ABANDONED by Dan Foley (A review)

(Originally published April 2, 2016 on peterndudar.wordpress.com)

The process of adoption and the issues it can carry can be difficult to the point of becoming emotionally scarring. After all, those who have been adopted had to have been given up by their birth parents in the point of life where a child would need them the most. Abandonment issues can fester and increase during the course of a lifetime, enough so that they can become consuming and lead to self-destructive behavior. These are the issues Dan Foley wrestles with in his new novel, ABANDONED.

For James Sutton, his whole childhood was a series of family and friends discarding him; from the shady legal transition from his biological parents to his adoptive folks to his best friend moving away and severing all ties with him to his first real love dumping him and moving on. With the death of his adoptive mom and the subsequent suicide of his adoptive dad, James loses his grip with sanity and builds a wall between himself and the rest of the world. And with an abandoned pair of eyeglasses appearing one day, he transitions into a chaotic world of empathizing with inanimate objects and drawing revenge on the living souls who would so carelessly discard them.

And in the process, James becomes a collector of the most macabre prizes.

When James’s biological mother hires a private detective to track her estranged son after a thirty year absence in his life, the die is cast in one of the strangest criminal cases Connecticut has ever seen, and James will have to decide if he can live a life of reconciliation with his mother and biological sisters, or whether he remains loyal to the body parts he keeps in jars…his family of abandoned misfits.

I found Dan Foley’s Abandoned to be a deliciously macabre dark comedy that serves as a reminder of just how close we all can be to the brink of insanity. There’s always that point where one can just snap, and once that happens it isn’t likely we’re ever coming back. Foley’s masterful wit and morbid imagination make this book feel like a forbidden peek behind the curtain of insanity…tickling your funny bone and giving you goose bumps at the same time.

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