White Oaks - Book Review

White Oaks

Author: Jill Hand
Genre: Fiction - Thriller - General
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Date Published: May 3, 2019
ISBN-10: 9781684332830
ISBN-13: 9781684332830

GoodReads Rating:

Book Review of :  White Oaks


White Oaks by Jill Hand is a dark somewhat whimsical story about what happens when siblings try to accommodate their aging father’s 90th birthday wish. Good old dad, Blanton Toombs Trapnell,  is not just the run of the mill nonagenarian he is worth billions. There is going to be a big birthday celebration for Blanton Trapnell, and everyone will be showering him with expensive presents, but only three of his children know what his birthday wish really is. Mr. Trapnell has decided that what he wants for his birthday is to experience what it feels like to kill someone.  His daughter Aimee Trapnell and her two brothers Marsh and Trainor want to accommodate dad, but helping their father kill someone is just a bit too much they feel. However with billions at stake, they start to plot some way to trick Dad into thinking he killed someone, but it is going to be difficult because he wants to murder his victim with his bare hands; he wants to choke someone to death. Blanton’s odd wish triggers a crime spree that leaves death and mayhem in its wake. Things just don’t go the way they were planned, but will all this bungling of plans prevent them from enjoying daddy’s billions?

Blanton didn’t give his kids much of a choice in helping him. He challenged them with this statement, “Shooting ain’t how I want to do it. I want to strangle a man with my bare hands! I need to do it. I won’t feel right until I do. I’m your father. If y’all weren’t such piss-poor excuses for children you’d help me.” The siblings are concerned that if daddy really does kill someone and they are involved they will be spending the rest of their lives in prison so how can they help him and stay in his good graces and not end up in jail?

There is also sister, Karen, who is not part of the poorly plotted plans, but she is very important to her dad, Blanton Toombs Trapnell. In fact, Karen is designated as Blanton’s executor of his will.

There are many humorous moments throughout Jill Hands tale of greed, betrayal, and murder.  It’s a story of siblings that lead enormously different lives as an example; Marsh is an arms dealer,  Aimee is a designer and sister Karen is a Buddhist running a school in Nepal.

The vignettes of the siblings’ lives are amusing and perfectly evocative of their pampered life.

White Oaks is a darkly humorous novel that would make a hysterical movie similar to Bernie with Jack Black – a comedy of love, greed, and errors.  A crazy story of a nonagenarian obsessed with the desire to murder and money hungry children wanting to show good old dad their undying love.  White Oaks by Jill Hand is a super entertaining book that will keep your attention.

Reviewed by: DavidH

About Jill Hand

Jill Hand is a former newspaper reporter from New Jersey. She is a member of the Horror Writers Association. Her short stories have appeared in dozens of publications and in many anthologies. Her time-travel novella, The Blue Horse, won a Pinnacle Book Award for fantasy and science fiction. White Oaks is her first full-length thriller.


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