Beginning with a terrifying, existential nightmare, SPECULUM starts strong and intense. The plot moves along quickly, and, within just a few pages, the relationship between main character Graham and his wife Katie is firmly established. They’ve been having problems because of her top-secret work (and her not-secret work partner), but they are determined to work it out. They’re a cute couple, and you can’t help but root for them. They’re going to need it.
The morning after their anniversary party, Graham awakens to find Katie gone. Moments later, mysterious men in suits arrive to bring him to the hospital where Katie lies, slowly inching closer to death. In order to save her, Graham goes inside Speculum, the government project she’s been working on. This sets him off on a chaotic adventure involving dealing with government agents, running from terrorists, repeatedly losing chunks of time, and constantly questioning reality.
SPECULUM raises very interesting questions about reality, truth, and perception. Despite its brevity, there is a whole lot of plot, and it is all intense. Every once in awhile, the action slows for a half page or so, giving the reader a much-needed chance to breathe.
With the plot fast-paced and reality bending, it does get confusing at times. This is not a book to read slowly, making sure to understand every nuance. This is very much a book that requires you to strap in and just enjoy the ride. It doesn’t matter how Graham got back to his house or why he won’t believe his wife’s partner. All that matters is that his entire sense of reality is unraveling as he desperately tries to save his wife. Read it quickly, and think about the larger implications later. Despite the occasional confusion, this is a solid thriller that aspires to philosophical exploration, and it is largely successful.
|Del Oro Company
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|Mystery, Crime, Thriller