Mania-Craig Larson

Mania

Craig Larson

Pinnacle, Nov 1 2009, $6.99

ISBN: 9780786021543

Seattle Telegraph newspaper photographer Nick Wilder has always looked up to his brother Sam; who is on his way to becoming a billionaire if the drug trials for the anti-psychotic Matrix Zarcon holds up as expected.  Nick currently covers the brutal murders of men so unrecognizable their family members could not identify them.  He becomes part of the story when a homeless man without shoes stabs and kills his sibling.

The incident triggers in Nick flashbacks and hallucinations that make him and the police wonder if he is the vicious psychopathic killer who murdered his own brother.  In a coffee shop, Nick meets Sara Garland, stepdaughter of the Telegraph’s owner Jason Hamlin.  They hit if off and she helps him cope with the nasty hallucinatory incidents and horrific dreams that he fears are repressive memories.  The cops question Nick re Sam’s murder and that of another victim, but let him ago as they lack evidence although Police Lieutenant Dombrowski believes he allowed the killer to leave; he plans to find proof to lock away this maniac for life.

Throughout the story line Nick struggles with his sanity as he is unable to delineate reality from dreams of events that happened to him.  The audience is as unsure whether Nick is the killer or suffering from some other psychotic derangement.  MANIA is a fascinating thriller that delves deep into the mind of a struggling protagonist who ponders what reality really is.  Although a final spin seems over the top of the Needle fans will relish this action-packed psychological thriller starring a beleaguered hero who no longer has the mental fight to argue with people telling him what the truth is.

Harriet Klausner

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