Review of “My Father Didn’t Kill Himself” – Russell Nohelty

Genre: (any language warnings, explicit sex or anything that might offend anyone) YA Mystery. This book deals with death, loss, and grief. There are difficult concepts to deal with and uncomfortable.

 

Blurb: 

 
How would you cope is somebody you love committed suicide?

Delilah’s father is the greatest man she has ever known. When he commits suicide her world is shattered. She can’t eat. She can’t sleep. Her bubbly personality becomes ascorbic. All she wants is to be left alone.

When his insurance policy refuses to pay out, Delilah sets out to prove what she’s known all along: that his suicide was in fact a murder.

A story of getting over grief and learning those you idolize aren’t perfect, told in blog posts through Delilah and her best friend.

On the surface My Father Didn’t Kill Himself is a mystery book, but right below the surface is a story of how people get over grief. And not just how Delilah gets over her grief of losing the person she idolizes most in the world. Also about how a wife gets over the grief of her husband, a husband that was supposed to provide for her, but instead left her alone and destitute.

Mixed with that is the loss felt by Alex, Delilah’s best friend, in losing her best friend to the anguish of grief, watching her slip away and pull back from the world, feeling helpless.

 

Amazon Print Link
Kindle Link
WANNABE PRESS STORE LINK

 

DROWNING

Posted by Delilah Clark × December 15 at 9:31 pm.

Here is what The Suicide Handbook says about drowning.

Drowning in cold water is supposed to be like going to sleep. For me, it was a nightmare.

Shivering, freezing, I sat for a minute until my body

Adjusted to the cold. Then I sunk down under the water. The cold washed over me, but my lungs were on fire. Before I could pass out my natural instincts kicked in. I couldn’t fight them. I kicked and screamed

until half the water was gone. I gasped for air. It was frightful.

I performed my experiment much like J. I laid down in the tub until my body adjusted to the temperature. Once I was acclimated, I sunk below the water. I breathed out until there were no bubbles. And I waited. It didn’t take long for the fire in my lungs to start. Soon, it was unbearable. My body thrashed around for a moment before I shot out of the water and gasped for precious air.

I wholeheartedly endorse every word J said.

On top of that I realized something.

If I died in this tub, my bowels would empty, and I would be sitting in feces-filled water until somebody found me. That is not a dignified way to die—my bowel excretion muddying the water and coating me in a fine mist of poop. They’d be scrubbing for days to get me ready for the casket.

No thank you.

CEMETERY

Posted by Delilah Clark × December 16 at 7:22 pm.

Before every session with Dr. Bennett, Susie drives me to the cemetery and tries to coerce me into visiting my father’s grave.

I’d never been to his grave before; not since the funeral. It didn’t seem important to me.

It’s not like he’s in there anyway. Maybe his body, but not him. If he’s anywhere, he’s by my side as I try to fulfill his last wishes, not hanging out in a cemetery.

But Susie always insists on driving to the cemetery anyway. The cemetery is a weird place full of weird people. There’s this tall undertaker who seems a little too into the dead people’s families. He’s like overeager for them to buy something. His smile creeps me out. 

There’s a grave digger who has to be high on something because he moves slower than molasses. Sometimes I catch the funeral director yelling at him, as if that’s going to motivate somebody that digs graves for a living to pick up the pace. Shocker, it never worked. 

They’re not weird in a bad way though. Some of them I could like if I didn’t hate everybody on principle. There’s this guy who is always reading comic books. He introduced himself to me one day as “Roscoe. Roscoe Fay.” Like he’s James Bond or something. He just sits under this tall oak tree overlooking the cemetery and silently reads comics. I would watch him read sometimes, letting my eye catch a cool image every once and a while.

I would usually just sit there, looking out at the cemetery, until Susie gave up and drove us away. But today was different. Today, I felt a twinge in my stomach, a pang, not quite a stress baby, but maybe a stress zygote, or an unfertilized egg.

I needed to see his grave. I needed to talk to him.

Susie was ready to fight, but before she could open her big mouth I pushed out of the door and walked over to his grave.

It was weird.

For all my research on death, I had no idea how to act in a cemetery. I saw a few people crying over graves and placing flowers on them as they rehashed their day.

That isn’t me. I’m cried out.

His gravestone was simple and to the point.

 

Tim Clark. Devoted husband and father.

I read it over and over again. Have you ever noticed that any word you say over and over again sounds super weird? Just try saying neck two hundred times and tell me that’s not a silly word by the end?

By the eight millionth silent loop, my dad’s name sounded like an alien language. Maybe Zorgblopple, which I just made up.

“Hey dad,” I finally said. “How are you doing? Probably not so bad, right? I mean worms might be eating your insides, but at least you can’t feel how cold it is, right?”

I paused, waiting for a response from him. I felt like an idiot.

“It’s been snowing here a lot. Remember when Mom went out of town for the weekend and it rained? You always said that God was crying because he missed her. I thought that was silly, but I always think about that when it rains or snows now.”

I liked it. I liked it so much I skipped therapy and sat there most of the day. I really can’t tell you how much better than therapy it is.

 

Amazon Print Link / Kindle Link / Wannabe Press Website

 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
 
My Father Didn’t Kill Himself discusses several touchy subjects: suicide, underage drinking, and a sex game high schoolers have conjured up using jelly bracelets. 
 
Fortunate for me, I have a son who’d rather stay at home and play video games than go to parties. Yes, I lucked out. However, many other parents aren’t so lucky. I firmly believe they’ll be some long talks after a parent reads this. Actually, I hope teenagers decide to speak up and discuss this book, their problems, basically whatever is on their minds, with someone — mom, dad, grandparent, etc. 
 
IMHO, and maybe I’m wrong, but I think opening a dialogue between caregiver and the young adult was the intent of My Father Didn’t Kill Himself. For that purpose, I think Russell nailed it. 
 
Despite the nature of each chapter, only one bothered me the most — “Jenny’s Party”. As a reader, as a mom, I found this section rather disturbing. I can see the point of the chapter. Yes, parties occur and terrible acts happen at them; those punishable by law. I, for one, DID NOT like the name of the drink (too disgusting to say) and I DID NOT like how Delilah (Russell) described high school boys. As I stated above, I am a mother to a almost severteen year old and my son is NOT 5 drinks away from forcing himself on an unconscious anyone. 
 
Not all boys are like that. Frankly, to say so was in extreme poor taste. 
 
With that rant over, I will reiterate, My Father Didn’t Kill Himself will and should make parents sit down with their child(ren) and have a great heart to heart talk. 
 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
 
 

Amazon Print Link
Kindle Link
WANNABE PRESS STORE LINK

 

Russell Nohelty is a writer, publisher, and consultant. He is the publisher of Wannabe Press and its main author. Russell likes to write genre fiction with deep character studies. He’s sadistic with his characters, putting them in the worst situations and watching them claw their way back up, just to kick them back into the abyss. Russell started his career writing comics, and now writes novels and children’s books as well. 

Social Media Links: @russellnohelty (twitter/Instagram)

www.facebook.com/russellnohelty

Author email address: russell@wannabepress.com

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply