Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review: Delirious

Daniel Palmer
371 pages
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

One day, Charlie Giles is an up-and-coming electronics superstar. The next, he's a prime homicide suspect as his former employers are picked off one by one. Charlie watches his life unravel as his company and inventions are wrenched from his control, and his family is decimated. With nowhere else to turn, he enlists his schizophrenic brother to uncover the dark family secrets that lie at the heart of the unfolding terror. "Delirious" is a mind-bending story where the line between what is real and what is imagined twists and turns...an addictive literary puzzle that every reader will want to solve.

My Thoughts:
I received this novel from a Twitter contest that I won.  The author sent it to me, signed and everything!  Technically, it’s my first ARC.  I was really excited to read it.

This novel is Daniel Palmer’s fictional debut.  There’s a blurb on the back of my ARC that speaks of a former life of e-commerce and a musician.  It was so fun to have known that because it made the book even more interesting, as I knew that the author had experience in the character’s background - adding authenticity.  I’ve never really read a book as a “debut novel” expecting less or something.  So I don’t know if others do, but every if you do, this novel surpassed my greatest expectations.  It was an incredible mystery and thriller, and it definitely did not show any flaws from a newbie.

It took me a bit to get into the novel, simply because it is different from some of my latest reads.  But once I got past, oh page 15 or 20, I could not stop reading.  It’s an adult thriller/mystery type.  Different than my recent Kathy Reichs novels, the mystery revolves around the main character.  And even the reader has no clue as to what is going on.  Though the story is not told in first person, it revolves mostly around the main character, Charlie, and it does not go outside of what he knows.  (As opposed to those novels that go from different viewpoints, both the “good side” and the “bad side;” and the reader knows stuff the characters don’t.)  I certainly did not figure it out.

Basically, this novel is about Charlie.  Mental illness runs in his family, and as several different (very odd) things happen in his life, he begins to question his sanity - wondering if what he experienced was real or simply a part of an unraveling mind.  The plot has many twists and turns.  I was definitely intrigued throughout the whole novel.

Both the characters Charlie and Joe (his brother) are well written.  You truly get a feel for the person of Charlie, as well as Joe.  But the technical talk of Charlie’s business, internet/computer stuff, was not overwhelming.  I was greatly impressed (and relieved) to find that I wasn’t confused and did not have to have things explained when it came to the computer speech.  But I did not feel like it was written for a kindergartener either.  It was very appropriate and well written.

My favorite character happened to be Dr. Rachel Evans.  She is Charlie’s brother’s psychologist.  She reminded me a bit of myself, and she was the character that I most related to.  But I loved the medical involvement in the story (she talks a lot about psychology, mental illnesses, and you see some of how the mental health “industry” works).  Since I’m a nurse, I’ve been the treat-er (having completed some clinicals at a psychiatric hospital), and I had never thought about how things seemed to patients.  Since Charlie’s brother Joe has schizophrenia, Rachel is the “expert opinion” to give light to the psychological possibilities.  It adds another intriguing element to the book.

Ultimately, I loved this novel.  It was an excellent read, and I cannot wait to see what else Daniel Palmer will write.  It took me a bit of time to read it, only because my time was limited due to overtime and such.  But even at work, I was pondering the novel and could not get it out of my head.  I honestly cannot think of any negative factors to fuss about - except that I did not want it to end.  I thought it was totally awesome.  I definitely would recommend it to any mystery lovers.  Well, unless you abhor mysteries, but I would recommend it to everyone.  I think of very few people who would not enjoy this incredible novel.  I know I will definitely be passing it on to all of my family members.

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