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Guest Review: Ash’s review of Fear Dreams by JA Schnieder

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Format: Kindle Edition

File Size: 582 KB

Print Length: 218 pages

Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited

Publisher: RGS Media (28 Mar. 2016)

Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.

Language: English

Synopsis: Liddy Barron, an artist, was injured in a hit-and-run accident that left her with recurring nightmares, gaps in her memory, and an increasing obsession in the disappearance of a coed named Sasha Perry. Insecure and nervous, Liddy's turmoil grows as she begins seeing ghostly images. Her husband Paul tries to help but suspects it's just her imagination...while intuitive Detective Kerri Blasco, also obsessed with young Sasha's disappearance, senses that Liddy may have a key to solving the case, and tries to unravel the shocking truth of what really haunts her.

ASH RATING: 4/5

ASH REVIEW: My first time reading a JA Schneider book and my first book review; I feel that this was a great book to start that journey with, one whose characters pulled me in chapter by chapter.

Liddy is an artist recovering from a traumatic hit and run accident with the support of her husband Paul, best friend Beth and psychiatrist Dr Minton. To the author’s credit, I vacillated from trusting in their supportive roles to questioning their motives many times throughout the book.

As Liddy attempts to move forward with her recovery she sketches an image of a young woman she believes she saw passing by; this images turns out to be that of a missing student Sasha Perry. Liddy’s repeated sightings of Sasha lead her to increasingly question both her own sanity and the actions of those closest to her.  As Liddy’s distrust of herself and those around her grows, she seeks support from the only other person equally consumed by Sasha’s disappearance; Detective Kerri Blasco.

JA Schneider’s ability to develop the plot and pace of a narrative and lead the reader from question to question is excellent and kept me reading way into the night. What has happened to Sasha and who was involved? Who can Liddy trust? Herself?

Liddy is an artist and one of my favourite aspects of this novel is Schneider’s ability to create imagery; from Liddy’s visions to her paintings to the hubbub of New York’s SOHO, Schneider creates pictures and atmospheres with ease. Her imagery enables the reader to feel close to the story which increases the reader’s sense of tension and anxiety as Liddy’s world begins to feel less and less safe.

The use of ghostly imagery as a plot device at times requires a suspension of logic and reality; something both Liddy’s husband and myself had some difficulty with at times however if the reader is willing to suspend their logic momentarily, they are well rewarded by the author.

It is to the author’s credit that my only critique of the novel would be that I felt it finished too suddenly. Schneider does such a good job of enabling the reader to get to know her characters that it feels like a sudden wrench when it ends and I would like to have had a bit more narrative to show how the different character’s moved on.  Detective Kerri Blasco is a warm strong investigative lead and I am looking forward to seeing more of her and Schneider in the future.

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