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Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite
A professional reviewer should not use the words “a page turner” to describe an interesting book. It reeks of hyperbole. Unless, of course, said reviewer finds himself rapidly turning the pages in a novel as gripping as We Follow the Dying Light by David Donaldson. Partly due to his highly assertive, punchy writing style, but mostly because his fascinating plot moves so swiftly forward, Donaldson’s psychological thriller is – here we go again – “impossible to put down.” Make no mistake; this book is first and foremost a psychological thriller. Catarina Chambers, a near-future psychiatric counselor, uses a controversial and self-tested technology to treat her suffering patients, joining them inside their most traumatic memories to ameliorate the severest post-traumatic symptoms. What could possibly go wrong?
Told with the immediacy of a single television episode, one might wish We Follow the Dying Light would delve more deeply into its rather complex psychological foundations and underpinnings, but David Donaldson – with some justification – instead chooses to keep the reader moving forward on a high-speed ride to likely oblivion. Ms. Chambers, under the distinctly irritating and antagonistic supervision of a government overseer charged to evaluate her methods for a possible major grant, is forced to proceed with undue haste and lack of safeguards in treating her most mysterious, government-supplied patient who remains traumatically mute and unresponsive. Courageously, Catarina dives headlong into the memories that made him so, and worse, the mental constructs he erected to preserve his last shred of sanity. And the pages just keep turning until the end.