Appearances can be deceiving. Often what really is might not be. What you think if happened can all be one illusion created to distort your mind and soul with the purpose of manipulating the outcome for someone else’s benefit or pleasure.
Betrayals can destroy your spirit, trust and motivation creating a negative outlook for someone with a fragile persona. Eddie Prescott was world-class software engineer whose life spiraled out of control. A self-made man who worked his way up without any parent or government bail out or help, Eddie feels life is not worth living and there is only one way out.
Charles Giles is a brilliant young man who invented a product called InVision. Selling his startup company to a huge firm in Boston was supposed to be lucrative for both the company and him. As Senior Director of SoluCent he was on top of the world. Feared yet respected by his Magellan Team, Charlie carried a heavy gavel that strikes when necessary and tolerates no faltering, errors or mistakes when it comes to InVision. But, Charlie Giles will learn the true meaning of deceit, lies and betrayal as someone manipulates him into believing a lie which sends a chain of events in motion that will rock his world with results more catastrophic than a 9.0 earthquake on the Richter scale. Charlie Giles is about to enter a world similar to that of living in the Twilight Zone.
As Charlie takes the first step in his downfall, he never realized that information given to him was a lie. Rather than think it through he blindsides himself by entering a corporate meeting thinking one think only to humiliate himself as a result. What makes InVision so marketable: Imagine having one piece of software that is the perfect digital all in one encompassed package with every piece of software you can imagine. Guarding his invention, the plans and everything involved with InVision, Charlie becomes the target of someone’s diabolical scheme and warped mind.
Delirium is defined as a sudden, severe or rapid confusion due to changes in brain function caused by physical or mental illness caused by an infection, poison or acid-based disturbances. Charlie’s world transforms and turns inside out as his realities become vague and confusing and his personality distorted and the euphoric life he has lived: Disappears.
Through the voice of a narrator who vividly describes the events as they happen the reader takes this declining fall along with Charlie from the top of a huge mountain to the bottom of small hill feeling the bumps, twists and turns long the way with Charlie allowing the reader to understand his compulsion for order, structure and his relationship with others.
Creatively setting the stage author Daniel Palmer creates a Charlie’s’ past and shares it with the reader. As Charlie’s presentation at this meeting leads to his being terminated at his job, he encounters another set of problems that lead him back to his family. His brother diagnosed with Schizophrenia, equally as debilitating as delirium, has many of the same symptoms that Charlie thinks he now exhibits as he replays the events that turned his life upside down. Notes that he does not remember writing, files that were given to him by some unknown person who everyone thinks does not exist, a presentation with his name on it that he claimed he received from an unknown source searches on the net and emails that he never remembers making or doing.
Is he losing his mind or is someone cleverly manipulating events to let him think so. Naivety gets in the way and do does Charlie’s pride as he falls pray to one man’s lies and more deceits someone has definitely orchestrated the events as graphically and artistically as a conductor of a symphony orchestra. Someone is Gas lighting Charlie! Meaning: Manipulating the events and situations in his life slowly and methodically trying to drive him insane with psychological mind games.
Vivid descriptions of the characters and events help you picture them as our main character interacts with those in his company, family and one doctor he hopes will help him find some answers. Dr. Rachel Evans is working with his brother Joe helping him works through his illness and cope with daily life. When Charlie seeks her out for some answers to questions about himself, why does she listen? But, things will not get better but more complicated as Charlie’s mother has a stroke and his priorities need to be readjusted as his relationship with his brother Joe, takes on a whole new complexion.
Schizophrenia runs in his family, yet is it part of his genetic makeup? Can Charlie really be losing his sense of reality or is someone controlling the events? Delirious or stressed out? Yet, he goes about trying the many fragments of a huge puzzle that has pieces so small they do not fit perfectly together. Methodically analyzing each event and finding more notes on his word documents and in his home, Charlie our techno genius needs his own program to solve his problems and find his way back to the top. Abandoned by his parents in two different ways he now faces his biggest challenge besides having to care for his brother: His Survival and Sanity! As one message sends him over the top and two brothers come face to face with truths they do not want to bear and one man’s life will take another downward spiral as many of his former co-workers are murdered and Charlie is thought the guilty party?
As the author allows the reader to enter the mind of Joe, through his blog, you begin to understand the torment, stress, fears and hope that this man has endured and his moments of lucidity as he describes his feelings, his therapy and hopes for the future. As Charlie’s mind unravels and he is faced with many unanswered questions that lead everyone to believe that he is insane. Even with the help of his brother and an FBI agent circumstances still point that he is a danger to himself and others and needs confinement. Hearing voices, notes that he claims no knowledge of writing, ex-partner who stole money from his company and was fired, who could be responsible for orchestrating his downfall.
Eddie Prescott is presumed dead. So, why does he hear his voice loud and clear while confined at Walderman? Living the same life as his brother Joe, Charlie comes face to face with his own fears and begins to understand his brother and what he faces daily. But, what happens next will change everything and as his world falls about like a fragile piece of porcelain dropped on the floor and crumbled into minute pieces, Charlie faces his biggest challenge.
Laws to be followed, doctors responsible and threats directed in just the right places. But how could someone orchestrate a plan so devious, clever and diabolical that one man was convinced he was hearing voices, writing notes and killing former co-workers and claiming he is innocent. When faced with the possible truth and who might be behind these acts of murder, violence, his demise at work, Charlie enlists the help of four people he hopes he can trust. The end result will not only surprise the reader and make you wonder if an invention like InVision does really exist or will be the new wave of the future: How great that would be!
When the answers are no longer vague and the end result is clear, who remains standing, who will survive? Or are we all just plain Delirious of author Daniel Palmer’s debut novel that will keep you enthralled, entranced and totally intrigued until you turn the last page and find out the startling truth. Charlie Giles is a great character and Joe is really quite remarkable. Both Joe and Charlie learn the true meaning of loyalty, trust and family in this outstanding must read novel. Let’s hope the sequel brings these two back together again and I hope to get on the author’s list to review it first.
Author: Daniel Palmer
Reviewed by Fran Lewis