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Tuesday 8 November 2011

Dreams and Nightmares by Ann Werner


Couldn't put this one down!  It was a very well-crafted thriller.  There are two story lines running parallel – it's obvious they are going to come together at some point, but you are kept riveted and guessing until the point at which they do.  Even after the merge of the threads, you are still kept on the edge of your seat – there are no clues how the final scene might end – it could go either way.

Decker Jones (Decker?? Even one of the book characters thought this an odd name!!) is a struggling author whose bad day, when her boyfriend unexpectedly dumps her, is made quite considerably better when she finds out her novel has been finally accepted by a publisher. Success at last. She can begin to realise her dreams.

Albert Crawford is an unbelievably ugly, violent bank robber whose last job is going to be the finale in his 'lucrative' career before winging his way to Mexico for the good life.  He can begin to realise his dreams.

However….things go horribly wrong.  His final destination is prison, not Mexico.  He arrogantly believes this is but a minor obstacle and his Mexican dream is simply delayed not erased.

Decker is reaping the success of her two-book deal and continues to fulfil the dreams she had as a struggling writer. All the while, the paths of these two completely different people from completely different walks of life are getting closer and closer to crossing……do dreams turn into nightmares?

This was a superbly-written book and the characters brilliantly portrayed:  Albert is intensely repulsive in looks, character and speech, his associates no less, all of them products of damaged childhoods and the consequences thereof.  There is very little danger that you ever grow to like him or his friends – they are somewhat captivating, however; something about their strangeness, their vileness and depravity makes them compelling. Decker is the complete antithesis:  it's very easy to admire and feel happy for the success of this gentle, hardworking young woman and with little flamboyance or showiness she quietly goes about building her dreams.  I thought it was a nice touch to portray her as a dedicated and hopeful writer, many of whose characters and book plots resemble very much those with which she ultimately finds herself involved.

An excellent and enthralling thriller.

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