This was an excellent read. I will go so far as to say that the son surpasses the father in regards to storytelling and character development. At least these days, anyway. (Don’t get me wrong, old school Stephen King is amazing. I just haven’t been all that impressed by his novels since the 90’s.)
The character development was very well done. I loved reading about the change to something not-quite-so-nice and then to see yet another change at the end. Excellent.
While I enjoyed it, it isn’t the happiest of books. What happened to Merrin was horrific, and honestly, I wanted the antagonist to be tortured to death in quite a number of slow and painful ways. The details of the plot are woven well enough to be quite realistic—realistic enough that I could believe our main character’s changes. And wish he’d done more to the antagonist.
If you like thriller, you’ll love it. Just be aware that it’s intense. Trigger warning indeed for rape/abuse victims.