Friday, November 19, 2010

The Grand Delusion by Heath Sommer

The Grand DelusionTitle: The Grand Delusion
Author: Heath Sommer
Series: reoccurring characters
Pages: 408
Published: October 2010 by Tate Publishing
ISBN: 9781616635596
Source: sent for review

Description: Loner Addy Siwel only wanted answers when she signed up for a freshman course in theology—what she got was the attention of a murderer. In The Grand Delusion, Dr. Heath Sommer brings to life the precursor stories of characters John Joe, Addy Siwel, and Merci Bowku, who were introduced to the world in the 2009 contemporary mystery The Manufactured Identity. Terror-struck, the three protagonists vie against a backdrop of ironic evil as they are stalked by an unidentified villain who breaks all the rules and sends Chief of police and reluctant clairvoyant Frank Murphy scrambling against the clock in a murder mystery showdown that leaves all questioning what is real and what is beyond this world.

I Give This ...
 I was looking forward to what Sommer produced next.  His first novel was very different from what I had read before.  I really enjoy how complex it was and the psychology aspects in contained.   I wasn't disappointed with this one.

I have to be honest and say I don't remember much about the characters from The Manufactured Identity.  There was so much going on in that book.  I was afraid that fact would hinder my enjoyment of this one.  It didn't.  The book draws you in from the prologue.  At first, the constant switch in narrative is distracting.  But, I knew from experience that everything would be tied together.  Gradually the story flow into one stream and you get to know the characters.  All of them are suffering from sort of psychological problem in varying degrees.  I liked watching them all sort through their problems.  And once again, the author shows his knowledge in the area.  It's not written from the perspective of someone who has done a lot of research.  It feels genuine and real.

I liked the intensity of the novel.  We know something big is going to happen, but we don't know to whom or who will be the culprit.  I wasn't even sure if it was a character in the novel or some outside force.  The true psychosis of the villain was awesome.  I love how the author is able to make a villain seem like any person you might know.  The "craziness" is buried deep within.  And with the problems the characters are hiding from each other, it really good have been anybody.

I liked the theoretical questions this novel asks.  God plays a big part of it and I enjoyed it for the most part.  But, in the end it kind of turned me off.  I could have done without the whole classroom scene.  It's just got a little preachy there and felt a little out of place with the rest of the story.   The pacing was a little off for me as well.  It seems a short amount of time goes by in a few chapters and then all of a sudden months of past.  The only real indication of this is wording in the story.  It's almost like the chapters need a timeline.  

But, overall I still really enjoyed this story.  Dr. Sommer has proved he has something to offer the mystery/thriller genre.  I will be looking forward to what he writes next!

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