Author Mike Robinson
Martin Smith and John Becker: bestselling authors with ordinary names and extraordinary minds. Rivals since childhood, they live in the same town and are famous for their uncanny similarity in physical manner and literary voice. When one of them ends up dead at the other's home, an investigation is launched into their dark past, revealing a series of troubling stories from their childhood, adolescence and careers, throughout which lurks the presence of an authorial entity with roots beyond our time or dimension – a sinister entity with far-reaching designs.Review: The synopsis lends toward a murder mystery, but this read is an intense philosophical, metaphysical mind melt. You may need a decoder and a dimensional phone booth to hop back and forth through the world building. There are several stories going on here and it takes a concerted effort to keep the characters and connections straight. This fits with chaos theory, and creates the effect I imagine the author wished to achieve. Just when you get into a set of characters, the story shifts and it takes the entire read to put how it all is connected (or not connected) together. There is a lot more going on metaphysically, theologically, ethically and scientifically in this book than just a murder. Although parts of the story are grounded, it does wane into the extreme abstract especially towards the end. Either readers will love it, or others will wish someone would hold their feet so they don't float into the ether. If you're willing to ride it out and accept what is told, then you can spend days and weeks contemplating the greater purpose of the structure and concept. If you're hoping for a murder mystery with a paranormal twist -- you will likely get frustrated by the philosophical babble. I absolutely appreciate the work and imagination of the novel. However, I found myself liking only the grounded, character developed portions of the story including Harry and Stephanie, but as soon as it would go to that 'other' place, I got bored and lost interest. Even though this idea of grandfather among other aspects are explained, it was so abstract that I didn't grasp or believe the reasoning. It become more of a 'talking-head' than an 'a-ha' moment for me.
*ARC provided by Curiosity Quills Press courtesy of NetGalley