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Publisher's Summary

“[One of the] buzziest new books arriving this season...[a] rollercoaster of terror, marked by whip-fast twists and turns.” (New York Times)

“Pulled me in from the first page.... Put this one high on your summer list.” (Stephen King)

When a small-town family is pushed to the brink, how far will they go to protect one of their own? An edgy, propulsive story about what we will do in the name of love and blood.

Tony has always looked out for his younger brother, Nick. So when he's called to a hospital bed where Nick is lying battered and bruised after a violent sexual assault, his protective instincts flare, and a white-hot rage begins to build.

As a small-town New England lawyer, Tony's wife, Julia, has cases involving kids all the time. When Detective Rice gets assigned to this one, Julia feels they're in good hands. Especially because she senses that Rice, too, understands how things can quickly get complicated. Very complicated.

After all, one moment Nick was having a drink with a handsome stranger; the next, he was at the center of an investigation threatening to tear not only him, but his entire family, apart. And now his attacker, out on bail, is disputing Nick's version of what happened.

As Julia tries to help her brother-in-law, she sees Tony's desire for revenge, to fix things for Nick, getting out of control. Tony is starting to scare her. And before long, she finds herself asking: Does she really know what her husband is capable of? Or of what she herself is?

Exploring elements of doubt, tragedy, suspense, and justice, The Damage is an all-consuming listen that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.

©2021 Caitlin Wahrer (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“A startling twist makes this taut debut a must-read.” (People

“Compelling...a taut drama.” (Bustle

“This is a raw, sharp crime drama that puts a family at the center of seeking justice.” (Buzzfeed

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What listeners say about The Damage

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow.

I am a mild critic as I passively listen to audiobooks while I do my work but when I say wow, I mean it. This captured my attention and made me even play on 1.5 speed just to absorb the story more quickly. Fantastic book, talented author. 100% the next book you need to read.

18 people found this helpful

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Hard to Put Down

I thought the author’s build up to the climax of her plot was very smooth but to me the ending seemed a little too contrived. The story is original and very well written. However, I cringed at her misuse of the verb LAY — ouch!

5 people found this helpful

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Uneventful & predictable

Did not enjoy this very boring story or the monotonous narrator. Thought many times about stopping it, but I followed thru to the predictable ending. Wish I hadn’t wasted my time.

4 people found this helpful

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Fantastic!

The Damage is a very clever, creative and socially relevant novel. It’s also a great mystery and an all around wonderful listen on so many levels. I highly recommend this book.

4 people found this helpful

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A suspenseful and thrilling read

𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐚 𝐬𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐥-𝐭𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐟𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐲 𝐢𝐬 𝐩𝐮𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐤, 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐟𝐚𝐫 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐠𝐨 𝐭𝐨 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐨𝐰𝐧?

Nick Hall didn't ask for any of this, but here he was laying in a hospital bed battered and bruised after a violent sexual attack. He can see the hot anger briming off his protective brother Tony's face. The instincts have flared, and a white-hot rage begins to build. But Nick can't remember a thing about what happened at the bar that night. And now his attacker, out on bail, is disputing Nick's version of what happened. Which only infuriates Tony Hall even more.

Tony's wife Julia, always knew that her husband's younger brother would be a huge part of their lives. As a small-town New England lawyer, she works with kids like Nick all the time. When Detective Rice gets assigned to the case, Julia feels they're in good hands.

As Julia tries to help her brother-in-law, she sees Tony's desire for revenge growing by the day. She wants justice for Nick, too, but Tony's preoccupation is scaring her. And before long, she finds herself asking: does she really know what her husband is capable of? Or of what she herself is?

“Law & Order: SVU,” that is what "𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑫𝒂𝒎𝒂𝒈𝒆" reminds me so much of and why I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It explores a family’s struggle in the aftermath of a sexual assault and what it can do to a struggling family in all the chaos. The audiobook version was pretty great. This was defiantly an edge of your seat type of story, with twists that will make your eyes go wide. This story reads with many characters POV with the dates going back from 2015 to 2019. The time of the incident to the future. You will not be disappointed with this crime thrilling read.

"He flicked the switch to his right as he stepped from the stairwell. The lamp in the living snapped to life. In the same way one's peripheral vision might register the vague shape of a spider on the wall, out of place and threatening. Ray saw the figure of a man standing in the dark of his kitchen." ─ Caitlin Wahrer, 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑫𝒂𝒎𝒂𝒈𝒆

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Super long, a slow burn but really good.

Since this was a slow burner, I started to think it would never get to the punch line. But holy shitballs it did. I would never have thought Julia would truly offer him up to be 'iced', though the mention of Alisa did give me pause. It was an interesting listen.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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This will be a movie

Fresh and timely. believable, substantive characters, and fast paced plot. ill look forward to more books by Wahrer.

3 people found this helpful

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  • DG
  • 06-24-21

Almost took a personal day to listen

I didn’t want to stop listening to this story. It’s incredibly written. Glad to have the option to listen to from my earbuds while putting my kids to bed. Wahrer’s ability to make you feel like you’re in the room is next level.

3 people found this helpful

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Couldn’t put it down

Every once in awhile I find a book I cant put down and “binge” if you will, this is that book! ABSOLUTELY AMAZING

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Couldn’t finish too depressing

Honestly I really wanted to finish this. I cared about the characters but it was so depressing that I just couldn’t keep going. It was actually bumming me out in my real life. I’m sure the mystery takes over but up to that it’s just painful to listen to.

2 people found this helpful