A novel by Gaston Leroux
I reviewed a copy provided free of charge from the author but the opinions here are strictly my own.
This is a book that felt very much like a Stephen King novel as both the characters and the story itself are very much his style. Ben Carson has a recurring dream about being attacked by winged creatures while driving his car (an old red Mustang convertable) near a well house in the countryside. As the book opens, Ben is in the midst of one of these dreams.
Ben's wife Anne is an expert in analyzing dreams. As part of her profession as a psychologist, she has come up with a theory that many of her patient's fears can be overcome by teaching the patients how to control their dreams. For instance if the patient had a fear of heights, she would have her patient try to create a net in their dream. So instead of waking up in the middle of a dream about falling, the patient would continue the fall and land safely into the net that their mind created. Anne reasoned that this should alleviate the patient's fear of falling from a big height.
Unfortunately, many of Anne's patients start going into comas. Soon Anne herself is in a dream that she tries to manipulate and the dream overcomes her too, also placing her into a coma. The doctor's are powerless to do anything for Anne and tell Ben that if her condition doesn't improve soon, she will die. Ben starts investigating what Anne was doing just before she went into a coma and found that a woman named Thema Grippe was anxious to meet with Anne. Ben is able to locate Thelma and she is definately not what he expected.
Thelma seems to know a lot of things, including all about Ben's own dream. Thelma knows what happened to Anne and lets Ben know that it is up to him to save her. However to save her may require going up against Lucifer himeself. Ben has to decide if he wants to risk all of that or let Anne go.
I liked the book from start to finish and it brings in a a few more interesting characters (Ben's dog Sherman, Claude and Jack St. Louis). It is a very fast read and a very good one. I think the book could have been expanded to include more depth to Ben and Anne's relationship, before she went into a coma. Also, the way it was so "King-ish" prevented me from giving it the full five stars. I look forward to the author's next book and I hope that he can come up with a little more unique writing style.
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