Make Them Cry by Kevin O’Brien


Make Them Cry, Kevin O’Brien, 2002

My favorite quote: “‘Why am I standing in this stupid empty tub?’ she asked. ‘So it catches all the blood,’ he replied.” (I mean, why else would you be standing in an empty tub, right?)

Notable characters: Father Jack Murphy, a widower and spiritual advisor at Our Lady of Sorrows seminary; Johnny Costello, Jack’s friend who dies under mysterious circumstances; Maggie Costello, Johnny’s sister and Jack’s friend; Peter Tobin, a talented young artist

Most memorable scene: Because Kevin O’Brien knows how to set a damned good scene, there are many memorable moments in Make Them Cry … but when I think of this book, I’ll always recall the moment when Father Jack finds his young friend John in the lake

Greatest strengths: The tension. In true Kevin O’Brien style, there’s a little (and sometimes, a lot) of it on every page in Make Them Cry. Every. Single. One. 

Standout achievements: There’s a lot to admire here, but I’m going to go with its guts. With its seminary setting, list of Catholic schoolboy suspects, and sexually-charged indecencies, Make Them Cry is bound to raise some eyebrows, and to that, I say, Yay! As far as I’m concerned, the world’s collective eyebrows can never be raised quite high enough, but that’s just me … 

Fun Facts: This is the first Kevin O’Brien book I ever read. I was at a bookstore with a friend looking for something new and super horrory. My friend picked up Make Them Cry, looked at it, and said, “Here. This sounds like something you’ll like.” I was like, “This doesn’t look super horrory, but okay, whatever that means.” So I bought it, took it home, and put it on my shelf where it sat, just looking all handsome and smart for about two years until one day, I finally picked it up and gave it a read. My friend was right. Make Them Cry is exactly the kind of book I like. In fact, I liked it so much I made it my mission to not only read all of Kevin O’Brien’s books, but to meet the man himself. And so I did. I didn’t stalk him exactly — well, I guess I kinda did — but anyway, he has since become a very dear friend to both me and my collaborator, Tamara Thorne, so I must not have been too terribly creepy about the whole thing

Other media: N/A

What it taught me: I was surprised by a lot of the more … shall we say, scandalous events that take place in Make Them Cry. This book started me on a road of research into the inner workings of the church and I found myself surprised but kinda not surprised by how many of these scandals actually take place

How it inspired me: Tamara Thorne and I created a character in Kevin O’Brien’s honor — Ryan O’Brien — in our gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Ryan is Kevin’s (fictional) nephew who aspires to be a writer just like his uncle Kevin (we don’t know how to tell him this, but Ryan has a long way to go if he ever wants to be as good as Uncle Kevin) 

Additional thoughts: Even after several reads (I think I’m up to four or five now) Make Them Cry not only remains one of my favorite Kevin O’Brien books, but one of my favorites of ALL time. I attribute this to its uniqueness. There just aren’t books out there like this one. If Make Them Cry was a color, it would be one that I’ve never seen. It hits all the right notes, but in a new, refreshing way. It crosses lines and challenges the conventions of the thriller genre. In short, in a genre where the unexpected is, well, expected, Make Them Cry does the unexpected. Which was totally unexpected 

Hit or Miss: Hit. And for the record, I have yet to come across a Kevin O’Brien book that misses

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Read Make Them Cry

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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