DELIRIOUS by Daniel Palmer

Book Quote:

“Frozen with fear and anxiety, he felt lost, displaced, and without any idea of what to do next. It was inconceivable. The perfect, organized, meticulously planned Charlie Giles might be the most out-of-control beast imaginable.”

Book Review:

Review by Eleanor Bukowksy В (JUN 25, 2011)

Daniel Palmer’s Delirious is a nightmarish tale in which Charlie Giles, “an electronics superstar,” suddenly loses his job, his reputation, and quite possibly, his mind. Charlie is no stranger to mental illness. His father was schizophrenic and his older brother, Joe, also suffers from the disease. Their mother has devoted her life to helping Joe become more stable, but Charlie has carefully distanced himself from his family and his past. He is a workaholic who made a small fortune from the sale of his start-up company, and is still putting in long hours to earn more money and accolades. One day, everything comes crashing down and he has no idea why. It seems as if he is committing a series of crimes, but he has no memory of having done anything wrong.

This plot, although familiar, works surprising well because Palmer fleshes out his characters and inserts realistic details into the story. The stage is set when we observe Charlie, who cares for his dog more than anyone else, pushing his employees mercilessly. He is a control freak who avoids feeling such “messy emotions” as compassion, empathy, and forgiveness. He prides himself on inspiring fear in his team; he believes that if his workers are anxious, they will produce at a higher level. Soon, the shoe will be on the other foot. Not only will Charlie learn what it is like to be stressed out, but he will also become all too familiar with panic and hysteria. Adding to Charlie’s burdens are serious health issues affecting his mother and brother. For the first time, Charlie sees Joe as a good and valuable person in his own right who deserves love and respect.

Palmer keeps the adrenaline rush going for close to four hundred pages. He masterfully describes Charlie’s horrible mental decline. Should he trust his senses or accept the evidence that condemns him? The author’s familiarity with computer software and music come in handy, since Palmer finds ingenious ways of integrating this knowledge seamlessly into the narrative. The roller coaster ride finally stops when we reach the shocking revelations and final confrontation. Although the ending is implausible in a mind-boggling way, strangely enough, it does not completely detract from the book’s entertainment value. Delirious is an exciting, mind-bending, and suspenseful thriller that explores the dangers inherent in our digital world; the crucial role that family plays in our psychological development; and the ways in which connecting with others helps us realize our full potential as human beings.

AMAZON READER RATING: stars-4-0from 27 readers
PUBLISHER: Kensington; 1 edition (February 1, 2011)
REVIEWER: Eleanor Bukowsky
EXTRAS: Excerpt
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June 25, 2011 В· Judi Clark В· No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  В· Posted in: Debut Novel, Macavity Award, NE & New York, Psychological Suspense, Thriller/Spy/Caper

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