What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Kill Switch is a disturbing psychological thriller about a high school senior's loyalty to his beloved grandfather, Da, who suffers from dementia and may have spent his career as a secret agent and assassin. The novel features a couple of violent scenes, the most harrowing of which involve the protagonist, Daniel. One supporting character is beaten badly, and another is killed. Daniel's adult cousin Jarrod is presented as a hapless stoner who supplies marijuana to Da and also procures and sells other illegal pharmaceuticals. But Daniel does not partake of any of these substances.
What's the story?
High school senior Daniel adores his grandfather, Da, who is in the grips of dementia. But when the old man begins telling stories of secret missions and assassination attempts, Daniel begins to worry that some of Da's former collegues are out to silence him permanently. The old man and young boy set off on a quest for sanctuary. But which one is ultimately more dangerous?
Is it any good?
KILL SWITCH has an intriguing premise and a likeable, if gritty, pair of main characters. But the execution of the plot feels somewhat labored and, ultimately, unrealistic. Some readers will find the direction of the final chapters unsettling, but others may enjoy the novel's dark ambiguity.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about what makes a novel a thriller. How is a thriller different from a mystery?
How is it possible to lead a double life -- to present yourself as one kind of person to your family and as another to your professional colleagues? What might be the difficulties of that kind of existence?
How do Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia alter the personalities of older people? Do you have any loved ones with dementia?