Reviews for Model Child:
Goodwin (The Stephen Hawking Death Row Fan Club, 2015) seamlessly combines a psychological thriller with a philosophical meditation on the existence and meaning of evil. The plot’s suspense builds slowly, but never laboriously, as the author keeps readers tantalized, but never sated, in their thirst for the next revelation. This is a somewhat unconventional mystery, as the perpetrator of the central crime is never in question. Instead, the entire story is a quest for intent—some rational explanation for the initially inscrutable. As a result, the novel hinges on the depth of its characterizations, and on this score, Goodwin doesn’t disappoint.
A thoughtful and discomfiting look at the dark depths of human nature.
Penny Goetjen, national award-winning author:
Set apart from most mysteries—a whydunnit instead of a whodunnit—Model Child is a compelling story that imperceptibly wraps a firm grip around your wrist and refuses to let go. It was the first book in a long time I found difficult to put down. There’s an eloquence in R. C. Goodwin’s style of writing, allowing you to slip easily into the rhythm of his words. My next read will be his The Stephen Hawking Death Row Fan Club.
5 STARS Jessica A. on Goodreads.com:
“Psychological thriller” doesn’t even begin to describe this book. Not only is it intensely thrilling, but it is also brimming with themes such as love and acceptance, guilt and heartache, and every nuanced shade of gray between good and evil. Goodwin, in his very first novel, achieves a superb balance between exciting plot twists and complex, profound character development. The characters truly come to life with all of the emotions and subtleties of real people. I believe that is what transforms Goodwin’s fascinating story idea into an enthralling novel. A common, if not overused, way to describe a book is as “riveting” and “hard to put down,” but there are times when these terms are the best way to describe the reading experience. I will, without fail, put a book down and forget about it if I do not love it, regardless of who the author is or how interesting the story may have sounded. It is huge that I was literally unable to put this book down and utterly incapable of stopping myself from thinking about it. At every single turn I just HAD to know what was coming next. I guarantee this book will make you think, it will break your heart, it will make you sick, and it will delight you. I might even go so far as to say it will enlighten you and guide you to see human nature in an entirely different light. Seriously, give it a read.
5 STARS Terry W. on Amazon.com:
What a great read! Hal Gottlieb, forensic psychiatrist, tackles the most difficult case of his career when he struggles to learn why a good guy, Mr. James Shannon—a person without the typical mental health or criminal baggage associated with folks he’s seen over his illustrious career—has decided to kill his daughter in cold blood. But more than a fast-paced psychological thriller, this is a story about Hal Gottlieb, a guy who struggles with his own insecurities—about his marriage, his relationship with his adolescent son and how best to help Mr. Shannon avoid the lethal injection. Dr. Goodwin, whose experience as a forensic psychiatrist lends exquisite credibility to his story, guides the reader through his painstaking investigation to a surprising ending.
Reviews for The Stephen Hawking Death Row Fan Club:
grassrootswritersguild (Julia Simpson-Urrutia):
“All the stories are excellent . . . I highly recommend this compelling collection . . .It makes you think, and will stay with you for a long, long time.”
From Kirkus Reviews:
Goodwin’s potent debut drama is a series of stories about the U.S. rehabilitation system and how criminal acts affect the lives of criminals and victims alike. . . a collection of prison-centric stories that astonishes with its vibrancy and strong characters.
Named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Indie Books of 2015.
This is storytelling at its finest and I found myself truly caring about some of these characters, even the ones who were guilty of committing heinous crimes. Goodwin gives each character and story a human element that allows the reader to slip into the story in a way that few authors can achieve…“The Stephen Hawking Death Row Fan Club” is a very strong short story collection that is sure to satisfy any reader.