The Divinity Complex

The Divinity Complex ISBN: 9781719490573, a psychological thriller an e-book published, copyright and written by P. H. Figur.

Plot: Fundamentally, the story is about a man, FBI Agent Drake Marino, who is plagued by a psychological problem that disrupts his entire life until ultimately he encounters a clinical psychologist who attempts to lead him back to the initiating factor to effect a release. The actual plot is a little difficult to follow. The tale begins with a couple who are being held at gun point stopping for gasoline. The man, while paying the in-store attendant is able to convey the fact to the attendant. Drake’s newly engaged love also is FBI and has just happened to have stopped at the same convenience store. The attendant had taken the couple’s license plate number which he gives to her. She calls in while following in the same direction as the departing couple and finds it along side of the road. She gets out to investigate, finds them dead, is accosted by the killer and also killed. Drake is devastated but continues to work with his twin brother Dominic, who is the lead investigator on the case of what is beginning to look like a serial killer. They continue to investigate further killings by this same person and he finally breaks down when more gruesomely staged victims are found. This is followed by his actual ‘freezing’ when a young woman whom he has established a somewhat empathetic relationship has her throat slit. His inability to act is the final straw. He gives up and disappears. Meanwhile the reader is introduced to the owner of a massive pharmaceutical corporation and his son. The company is immensely successful having developed a formula that successfully eradicates neurological disease. Now on top of the world money-wise the psychologically compromised owner strengthens his personal larger than God complex and decides he will find a drug that will rid mankind of negative behavior. To accomplish this, the company must establish an entire community with individuals who will volunteer but be completely controlled once they are within this town that is completely hidden in an otherwise deserted section of the country. The town is established and populated and eventually Drake reappears, as well as the serial killer, and most of the action is centered around the town and individuals associated in some way with it. Numerous characters enter and re-enter the plot through its rather convoluted course until the finale that presents some surprises.

Discussion: The author has based his story on an interesting concept. Unfortunately however, it is not a particularly easy book to read. Further editing of much of the repetitious material and banality would have been helpful as well as the number of characters introduced and their actions which made the plot difficult to follow at times. With respect to handling of specifics to provide authenticity to the story’s plot, the deceitful and treacherous activity portrayed within the FBI seems quite acceptable because of the stories that constantly beset today’s residents from various sources. However, the portrayal of the loose handling of drug experimentation and population assembly and control is difficult to accept, even though the value and use of ‘under-the-table’ money is wide spread. The immensity of such an operation is most difficult to envision even if one retains only minimal pragmatic thoughts. The possibility of such a huge endeavor remaining a secret is totally unimaginable. However, individuals who are able to accept all of these factors mentioned will find an interesting, action-packed psychological thriller. Regrettably, those who cannot will discover a tale quite difficult to enjoy.

3* 4* for certain type readers; 3* or less apropos the factors presented.





HYPNOSIS, Return to the Past

HYPNOSIS, A return to the Past, ISBN: 9781912145645, I AM Publishing, an e-book translated by Lino Galveias, published, copyright and written by Maria Inês Rebelo.

Plot: Basically the author appears to wish to offer “A metaphor for life”: “wisdom is the human virtue that enables us to reach fullness, to discover the pure through the unclean and to find the path to happiness.” It centers on the interrelationship among a number of characters both in the present and through several centuries. Principally, the story follows two therapeutic hypnotists Marcus Belling, a very popular, charismatic man who easily establishes empathy with his patients and Joseph Salvatora, a somewhat withdrawn, autocratic individual. The two constantly are at odds over the manner of providing aid to patients as well as their position in the ‘official’ Hypnosis Society. The professional lives of both of these men are drastically changed by a young woman, Anne Pauline Roux, who decides to attempt to discover the cause of the incessantly disturbing dreams that have bothered her for years. While in a hypnotic trance she discovers that the strange man who has been disturbing her dreams all of these years actually is Belling from an earlier time. Resentful, she makes a pact with Salvatora to recount everything she learns during her sessions with Belling, something she hides from him. Of great importance is the fact that she is one of the few people who can change history by acts she performs during these hypnotic sessions. The involved and rather convoluted plot continues eventually leading her to find a fulfilling life and finding a resolution for the confrontational lives of Joseph and Marcus.

Discussion: Fundamentally the author has presented a quite well translated, intriguing tale that many readers should enjoy. Regrettably, along with this enjoyment, they may find several features of the presentation disturbing if not disappointing. The detail and descriptions provide excellent help in character development as well as placement of specifics. However, there is considerable redundancy, as well as repetition, that good editing would have eliminated. Additionally, the presentation somehow brings to mind the complex imagery Herbert, John Donne and other metaphysical poets of 17th Century presented. Specifically, at least for this reader, there was an inability to comfortably settle the tale into any particular time and/or place. To explain: First, Belling’s training was supposed to be particularly effective because he had received most of his training in America. The greatest advances made in hypnosis generally have been attributed to European proponents. More especially perhaps, centered first on the work of Franz Anton Mesmer in the late 1700’s and then those following. (An interesting aside, Belling’s professional life seems to follow Mesmer’s who was quite a popular showman but not well received by the Medical Profession of the day.) Second, the story is replete with a fortune teller, a forbidden island, soothsayers, clairvoyants and other components of the occult. Belling appeared on television, the ease of automobile transportation and other factors appears to lead one to expect the story’s time to be relatively recent. Yet, the strong position of the occult, although still existent today in small pockets, seems to make the time/place to be in the past (or perhaps a relatively isolated part of Europe peopled by unsophisticated, even quite provincial, individuals.) Thus, this reviewer’s discomfort in attempting to place a time and position for the story.

Summary: An intriguing story for readers who enjoy the occult and can overlook the problems that concerned this reader.

3* 4* for some readers; 2* for those similar to this reviewer.