Dying violent deaths over and over again totally blows. Loner Jeff Grobnagger has learned this the hard way. Every time he has a seizure, he dreams that a hooded man strangles and kills him. He runs. He fights. He hides. No matter what he does, his efforts end in a pretty bad case of death.
But when someone tries to kill him in real life, he realizes that what happens with the hooded man isn’t just a dream.
Who is the hooded man? And who tried to kill Grobnagger in real life? His quest for answers leads to a missing girl, cults obsessed with astral projection, an arcane puzzle sphere, an evil book, a buxom private detective named Louise and a mustached man named Glenn that makes ‘the best martini you’ve ever tasted.’
Yep. If it weren’t for all of the horrific deaths, Jeff Grobnagger would be having the time of his life.
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When Ms. L.T. Vargus sent me a message through twitter recommending this book.. I thought, why not?!… It is on a genre that I am into: a coming of age paranormal mystery/horror. And the blurb really got my interest.
It’s about a 27 years old loner, Jeff Grobnagger, who suffers from seizures… And during these seizures, he dreams himself being strangled and killed by a hooded man. Then he wakes up and all is good.. till his next seizure and he is killed again. On these seizure-induced-dreams, he tried to run, hide, or fight the hooded man.. But it didn’t seem to matter when in the end, he always ends up dead. Then, what was just a dream is now happening in reality, when someone tries to kill him in the real world.
There is conspiracy, mystique and suspense that kept me anxious. I thought this was a cleverly written dark mystery mixed with humour.
A sample of one of the early scenes that I find amusing : (Jeff on his way home..)
Though the light next to me remains green, a black Lincoln pulls up and stops. The passenger door opens, and a large man in a suit steps out. At first, I think maybe he just has some gold to sell, but he seems pretty focused on me. The world is really sucking at the whole leaving me alone thing lately.
“Ms. Babinaux will see you now,” he says.
Now, I have no idea who Ms. Babinaux is. Seems to be of French descent. That’s all I’ve got. My guess, of course, is that she has something to do with one of the groups slash cults that Glenn mentioned, though how they might know about me and my seizures, I couldn’t say. Still, my instincts say it’s best not to tip off my knowledge or lack thereof. I’m guessing they already know the French part, anyway.
“I assume she’s in back,” I say.
He tilts his head forward to say yes.
“Well, if she has eyes, I’m sure she will see me,” I say.
I give a mock wave and smile at the general vicinity of the backseat of the car.
“Here I am. It’s me!” I say in a squeaky voice.
The guy snorts and then laughs. At first I think this is some form of sarcasm, but no. It’s real laughter.
“Are you new at this?” I say. “Cause stoicism is like 50% of your job description. You’re supposed to look imposing and be stoic. That’s it. And you’re totally effing it up.”
“Just get in,” he says, opening the door.
A much as this had me really eager in the early part of the story… I feel like somehow the story derailed as it concentrated on the lead character. Not that he is not intertaining. I thought he was funny and innocently charming. It was interesting to see him slowly come out of his comfort zone.
When the story did get back on track, it brought more puzzles with not a hint of an answer. And the puzzlers just keeps on piling. Not that it’s a bad thing. But as the story ended on a cliffy and I am left with more questions, it did left me confused. The good news though is that the sequel is already out in Amazon and B&N. 😉
A short read, with 212 pages. 🙂