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Counterfeit Son [Mass Market Paperback]

Elaine Marie Alphin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 8.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

June 28 2002
"An engrossing, suspenseful novel that is sure to keep the reader glued to the page." (Kirkus Reviews)

Cameron Miller is the son of a murderer. All he has ever known is the stench of the locked cellar, where he can hear the blows and cries and his father's torrent of terror and abuse. Then a miracle happens: his father is killed in a police shootout. In the aftermath, Cameron grabs his one chance for a normal life: he takes on the identity of Neil Lacey, a boy who Mr. Miller had abducted six years ago. As Neil, he has a life with loving parents, a brother and sister, and the comforts only money can buy. But someone knows what Cameron's doing—someone with the power to turn his life back into a nightmare.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

After suffering at his father s hands, as well as being locked in the cellar while his father beat to death more than 20 boys over the years, Cameron sees a chance at normal life by passing himself off as one of his fathers murder victims. PW wrote, Readers will be enthralled by the suspenseful plot. Ages 12-up. (July)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 8-10-A gripping but not altogether convincing psychological thriller. Cameron Miller's father was a serial killer who preyed on young boys; when he dies in a police shoot-out, Cameron takes on the identity of Neil Lacey, one of his father's victims who was abducted and supposedly murdered six years earlier. The Lacey family accepts "Neil" into their home with few questions, but he lives in fear that old dental records and a suspicious police officer will expose his lies. Finally, when someone from Cameron's past threatens his new family, the 14-year-old must decide whether to tell his "parents" the truth. The engaging premise will keep readers on the edge of their seats, though some of the plot points strain credibility. For example, the story depends on the fact that the parents refuse a DNA test to prove the boy's identity. The novel deals with the years of sexual and physical abuse that Cameron endured at the hands of his father, but only on a surface level and never in graphic detail. Many of the interactions between Cameron and his new family are quite moving, especially in the scenes where he expects punishment and finds kindness and love instead. Counterfeit Son ends with a clever twist that should surprise readers and leave them well satisfied with this solidly written, fast-paced read.
Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too March 10 2010
Format:Paperback
For years, a young boy lives with a serial killer and witnesses horrible acts of abuse and killing. Convinced that he has been "bad" and the beatings he receives are intended to correct his behavior, he follows the orders of his captor by attending school daily as if nothing is wrong, appearing in public places calmly and quietly, and returning to help his captor hide evidence and bury the bodies of other not-so-lucky boys.

When the serial killer is finally caught in a police raid, the young boy, who for years has been told he is the son of the killer, decides his only chance for a better life is to pretend to be one the missing boys. Neil Lacey's parents can hardly believe that the son they lost six years ago has been returned. Although at least one detective is suspicious of such a happy ending, they take Neil home and try to resume a normal family life.

Neil still thinks of himself as Cameron, and in his mind, he thinks of his cruel abuser as Pop. With knowledge he gained from newspaper clippings recounting stories of the missing Neil Lacey, he hopes to fool his new family. Between fear of discovery and the fear that the horrible beatings and other abuse he suffered at the hands of Pop will somehow return, Neil tries to settle in and renew relationships with his parents and brother and sister.

As the days and weeks after his rescue pass, Neil feels less and less secure. His sister, Diana, claims to have doubts that he is really her brother, and forensic testing on the bodies of the killer's victims might still ruin everything. Can he possibly pull this off? And why is he feeling more and more like maybe he might actually be Neil Lacey?

COUNTERFEIT SON is the type of story you might expect to watch on some TV docu-drama.
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4.0 out of 5 stars My Humble Opinion May 15 2006
By Queenie
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As the son of Hank Miller, a murderer, Cameron lives a nightmare. All that he has known throughout his life is abuse. He's become quite familiar with pain, his own agony and that of other unfortunate victims. But when his father is shot and killed by the police while resisting arrest, Cameron seizes the opportunity to adopt the identity of the late Neil Lacey, a boy that his father had abducted six years ago. To his incredible luck, Neil Lacey had loving parents, a brother and sister, expensive luxuries, and an appearance eerily similar to Cameron's. Neil's parents are far too taken with the return of Neil to suspect that he may be another person.The chance to become part of a real family seems all too good to be true. Unfortunately, Cameron's luck stops there. His obstacles include a detective investigating Hank Miller who doesn't believe in this fairy tale ending, Neil's sister who becomes suspicious as she notices the crinkles in Cameron's act and his dad's old friend who knows exactly what Cameron's doing. He lives in fear of the day that he loses his identity as Neil Lacey along with all hopes of a happy life.
Cameron is struggling with himself and the secret of his true identity. We peer into the psychological effects his life has had on him. We feel the tension as his secret comes close to being revealed, the fear he has and the guilt as his ethics come pounding on the door. Confused, he mixes up abuse with love. What a tough life for the guy. He's one of those characters that's quite believable. His behaviour is consistent with the personality that would've developed with the kind of life he has led. You'll find yourself holding your breath everytime Cameron comes close to getting busted and wishing for his well-being.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Counterfiet Son April 13 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Counterfeit Son by Elaine Marie Alphin is a good book. The author does an excellent of job of keeping the reader's attention and adding special events that keep the reader addicted to the story. The author also does an exceptional job at really getting into the mind of Cameron and conveying to us what is going through his brain at certain times.
Nevertheless, the thing that Alphin does the best in this story is that she writes about what Cameron is thinking at certain times. She really writes about the emotions and psychological attitudes a boy our age (14 or 15) is living through. The reader is basically brought into the mind of Cameron/Neil Lacey and is able to feel what Cameron is feeling.
However, the thing that really kept me reading was to find out how Cameron was able to take the identity of Neil Lacey and not be caught. Another thing was to find out how Cameron would be able to adapt to a totally new life style and try to fit into the shoes of Neil Lacey. Counterfeit Son is a very captivating novel that will leave you with a surprising ending.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Finding Yourself April 11 2004
By Ruby
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In this captavating novel, the narrative shows a great difference from the way Cameron's Pop showed love, by punishing him with belts resulting in injuries, compared to the love shown by Neil's parents, love through warm and safe embraces as well as good-night kisses. This shift in the opposites of human behavior and the affect it had on Cameron is tremendous. He found that love is not shown by hurting each other, but is shown by wanting what is best for another person. It is a bond that can never be broken, even after years with no contact. Parents punish someone to show a lesson, not because it brings them perverse pleasure in seeing someone they love being hurt. There is a fine line, but a line none the less between love and punishment and in this novel Cameron learns of this line and how love should truly be.
This two contrasting relationships are on opposite ends of the human behavioral scale, and the author, Elaine Alphin, does a spectacular job of showing the reactions of these two worlds on a boy our age. She shows the fear he has of being sought out and hurting his new family, as well as being frightened and wanting to go back to his Pop so he can know straight out how to act. The twists and turns of this book take us through the conflicts, internal and external of a young boy trying to deal with problems of great weight. This is what kept me, as a reader, reading and what kept me engaged in this astounding novel.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking Surprise
Elaine Marie Alpin out does herself on this book. With and unbelievably shocking ending, you can't go wrong reading this book. Read more
Published on April 11 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars Deep Characters but Slow Plot
In this book, Counterfeit Son by Elaine Marie Alphin, the reader is given a very detailed introduction into the life of the main character that we first know as Cameron Miller. Read more
Published on April 11 2004 by Wes McGinnis
1.0 out of 5 stars Too obvious..
This book was very predictable and boring to read. There was not enough action in this book from what I expected from reading the prologue of this book. Read more
Published on April 10 2004 by Janie
3.0 out of 5 stars Happy Ending
I found Counterfeit Son by Elaine Marie Alphin to be an exhilarating book full of suspense and excitement. Read more
Published on April 10 2004 by Suzie
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Not What It Seems
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was full of suspense and was a real thriller to the audience. It made you keep guessing what would happen next. Read more
Published on March 30 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Am i Missing the Engrossing Part?
The book "Counterfeit Son" written by: Elaine Marie Alphin, was semi-entertaining, I found it to be sort of demented and totally predictable. Read more
Published on March 25 2004 by Courtney
3.0 out of 5 stars Very intriguing book for Young Adults or Adults
I read this for an English Ed. class and really enjoyed it even though it is a young adult book. I finished the book in one sitting and found myself making a note to find more by... Read more
Published on Feb. 11 2004 by Melissa Alsman
5.0 out of 5 stars Counterfeit Son
Cameron Miller has been living under his father's torture for almost his whole life. His father has murdered and abused many boys while Cameron had to listen to their shrieks and... Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Books I've Read
Children's or adult's! Counterfeit Son is riveting from beginning to end. I admire the way the author makes it clear that Cameron has been through so much horror, yet is never... Read more
Published on March 24 2003 by D. Denny
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