Fatal Illusions (Using an illusion to show the reality of forgiveness)
Fatal Illusions is an excellent first novel by Adam Blumer. This book is a suspenseful page-turner. I read it while on vacation and that is a good thing. Since I did not have to get up for work in the morning, I was able to stay up late and read a few more chapters each night. The author kept increasing the intensity with each chapter. The short chapters that changed between the different viewpoint characters also helped contribute to the pacing. I personally like the short chapters when the storyline is fast-paced.
The only problems I had with this book was a couple of the scenes involving the antagonist, Haydon Owens. Haydon’s amazing ability to drive through the blizzard when the police were having problems with the road conditions surprised me. This does set up Haydon as an unstoppable force of nature but it made him appear less human. I can’t really hold this against Blumer. The same type of antagonist have been used by many more experienced authors such as Stephen King and Dean Koontz. So this is more a matter of personal preference.
The other scene I did not care for was the appearance of Ryan (I do not want to give away the plot, but you will know which scene I am talking about when you read it) to save the day. Although I prefer shorter books, in this case I would have liked another chapter added that would have set up Ryan’s appearance. I think that it could have been included a few chapters before. This would explain his later arrival without it seeming like a surprise pulled out of nowhere.
Despite the few problems I had, this book was a very good first novel. Probably the most surprising part to me was the theme of forgiveness. In a suspense/thriller type of book I don’t expect that to be a major theme. I was impressed with the way Marc was worried about Stacey even after her attack. Gillian realization of the lack of forgiveness Haydon expressed led to his problems. If he had been willing to forgive, many lives would have been spared. It was interesting to watch how forgiving or a lack of forgiveness guided the lives of the various characters.