of ease and charm, lulling those around him into a false sense of security. Gil, however, still harbors some guilt as well as anger toward the boy, not forgetting the day in which he put his daughter's life in danger.
Although he hopes to put the past behind them, Gil starts to suspect ulterior motives when Matthew enrolls in one of his creative writing classes and begins turning in disturbing stories with details that are too close for comfort. When it seems that things may progress further, Gil feels he must take matters into his own hands in order to protect himself and his family, and expose the truth about his nephew.
While unreliable narrators are often used in the suspense genre, in this case it is up to the reader to determine how much or how little stock to put in each of the characters in Oates' novel. Employing third-person narration throughout, Oates carefully crafts a mind-bending thought puzzle, leading readers down a rabbit hole of paranoia surrounding Gil and Matthew.
Written in compulsive prose and with the makings of a one-session read, Nathan Oates' A Flaw in the Design will keep gears turning and minds thinking up until the very end.
Random House // 304 pages // Thriller, Mystery