The Dead Kids Club

Fiction - Thriller - General
353 Pages
Reviewed on 01/15/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

The Dead Kids Club is an intense thriller by Rich Hosek. A divorced father narrates how the life of his young son ended too soon. As he drops his son Nick at school, the boy grabs his backpack and rushes to join the other first graders funneling into the school. But Nick forgot his lunch bag and rushes back to get it. Then it happened: An unrepentant drunk driver gets away with killing Nick. This tragedy becomes a catalyst for the narrator to get back with his wife, Rebecca, and they join forces to exact revenge against Anthony Vitali, the driver who killed Nick. Being the son of a major player in the mob, Vitali is a force to contend with. As the husband and wife team plots revenge, they must set the stage to play the role that will give them the one thing that they failed to get from police and the courts: justice. Better yet, revenge.

In The Dead Kids Club, Hosek gives generous insight into the mind and actions of the protagonist as well as his wife, because grief from the loss of their son makes them vulnerable and it clouds their judgment—which makes for a reasonable element to plot murder. The question is, can they? And the fast-paced plotting makes finding out the answer worth tracking along the pages. You will enjoy witnessing how this husband and wife team carries out their plans, and how they work to get out of dangerous situations and deal with shady characters. Hosek has written a thriller that reads like a James Patterson novel that you can devour in an hour or two. With a balance between mayhem and drama, The Dead Kids Club is a brilliant and gripping novel that will give you an adrenaline rush.

Susan Sewell

When a divorced couple's young son is killed by a drunk driver, they take back their lives by exacting revenge in the suspenseful thriller, The Dead Kids Club by Rich Hosek. Richard and Rebecca had been divorced for three years when the death of their son, Nick, brings them back together in an unexpected way. After the trial, where the driver is acquitted, Richard and Rebecca start making plans. First, they move back in together, next they join a support group, then they murder the man who killed their son. While the peaceful effects of getting revenge for Nick's untimely death are still satisfying, Rebecca insists they help other support group members get closure as well. Unfortunately, due to the unusual coincidences of child killers meeting their demise in the area, they attract the attention of a local mobster and a journalist. This turn of events convinces Richard that it is time to quit before they are caught either by the mob or the law. But is it already too late? Will they soon be swimming with the fishes or going to jail?

The Dead Kids Club by Rich Hosek is a unique and entertaining thriller where the serial killer is the good guy. Filled with heartrending scenes and callous killers, it is rather hard not to side with the vigilantes. I got caught up in the drama of the first scene and was so captivated I couldn't put the book down until I reached the scintillating conclusion. It is a fascinating tale with an intense plot, interesting characters, and an engaging storyline that I will not soon forget. It is a sensational book that will delight and entertain everyone who is a fan of suspense and thrillers. However, there are a few intimate scenes that, although not graphic, are more suitable for mature readers.

Grace Masso

The Dead Kids Club by Rich Hosek is a story of a couple that loses their son in a tragic accident. After dropping Nick off for school, his father is shocked as a drunk driver runs the kid over. The pain the father and his wife, Rebecca, experience is searing. They put all their hopes in the justice system, believing the rookie Assistant District Attorney’s confidence that it is an open and shut case. But they are stunned when Anthony Vitali, the killer, walks out of the courtroom a free man. Rebecca and her husband can’t bear the pain of seeing the killer of their son go free, so they set out to do the one thing possible: get not only justice but revenge. Can they find peace after murdering Anthony and can they get away with it?

Rich Hosek has written a beautiful story that explores the darkness of the human heart. The way the author writes about the experience of loss is wonderful and real, and it is easy for the reader to imagine the pain the protagonist and his wife go through. This pain of loss drives them and it defines motivation in this narrative. The prose is lofty and the author captures the emotions of the characters in descriptions that are clear and unmistakable. The Dead Kids Club is effectively written in the first-person narrative voice, allowing the perspective of the protagonist to come out neatly through the story. While the theme is dark, dealing with revenge, the author does a great job of infusing humanity into the characters. They reflect what most people can do when deeply hurt. This is a story that is emotionally rich and that features compelling characters, and the author’s expert handling of the plot is one of the things I loved most about this novel.

Jamie Michele

The Dead Kids Club by Rich Hosek is a thriller that revolves around two parents, Rebecca and Richard Argent, who are grappling with the emotional aftermath of their young son Nick's death. Hit and killed by a drunk driver in front of the horrified eyes of his father and other schoolchildren and parents, Nick's death goes unpunished as Anthony Vitali, the son of a notorious mob boss, walks away thanks to his father's money and connections. Rebecca and Richard are destroyed and their lives come crashing down around them, until a plan is hatched that circumvents the final stage of grief, acceptance, in favor of one that feels a lot more satisfying: revenge.

Rich Hosek writes with a straightforward voice that doesn't dance around seemingly impossible situations that give rise to rash actions in The Dead Kids Club. There is a very real, incredibly raw human element woven into the progression of Rebecca and Richard's anguish, one where the desire for inflicting suffering on those who created it in yourself overcomes what most would consider to be better judgment. Where Hosek shines is in making it so a reader roots for the blood of Vitali with the same fervor as the Argents' quest to spill it. From about the halfway mark in the story, this camaraderie between reader and protagonists starts to shift into growing tinges of doubt as their vigilantism spreads and the evolution of their private and public lives, their thirst for more, and the duplicitous sorry-not-sorry relief that overwhelms the Argents' support group of parents who have also lost their children. All combined, Hosek leads the character-driven plot with worthy anti-heroes and a satisfying series of wrongs dripping with enough moral ambiguity to make them feel maybe, possibly, just a little right.

Lesley Jones

In The Dead Kids Club by Rich Hosek, as the grieving parents of a young boy killed by a drunk driver called Vitali place their faith in the justice system, their hopes are soon destroyed. When Vitali is found not guilty and set free, their reason for living disappears. Their only means of emotional support is a bereaved parental group. Soon the mother becomes obsessed with avenging her son's death. She convinces her ex-husband to become her accomplice. However, their son's killer is connected to organized crime and the mob wants their own form of justice. As they avoid detection by the police and the mob, their mission to seek justice for other child murders escalates out of control. Their goal to give peace to other members of the group results in more child murderers having to die. Meanwhile, a ruthless mob enforcer, Manzonetti, is determined to find and exterminate Vitali's murderers and he has the grieving parents in his sights. While the parents believe they have escaped capture, Manzonetti moves in just as a witness to Vitali's murder comes forward.

The opening scene of The Dead Kids Club where the mother is trying to come to terms with losing her little boy was exceptional. Rich Hosek relayed her emotions and thought patterns so well and any parent would resonate with her. Every character is really beautifully created and their dialogue and mannerisms highlighted their personalities perfectly. The stories relayed during the bereavement support group were truly heartbreaking. Some of the murder scenes were graphic but this gave the plot a gritty realism I loved. I thought the scene between Tony Vitali and the father was filled with tension, a great example of a psychological cat and mouse. There is superb tension and great pockets of action throughout; you will struggle to put this novel down. I feel many parents would support the behavior of the parents while others would not and for this reason the author did a wonderful job of presenting both sides of the argument wonderfully. The ending was explosive and gripping.