The author sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team.
Stalking Gideon Cain is by all accounts a thriller. It involves an all-knowing enemy seeking revenge for a perceived slight decades earlier and the subject of his enmity is a well-known mystery writer whose protagonists are fantastical female vigilantes.
After reading the first two chapters and thinking I had somehow descended into the world of Roger Rabbit, I had to investigate the author. Kerry Alan Denney, as I discovered, is an award-winning author who combines suspense, thriller, horror, scifi, fantasy, supernatural, and paranormal in his books, according to his author profile. This appears to be his first thriller. Since I’d never encountered his books before, knowing this was a help.
Gideon Cain, the protagonist in this latest book, thinks he is losing his mind. The femme fatales in the books from which he makes a good living – think Jessica Rabbit on steroids – are cartoonish in their sensuality and over-the-top appearance and begin to show up in Cain’s life, live and in person. The first encounter is intriguing and puzzling, but the second of these in-living-flesh characters tries to poison him on a flight home from a book-signing tour. He soon figures out that this is a cruel joke played by an implacable enemy who toys with, and not in a nice way, everyone to whom Cain turns for help.
With the exception of one policeman investigating Cain’s poisoning, his parents – talented and intellectually remote, and the couple who are his best friends – the people who help him are women – very much like the women in Gideon Cain’s books – gorgeous, talented, strong, and resourceful. A rather interesting twist.
The author also included a ghost, that of Cain’s wife who appears from time to time. He was deeply in love with her, but she abruptly left him without explanation when she was several months pregnant with his first child and suffering from cancer. He had searched for her but only knew of her death when her body is returned by her twin sister for her funeral. What happened to the child?
How will Cain manage to find and stop the madman who is stalking him and his friends and family, when his enemy is always two steps ahead and has created a substance that can kill at the touch of a button? And where is his child?
When I sat down to write this review, I faced a conundrum akin to Schrödinger’s cat. The premise is brilliant and intriguing and there was good tension. The book had enough twists and turns to keep me reading, and the death concoction that allowed the stalker to blow his victims up from the inside was evilly lovely. Many of the action scenes had me on the seat of my chair, and the author has a good handle on description. I could always envision the scene in detail.
On the other hand, there were some rather long sections that made me want to say “get on with it, already!” If your life and the lives of those around you are at stake, you don’t spend a lot of time rehashing the past and your feelings. There was one chapter written from Gideon Cain’s dog’s point of view which really threw me. Who knows what a dog thinks?
The several women helping Cain seek and eliminate the stalker also became a little tiresome in their perfect appearance, physical skills, and intellectual superiority. A great idea but too much of a good thing. I’m also not entranced by clichéd dialogue and there was a lot. But again, if this a Roger Rabbit redux, the clichés fit. I have a feeling this book may appeal to men more than women.
So how to rate this strange (to me) book based on a rather brilliant concept? I think it will appeal to Denney’s fans and should definitely make some new ones.
About the author (from Amazon):
Kerry Alan Denney, who is also known as the “The Reality Bender” is the award-winning author of seven published novels and numerous short stories. Denney blends elements of suspense, thriller, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural, paranormal, and various ways in his work: speculative fiction at its wildest and craziest. With glee and a touch of madness, he writes reality-bending thrillers … even when the voices don’t make him do it. His protagonists are his children, and he loves them as dearly as he despises his antagonists–even when he has to kill them. Denney lives in Stone Mountain, Georgia with Gypsy Dancer, his remarkably exuberant dog. He is currently training Gypsy to be a therapy dog and writing his next thriller … and deciding who to kill in it.
You can find Kerry Alan Denney
On Twitter: @KerryDenney
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kerry.a.denney
And on his book site: http://www.kerrydenney.com/
You can find Stalking Gideon Cain on Amazon: