Cover image for Sins of two fathers
Sins of two fathers
Hamill, Denis.
Personal Author:
First Atria Books hardcover edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Atria Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
372 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf

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Acclaimed author and New York Daily News columnist Hamill offers a provocative novel about families, fathers, and sons--and how far a responsible journalist will go in the name of the truth.

Author Notes

Denis Hamill is the author of "House on Fire", "3 Quarters", "Throwing 7's", "Stomping Ground", & "Machine". A columnist for the New York "Daily News", he lives in New York City.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

From the popular newspaper columnist and mystery author comes a novel about a popular newspaper columnist trying to solve a mystery. Hank Tobin, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the New York Examiner, is having some problems. His wife has left him, accusing him of having an affair, which he denies (but do we believe him?). Somebody who calls himself LL is offering Tobin anonymous tips on hot stories (could LL be Hank's own son, a rival columnist?). And, when Hank digs into the fire-bombing of a Brooklyn mosque, he begins to suspect that the mysterious LL is behind it, and that it's all part of a twisted plot to get revenge on Hank (but for what offense?). Hamill tantalizes us from the get-go: the book opens with Hank working to free his son, who is facing 25 to life in prison for a crime Hank knows he didn't commit, and then skips back in time three days, when Hank is returning home from an assignment overseas. What could possibly happen in three days to put Hank's son, the up-and-coming newspaperman, behind bars? And what, if anything, does the mysterious LL have to do with it? This is a convoluted, thought-provoking novel that should appeal to readers keen on mysteries based on character and motivation, not on guns and chase scenes. It also offers a terrific, richly detailed portrait of contemporary journalism; Hamill shows us the newsroom environment and the daily life of a columnist with almost documentary realism. A real winner. --David Pitt Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

There are many fine things in Hamill's latest action-packed thriller, though a credible villain isn't one of them. There's a pitch-perfect portrait of a post-9/11 New York City-including details of what it's like to be stopped and strip-searched at JFK airport; what happens when you think a letter you've just received is laced with anthrax; how close you can come to dying by taking notes when a National Guardsman says you can't; or what it's like being on the wrong Brooklyn street when a militant Jewish vigilante group rolls by. There's also a juicy picture of media high life in Manhattan, the home turf of Hamill's hero, Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper columnist and novelist Hank Tobin. The novel's only flaw is the all-knowing, all-powerful, endlessly resourceful "LL"-a vengeful father forced into drastic action by a column Tobin wrote 10 years ago that wrongfully sent his son to prison. "LL"-whose background as a janitor is unconvincingly offered to explain his instant access to everything from Tobin's private cell phone number to his newspaper health insurance-is using his superpowers to frame Hank's son, Henry Jr., a promising 22-year-old journalist, on the charge of bombing a Brooklyn mosque. Hank, separated from his retired cop wife and estranged from his family after years of boozing and related sins, strives for all kinds of redemption as Hamill's runaway train of a plot barrels along. Readers should enjoy the ride, especially the scenery. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Hotshot journalist Hank Tobin, whose brutal expos? wrecked one man's life, will soon discover the meaning of revenge-even as a mosque burns in Brooklyn. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.