- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted March 18, 2013
Forgive me, Alex - a psychological thriller was pretty jarring and spectacular. It plays at the heart-strings of anyone who has ever encountered 'the devil' - or just that guy who has done something so reprehensibly evil and wrong but never been punished for it. Though in my situation, some of them were punished in accurately, and some not at all, and some were even known commonly for all their wrong doings.
"I long to charge across the street to destroy him - no remorse."
I've never done it though, and so, this book led me on a journey that ultimately reminded me why I don't do it. On the other hand, there were tons of reasons I found and justifications, at least in part for why he did.
Tony becomes as endearing as Dexter Morgan - in that I want to hate you, but you're human too kind of way. While the MAN(Mitchell Andrew Norton) became, for me anyway, the hated individual who even though they too have had a traumatic past you hate anyway.
Hypothetically, if two people had the same past experiences, and for the purposes of this experiment, the same DNA. So yeah, I guess they'd have to be identical twins. Anyway, if they had the same experiences and yet chose different paths - one becoming a sadistic murderer, the other a vigilante murderer - is one more enduring simply because of our culture and perceived values?
Having taken a LOT of psychology courses means that the information I draw on is sometimes different. If that hypothetical situation actually happened, it would all basically be conjecture as to why one is perceived as less evil than the other.
There just aren't enough (or maybe any) real life examples to have studies. Plus, we'd be studying the past which is historical, but can't speak to the emotions someone experienced at the time. There are also any number of other reasons, like the ethical implications of studying or even observing humans for a life time. Psychological research is interesting, and there are some really amusing neuroscientific studies going on, but I still don't think that chemical reactions explain everything.
On the other hand - if we're talking in a universal/Stephen Hawking/Star trek/physical way - chemical reactions do explain everything. That, or as humans we just come up with plausible reasons for things to have happened after the fact. Which may or may not mean that humans have to follow those same rules.
I once questioned physics and elemental laws in a conversation. "How DO you know that chemical elements act the same on Mars? How DO you know that there actually IS evil vs. good? How DO you know that the laws of physics are fundamentally the same everywhere?"
This book, made me question everything about human nature. It's not only a psychological thriller, it's a bleak look into the human condition and why or how we make the choices we do. If you're looking for a thriller, and don't want to delve deeply into the psyche of the characters and or human nature, this book can still be enjoyable. I don't think that you'll get to the end of the book without delving though, and that's not a bad thing at all.
It also brought me a step closer to completing the paradox loop of life - in a crazy star trek meets Manitoba kind of way.
At the end of the book I decided that regardless of whether people can or are fundamentally good or evil, we can as readers and as people identify with them all.
Life is a paradox and to quote a great author.
This 'hunter of monsters' is one you will surely enjoy!
Posted March 5, 2013
Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite
Fifteen year old Tony's mother is killed by a drunken truck driver just outside their home as she returns from the store. His father falls to pieces after this tragedy and Tony is left to care for his younger brother Alex. A few years pass and Tony is due to leave for college in North Carolina. He has met Diana Gregario at their dad's Fourth of July company picnic and will miss her when he goes off to college. So Tony leaves Alex alone at home while he goes to see Diana. While Tony is gone, Alex is murdered and the killer dismembers the body. The killer kidnaps Diana Gregario. Tony is frantic and furious after Alex's death and now Diana's kidnapping. He is helped and calmed by older Frank Willow who has always seen himself as a grandfather to Tony and Alex. But can Tony serve the killer the justice he deserves as the bodies begin to pile up?
"Forgive Me, Alex" is a thriller that readers will love. Tony is a complex, obsessive and rather interesting main character. The dialogue between characters is exceptionally good. The characters of Frank Willow, FBI Agent Linda Monroe and the Algonquin police add to the storyline which switches back and forth from 1995 to the original 1978 murders, and then to the story's conclusion. Readers, don't pass over "Forgive Me, Alex".
This book is gruesome and emotional right out of the gate. The main character, Tony, goes through some monumental losses throughout the story. These aren't the kind of losses that you can just blow off as insignificant because Lane's writing makes you really care about these people and what's going on. Lane excels in this area of sympathetic characters.
The sympathy you have for the characters makes this a tough read at times. I blazed through the first half in one or two days, which for me is saying a lot, especially with other books already in my queue. But, I got to a point where the gruesome scenes with the serial killer made me put it down. I give Lane credit for painting a very real picture of what it would be like to be Tony, to be the serial killer, and to be all the other people that suffer and were involved with this monster--even to the point that you sympathize with the monster himself.
Even though I didn't really "enjoy" reading the scenes with the serial killer, I was intrigued to get into the killer's mind, and they were very well written. This is the kind of book you can see playing out in your head as if you were there. Lane uses the first person to masterfully get you into the character's minds so that you can feel everything as if it were happening to you. I could see how and why this guy did these awful things, and it made the story more horrific because of how real it seemed.
In the end, I was pushed to find out what happens to the main character's girlfriend. As usual, Lane wrote a compelling love story for Tony and Dianna that really pulls you in at the beginning of the story. This is the hook that will keep you reading in spite of the gruesome actions by the serial killer because you want to know what happens between Tony and Dianna. Even though much of the book is written from 17 years after Tony first met the serial killer, you still don't quite know what happens until the end; and even then, he leaves you wondering and needing to know what will happen in the sequel.
Between 50% and like 70% I was thinking this would be a 4 star review because I figured I had Lane pegged on what would happen to Diane. I was partly right, and partly wrong. The conclusion left me realistically satisfied and very impressed with Lane's story telling. Life isn't a fairy tale, and I commend Lane for his conclusion. That, combined with Lane's excellent writing, makes this a 5 star book. I walk away with a deep emotional connection to these characters and their plight. They are like old friends, and any time a book can create that bond with characters, I say well done. He also did an excellent job with the moral question of what you would do if you were in Tony's place and life has been so traumatically difficult. How many loved ones could you see die before you justified vengeance?
I had a few problems with this book: a little bit of a lull after the middle, which is hard to avoid when you are setting up the ending, and in order to be real; and some of the sex and violence was more than I wanted to experience, but in the end, that's the ugly truth that Lane had to portray to tell this story right. As he warns in the intro, this book is not for kids.
If you are willing to experience some of the darker sides to life, you'll walk away with new "friends," and a deeper understanding of life and appreciation for the loved ones you still have.
Posted December 19, 2012
Lane pens "Forgive Me, Alex" in a very well thought out plot where the characters are believable and well described. A gruesome, serial killer, psychological suspense thriller that is very hard to put down until your finished, a total roller coaster ride with all the twists and turns.A fantastic book and highly recommend it for all psychological suspense thriller, serial killer type novel fans, but please note this book is for adult audiences only.
This review is based on a complimentary copy from the author which was provided for an honest review.
Posted July 5, 2012
Forgive Me, Alex is a psychological suspense thriller to say the least, told in the voices of Tony Hooper and Mitchell Norton and relives the atrocities of a time in 1978 and then in the present of 1995. Tony Hooper is an average guy, soon to graduate high school, has a girlfriend that he wants to marry and spend the rest of his life with. Just prior to him graduating, his little brother, his shadow, Alex turns up missing. Alex is eventually found murdered and Tony blames himself. Back to 1995 Mitchell Norton, a convicted serial killer, is released from prison and that is when the story really takes off...not to spoil the story for you, I will just say that this book grabbed me right from the first page. I love suspense thrillers and when an author can pull the reader right into the story where you do not want to put the book down, that is for me a great read. There are characters that you love to love and those you love to hate. An emotional roller coaster of a ride right up to the last page. Then it keeps you wanting more and that is good because there will be another book soon, The Devil's Bane, a sequel to Forgive Me, Alex. I highly recommend this book!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.