Night Visions: A Novel of Suspense

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9780060594626: Night Visions: A Novel of Suspense
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Samantha Ranvali can't sleep. Haunted by nightmares and the memory of a man who attacked her years ago, she seeks a cure for her insomnia through an experimental study called "Endymion's Circle." The treatment seems to be a success, but after her first full night of sleep in months, Samantha learns that one of the other participants in the study has been murdered. The body is found crucified upside down, and a recording of J. S. Bach's "Goldberg Variations" plays at the scene. As an old lover investigates the crime, he draws Samantha into a mystery that spans over two hundred years and suggests something far more sinister than the police expect. And with each night of Samantha's newfound sleep, she awakens to another ritualistic crime. Every clue takes her deeper into her own past, her own history of loss, pain, and desperation. Every murder reveals that a dark curse has taken hold of her world. And every clue brings her closer to the revelation that she is the next victim. Here is stunning suspense that plays masterfully with the conventions of the genre and perfectly blends historical richness with modern-day terror.

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About the Author:

Thomas Fahy grew up in Los Angeles. His childhood bedroom was furnished with a mattress and box spring, a record player, two shelves lined with his father’s classical records, and a monolithic upright piano. Not surprisingly, music has remained an important part of his life. He received a Ph.D. in literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and currently lives on the California central coast, where he is working on the sequel to Night Visions.

From Publishers Weekly:

Fahy's debut novel hovers uncertainly on the borders of the horror and suspense genres, much like his insomniac characters hover on the edge of sleep, yearning for unconsciousness but fearing the visions and nightmares they know they will find there. In present-day San Francisco, lawyer Samantha Ranvali's ex-lover Frank Bennett shows up asking her for help locating a missing woman for his employers, the Palici Corporation, a high-priced private investigative firm. Samantha, a severe insomniac, has just begun experimental treatment at a sleep disorder clinic. She's worried about the treatment and worried about Frank, but agrees to help him. Their investigation leads to a body, the first of many, that has been slashed and crucified. Meanwhile, flashbacks to the court of the historical German Count Hermann Carl von Keyserlingk—also an insomniac, and the man who hired Johann Sebastian Bach to write what will become known as the Goldberg Variations—prove crucial to the solution of the puzzle. The problematic finish of the book aims for stylish intrigue, but ends up as simply unclear and unsatisfying. Perhaps this is because the novel is intended as the first in a projected series of five using the same characters, but unless Fahy finds some way to put a little zip into the sleepy Samantha, readers will be disinclined to pick up the next installment.
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