Alex Elson is a twenty year old orphan, his mother died in a house fire after she fell asleep with a cigarette in her hand. Alex didn't have a happy home life, he was extremely abused both mentally and physically; his body is rife with the scarred tissue to proof it. Alex's mother loved to do sadistic things to her young son, from burning him with irons, cigarettes to beating him beyond recognition at times. His only escape is the day his mother dies.
On that fateful day he is removed from his burned out house where he was tied up in the basement and finds renewed life with Jane and her father. They help to nurture him and bring Alex out of his shell, and if it weren't for the severe migraines and the horrific visions he sees, life might appear to be idyllic.
Jane is a 27 year old artist and is in love with Alex, she has been since the first day she seen him smile. She would do anything for Alex and helps him to lead his life as normal as possible.
Alex is seeing things, sometimes they are premonitions of things to come and sometimes they are events that have passed but the things he sees and hears frightens him. He doesn't understand why the voices of the terrified people continue to harass him but whenever the feelings get strong, Alex has no control as he is lead to wherever his visions take him.
Alex saves a little boy from drowning and puts his life and those of his loved ones in danger as the boy's parents try to take revenge on him. They kidnap Alex and begin to torture him but Alex escapes and the man hunt begins for the Jack and Pat Gibson.
Alex has many visions and some lives he saves, others he fails; he is suspected by the police of knowing more than he is letting on and the pressure is building to find the Gibson's and put an end to this madness.
I thought this was a gripping read, you couldn't help but want to finish the story and find out the outcome. I thought Alex's back story was written in a haunting nature that left your skin crawling with revulsion. The atrocities that Alex had to go through as a child makes ones heart cringe and ache.
I enjoyed how the primary characters interacted with each other and gave Alex a softer more humane side. Alex's visions and the auras he sees are not easy for some to comprehend, however, his friends support him in all he does and help him to uncover the truth.
The abusive scenes are written with clarity, the reader is under no delusions as to what is occurring to Alex at the hands of his mother. The torture and torment that Alex fights with everyday in order to lead a normal life doesn't always come easy and it is shared in a balanced nature, giving the reader insight into Alex's character and background.
I was really getting into the story but about three quarters of the way through the book I started to feel rushed and characters were being attached to events that had occurred and it didn't always play well. There were a few questions not properly disclosed, like the explanation for why the Gibson's did what they did, the reader read the outcome in a flippant, almost off-handed manner and I thought that it left the outcome lacking.
I would give Alex a three and a half stars out of five. I thought the writing was excellent but the outcome of the story was a disappointment, it failed to answer some important issues for me and the love story between Alex and Jane wasn't impressive. She was several years older than he and for almost a decade, thought of themselves as adoptive siblings. I see this scared, scarred and withdrawn twelve year comes into Jane's house and she feels like he is her soul mate when she has already graduated college and is about to begin her career, it just didn't play well with me. Which brings me to Dr. Beckett, I am unsure his role in the novel, other than to help the antagonists perpuate their plans but I feel this could been delivered in a better way.
Now, do not get me wrong, this was a great read and I would recommend it to anyone who likes paranormal thrillers. The abuse scenes are well delivered, Alex is a likeable character and the book does keep you reading until the end. I would definitely read more by Dianne Hartsock.
Alex is twenty and confused. He always is. The world presses on him with its horrors and pain, with scintillating auras that pierce his eyes and drive the migraines deeper. He hears the cries of children, the screaming women. He sees the brutal images of the tortured victims. He feels out of control and his mind slips... Severely abused as a child, he is left with horrible scars on his body and even worse scars within his mind. Even though it puts him in danger, he’s compelled to help those who call to him. He’s driven, motivated by his visions to rescue them and uncover the killer. When he can, he helps the police; yet some detectives suspect he’s the cause of the problem, not the solution. Often, Alex finds himself alone and afraid in a world he doesn’t always comprehend.
** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by me..as I see it~!! **