Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Featured Author Dawn Kopman Whidden - A Child Is Torn Book Review

A Child Is Torn: Innocence Lost

By Dawn Kopman Whidden

4 Stars
Review by Rene

This is such a riveting story and involves many characters. The whole premise of the story circles around a young child at the age of 10 named Brad. His parents were found brutally murdered in their home; meanwhile Brad was found covered in blood, playing a video game in the other room. Now the question is.....did he do it? and if he did....why did he do it.

This book also focuses around the lives of two other characters, Officer Marty Keal and Dr. Hope Rubin. Please do not think that this is your typical murder mystery book, all good books always have a romantic story in it as well. Read about these characters along with many others and see how things unfold. 

Brad is admitted to Armistace Mental Health Institution for Children and is now under the care of Dr. Hope Rubin. She is determined to get down to the bottom of it. Marty and Hope made many stops during this investigation trying to learn as much as they could about Brad, trying to see if he had reason to murder his parents and if not him.....who? Brad was a very sweet child who got along with everyone, and was raised by 2 very kind parents. So where is the disconnect? Does Brad have an internal switch and turned into a murderous child, was he put up to it by someone else, or is he taking the blame for someone.

Read the book, enjoy the roller coaster! 


This author has always been intrigued by the Nature versus Nurture argument. It is as profound to me as which came first—The Chicken or the Egg? Where do our personalities come from? I have often wondered why children being raised in the same home by the same parents will have totally different demeanor's and personalities. Some researchers claim that the answer lies in the order of their birth. Others insist our eating habits and the chemicals that are being injected into our food sources have some responsibility. 

Why then do twins—whether identical or fraternal—develop completely different talents and personas? Or why do identical twins who have been raised apart and not even knowing of each other’s existence tend to be attracted to the same type of partner, enjoy the same hobbies, dislike the same foods, and in some known cases even give their children the same names? Is it coincidence or is something more mysterious at work here? 

How can some children like Liz Murray who was raised by dysfunctional and mentally ill parents go from homeless to Harvard? While others who come from a seemingly normal life develop mental illnesses or criminal behaviors? I am sure you, the reader, have often pondered this in your own lives. We all know children who have caused their parents such heartache and parents who have tried to beat down their children’s spirits by horrendous physical and mental abuse only to produce successful and happy adults. 

Can we inherit from our DNA something that can become a stronger force than years of love and nurturing? Can one gene that has been dormant for generations suddenly turn up and turn the most innocent newborn into a monster as the years go by? Should we all take a good look at our future mate’s 
family history before we decide to marry and have a family? 

Will science in the future help us determine if someone’s genetic makeup will produce a Jeffrey Dahmner or Ted Bundy and we can avoid the horrors and heartache that these type of individuals cause? 

Maybe one day we will have the answers and mental illness will be a thing of the past, but until then we will just have to continue to ask the question: Which is the more dominate factor in contributing to who we are—NATURE or NURTURE?

When dependable Evan Madison fails to show up for work, police are dispatched to his home. His ten-year-old son, Brad, is discovered inside, unharmed and seemingly alone. He is stoic, sitting in front of the television playing his favorite video game, Super Mario—and he’s covered in blood.

Veteran Police Officer Marty Keal is the first on the scene. With his many years of experience, he thinks he’s seen it all. That is, until he discovers Brad’s not really alone after all. Upstairs in their bedroom lies the brutally bludgeoned and deceased bodies of both his mother and his father. When questioned, Brad confesses to the horrific murders.

When Brad is transferred to a local mental health institution for children, Dr. Hope Rubin is brought in to evaluate and treat the child. A preliminary investigation shows no evidence of any kind of mistreatment in his past. She must determine the disturbing truth: Is Brad telling the truth? Or is he covering for someone else?

Detective Jean Whitely rounds out the investigative team; and she suspects there is much more to the case than what meets the eye. The happily married mother of two in unwavering in her determination to uncover the real truth about Brad. Was he abused? Or is he the product of an evil seed born to kill?

As the layers of truth about Brad are systematically peeled away, you will be compelled to ask yourself, Which is the more dominate factor in contributing to who we are—NATURE or NURTURE?

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