Summary: An empty house. A bereaved father. Alone with his loss, Ian Colmes has driven away everyone he loves. But when he begins to see his dead son again, is it because the boy is reaching out from beyond? Or has Ian’s anguish finally given way to dementia?
What Rhea thought: Reading Alex gave me the chills. It is a heartbreaking tale of a thirty four year old man questioning his sanity when he starts to see his dead son.
But it’s so much more.
Losing a child can be the worst experience a parent can go through. Living through the horror and actually seeing your dead child every damn day can drive a man to the brink of insanity.
Ian lost his five-year, Alex, to a kidnapper who tortured, raped and finally killed the boy some time before the book actually begins. Ian’s life becomes hellish when he starts to see Alex around his house. Not helping his miserable existence is the fact that his wife, Alina, has left him and is living separately. His work life is crumbling, his marriage is failing and he is a self-diagnosed schizophrenic for seeing and hearing Alex in his house. But is he?
I can see clearly why this book has a 4.05 star average on Goodreads. There is nothing—and I mean absolutely nothing—that I would change about this book. Ian’s pain, his confusion, his guilt, it’s there.
The writing itself is fast-paced, gripping and it will be heart-wrenching if you’re a parent yourself. That being said, those of us who aren’t are going to be taken aback by pretty hard by the sympathy you’re going to feel for Ian. He’s not only a grieving father. He’s a man that’s lost almost everything he has—all at once. That alone is enough to drive someone crazy but the fact that Ian never once gives up is commendable.
The characters—although some were unnecessary—did a good job supporting the book in the non-suspense scenes. All the while, there are real life situations that you can relate with. The characters in the book were very much like people you would meet—a tiresome, irritating office co-worker, an assholic boss a good friend.
The book ended well. Really well. For someone who was absolutely hopeless throughout the book for Ian’s fate, I was pleasantly surprised by it’s end. It was absolute torture having to read Ian’s state of mind considering how distraught he was throughout the book, but it was well worth it.
If you’re a parent, this book might be difficult for you to read, and might stress you out concerning the safety of your child. Regardless, this is an excellent book well worth the hours you put into it.
About the Author:
Adam J Nicolai lives near Minneapolis, MN with his wife, Joy, and their two children, Isaac and Rydia. He is a life-long nerd, game lover, author, Star Wars fan, Dungeon Master, and amateur game designer, as well as a former project manager and policy debate coach.
His first novel, Alex, was self-published on Amazon and was extremely well-received, hitting #13 on the Kindle Horror Bestseller list and #1 in Ghost Horror. It was also the top-rated novel by customer review for several months in Horror, Thriller, and Suspense, and peaked at #3 top-rated in overall Kindle Fiction.