Peter Ryan wakes up on a typical morning only to find his house empty, his wife and daughter nowhere to be found. His world is shattered after a phone call to a friend confirms the impossible: his wife and daughter died in a car accident he does not remember.
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In Dellosso’s (Scream) newest thriller, Peter Ryan believes himself to be a university lab researcher, but discovers he is a subject in a highly secretive government experiment to train a new breed of super-soldiers. When things go wrong, military masterminds must reel Ryan in before he exposes the abuses of the program. The story draws on the premise of The Bourne Identity, with a protagonist on a quest for the truth of his own identity. For readers of Christian fiction, the lost-identity concept parallels the main character’s wrestling with God’s identity and presence. A search for Ryan’s missing wife and young daughter runs concurrent with his quest for a seemingly hidden God, making Christian faith integral to the action-packed narrative. Dellosso, a creative writing professor, writes with punch and moves the story along briskly, but he relies on abrupt transitions too often, such as with the main character falling asleep or awakening. There’s so much waking, dreaming, “brain scrubbing,” recalling faint memories, and double-crossing that readers may be confused―though not unintentionally―until the very end. (Publishers Weekly)
Peter Ryan is still mourning the loss of his wife and daughter two months after they died in a tragic car accident he can’t remember. However, he senses something is not right as flashes of memory call up scenes of a different existence he doesn’t recollect. Friends chalk it up to post-traumatic stress disorder, but Peter’s faith won’t allow him to believe that his family is dead. When he finds a note from his daughter, indicating that she and her mother have been kidnapped and taken to a mysterious place called Centralia, Peter goes on the run. What he discovers forever changes how he sees himself.
VERDICT: Dellosso (Fearless) has written a tense psychological thriller with the feel of Total Recall in its story line. It’s a suspenseful ride for the reader as everyone holds a version of the truth and the only thing that can’t be taken from you is your faith in God. A solid read-alike is Ted Dekker’s Eyes Wide Open. (Library Journal)
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