"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." –– ALBERT EINSTEIN goo.gl/u2aaM
— David M Karder (@slantedk) August 12, 2012
Alex is twenty and confused. He always is. The world presses on him with its horrors and pain, with scintillating auras that pierce his eyes and drive the migraines deeper. He hears the cries of children, the screaming women. He sees the brutal images of the tortured victims. He feels out of control and his mind slips...
Severely abused as a child, he is left with horrible scars on his body and even worse scars within his mind. Even though it puts him in danger, he’s compelled to help those who call to him. He’s driven, motivated by his visions to rescue them and uncover the killer. When he can, he helps the police; yet some detectives suspect he’s the cause of the problem, not the solution. Often, Alex finds himself alone and afraid in a world he doesn’t always comprehend.
"There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown.
Those who do not see."
–– LEONARDO DA VINCI
Diane Hartsock submitted her book Alex for a Dual Review, and it did not come with a warning label. So I must forewarn you, this is a labor of love to read, and when you have finished this story, your sense of accomplishment will rise to a 9 ½ and you will never be the same again.
Alex is now a twenty something year old young man, living with his adopted sister Jane. His past is filled with horror. His father left, and he was raised by a sick, sadistic mother that makes most abusers look like PTA Moms. She was the Queen of torture, filth, and any kind of abuse that was spine chilling, and her wonderful feats are throughout the entire book as open memories for us to see, feel and cry over through the memories of a young boy. Thankfully, she dies and leaves Alex able to be adopted by a family and gain some of his life back. This is his story.
Alex works at a local bookstore just making ends meet. Jane, his adopted sister, and he live alone now, as her parents are both gone. They still live in their childhood home. Jane works as an artist for a local gallery and makes a living selling her paintings. Alex draws as well in charcoals, but in real life he sees color more than most, as he sees auras of all the people he comes into contact with. Auras come in all colors depending on moods and types of personalities. The colors flood his mind and he suffers unmercifully from the migraines they bring.
One Saturday, a young boy comes into the bookstore and his aura frightens Alex, as evil permeates it. From this meeting we are brought into a mystery thriller where we are to follow twists and turns, along with Alex being able to save souls who are being preyed upon by an evil killer. He is able to `see' these victims and hear their cries for help in his mind, bringing himself to the forefront as #1 person of interest. He is just trying to aide them and the police, but is caught up in the evil.
It is a very painful read, as I myself, a mother and grandmother cannot bear the pain this poor boy has gone through in his past, as you are repeatedly in his mind reliving some sort of horror, and then it is even worse because of the treatment of the people looking at him now. They do not know what he is... Psychic or Psychopath?
Jane is a wonderful character, and so are his friends Justin and Angie. The people around in this small town make you feel just that, how small town - small mindedness still exists. Alex is treated like a leper while trying to be the best he can be. It is almost too much to bear.
The twists and turns make a good story, sometimes spine chilling. I want to keep away from giving you any spoilers. As I said, Ms. Hartsock, this book was a labor of love to read, and Alex was so worth it. So, I might say to the person who wishes to read a good mystery thriller, a book that tugs at your heart strings. This is The ONE!
Review by Gloria Lakritz
Sr Reviewer and Review chair of the Paranormal Romance Guild
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