Fathers and Sons and Books
By Sean Chercover
Father’s Day has me in its crosshairs.
You might naturally think that’s because of my role as a father, but it’s really my role as a son (who is also a father). My dad died on July 3 2010, at the age of 80, having lived a hell of a life.
This will be my third Father’s Day without my dad. I miss him not just on Father’s Day, but every day. Being his son wasn’t always easy and there were some years of emotional estrangement, but we found our way back to each other as adults, before it was too late. My last words to him were, “I love you, Dad,” and his to me were, “I love you, Son.” I sat beside him and held his hand as he exhaled his final breath.
I’m so grateful to have had a father worth missing. Some of my childhood friends had fathers not worth missing. I was one of the very lucky ones.
What does this have to do with books? Everything.
When I was a kid, my dad introduced me to Robert Louis Stevenson and Arthur Conan Doyle, Alistair MacLean and Ian Fleming, Frederick Forsyth and John le Carre. And years later, I introduced him to Lawrence Block and James Lee Burke, Robert Crais and Lee Child.
Even during the times when we didn’t seem to have a lot to say to each other, we could always talk about Formula 1 racing and our favorite thrillers.
My own son is now almost seven, and reading to him is one of the great joys of my life. It’s been a blast these seven years, spending time together with Curious George and Paddington Bear and Encyclopedia Brown and The Great Brain and a host of other favorites from my childhood, as well as the new characters we discover together.
I’m astounded by how quickly seven years have passed, and I know it’ll be just a few more blinks-of-the-eye before I’m introducing him to my favorite “grown-up” books. And not much later before he returns the favor, introducing me to those he discovers independently of me.
THE FORT, by Aric Davis comes out today…but the story takes place in 1987. From their tree-house fort, Tim, Scott, and Luke—three 12-year-old best friends and blood-brothers—witness the kidnapping of a neighborhood girl, are disbelieved by police and parents, and risk their lives to make things right.
THE FORT has a lot to say about childhood, about the remarkable wisdom of boys (before puberty turns them into idiots), and about parenting. It is both a deeply moving coming-of-age story and a nail-biting thriller.
Everyone should read this book. And if you’ve got a dad or husband who loves crime fiction, THE FORT is a perfect Father’s Day gift.
~ Allison here: I’m so thrilled to have Sean Chercover with us today! He’s not only an amazingly talented writer, but he’s fun and smart 🙂 … I’ve been lucky to get to know him over the last few years through Thrillerfest … and you should know that his book THE TRINITY GAME was nominated for the Thriller Award … the Arthur Ellis Award … AND the Anthony Award!!!
Because THE TRINITY GAME is so amazing, I’m giving away a hardcover of Sean’s book to one lucky commenter! So please, talk about your dad, talk about thrillers, talk about books! Whatever you want. Or ask Sean a question, he’ll be popping in later to answer.