Category Archives: Man of the Year

Review: Man of the Year by Caroline Louise Walker

Title: Man of the Year by Caroline Louise Walker
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: C

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Beware the Man of the Year. You may praise him, resent him, even want to be him: but beneath the elegant trappings that define him, danger looms. Caroline Louise Walker’s stunning debut novel, for fans of Herman Koch’s The Dinner and Shari Lapena’s The Couple Next Door, delves into the increasingly paranoid mind of a man whose life as the most upstanding of citizens hides a relentlessly dark heart.

Dr. Robert Hart, Sag Harbor’s just-named Man of the Year, is the envy of his friends and neighbors. His medical practice is thriving. He has a beautiful old house and a beautiful new wife and a beautiful boat docked in the village marina. Even his wayward son, Jonah, is back on track, doing well at school, finally worthy of his father’s attentions. So when Jonah’s troubled college roommate, Nick, needs a place to stay for the summer, Hart and his wife generously offer him their guest house. A win-win: Jonah will have someone to hang with, and his father can bask in the warm glow of his own generosity.

But when he begins to notice his new houseguest getting a little too close to his wife, the good doctor’s veneer begins to crack. All the little lies Robert tells—harmless falsehoods meant to protect everything he holds dear—begin to mount. Before long, he’s embroiled in a desperate downward spiral, destroying the lives that stand in his way. It’s only the women in his life—his devoted office manager, his friends, his wife—who can clearly see the truth.

Biting and timely, Man of the Year races along at an electric pace, with a wicked twist that you won’t see coming.


Man of the Year by Caroline Louise Walker is a diabolically clever mystery.

Dr. Robert Hart is Sag Harbor’s newly minted Man of the Year but instead of riding high, he is beset by doubts and suspicions about his wife Elizabeth’s fidelity. Robert’s college age son Jonah and his best friend Nick Carpenter are visiting  when Elizabeth invites Nick to stay with the three of them for the summer. Robert is less than pleased since he is very eager to see the last of Nick. Plus Elizabeth’s invitation ratchets up his certainty she and Nick are sleeping together.  He then begins a concerted, sly campaign to induce Nick to leave but exactly how far is Robert willing to gto to eject their houseguest?

Robert is a self-centered and possessive man who quickly becomes paranoid about the people around him. He has his reasons for distrusting Elizabeth but is he reading the situation with Nick correctly? Unable to find definitive proof of their affair, Robert instead does everything he can to get rid of the young man. He starts making some very ill-thought out decisions that eventually come back to haunt him and place him in a very precarious position. Just as things begin to spiral further of control, Robert must contend with unexpected situations both at work and at home.

With a unique premise, Man of the Year is a fascinating character driven mystery. Unfortunately most of the story takes place inside of Robert’s head which is not the most pleasant experience. Although Robert is the primary narrator, a few chapters are written from various character’s perspectives. The storyline is intriguing but the pacing is quite slow until around the half way point. With some shocking twists and stunning turns, Caroline Louise Walker brings the novel to a bit of a frustratingly ambiguous conclusion. All in all, an entertaining debut.

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Filed under Caroline Louise Walker, Contemporary, Gallery Books, Man of the Year, Mystery, Rated C, Suspense