by Justin Evans (2007)
Psychiatry and demonic possession collide brilliantly in Justin Evans’s debut thriller, A Good and Happy Child. Partially set in modern day New York, where a young father is seeking help for the crippling fear of loving his baby son and partially set in that man’s youth spent in a Virginia college town, the novel swings back and forth between adulthood and childhood; faith and reason – Evans’s greatest achievement is that you can enjoy the book no matter where your personal beliefs fall.
The back of the paperback would lead you to draw comparisons to The Exorcist and The Little Friend, but I consider those masterpieces, and A Good and Happy Child didn’t draw me in quite as much – still, it’s well written, often tense and would, in the right hands, make for a pretty great movie in the tradition of The Omen. Imagine character actor extraordinaire Tom Noonan as Tom Harris.
Evans did a lot of research on cases of demon possession and drew from his own childhood in Virginia growing up with a belief in and experiences with ghosts to create a rich story that is leaps and bounds above your average demon filled paperback out for quick and easy thrills. Well worth the five years it took to write. I look forward to reading more by this author.
The author, Justin Evans.
Anneliese Michel, a young German woman on whom an exorcism was performed. The story of “Emily Rose” was based on her.
Tom Noonan, the perfect actor to cast as Tom Harris in the inevitable adaptation.