In Dellossos (Scream) newest thriller, Peter Ryan believes himself to be a university lab researcher, but discovers he is a subject in a highly secretive government experiment to train a new breed of super-soldiers. When things go wrong, military masterminds must reel Ryan in before he exposes the abuses of the program. The story draws on the premise of The Bourne Identity, with a protagonist on a quest for the truth of his own identity. For readers of Christian fiction, the lost-identity concept parallels the main characters wrestling with Gods identity and presence. A search for Ryans missing wife and young daughter runs concurrent with his quest for a seemingly hidden God, making Christian faith integral to the action-packed narrative. Dellosso, a creative writing professor, writes with punch and moves the story along briskly, but he relies on abrupt transitions too often, such as with the main character falling asleep or awakening. Theres so much waking, dreaming, brain scrubbing, recalling faint memories, and double-crossing that readers may be confusedthough not unintentionallyuntil the very end.
Peter Ryan is still mourning the loss of his wife and daughter two months after they died in a tragic car accident he cant remember. However, he senses something is not right as flashes of memory call up scenes of a different existence he doesnt recollect. Friends chalk it up to post-traumatic stress disorder, but Peters faith wont allow him to believe that his family is dead. When he finds a note from his daughter, indicating that she and her mother have been kidnapped and taken to a mysterious place called Centralia, Peter goes on the run. What he discovers forever changes how he sees himself.
VERDICT: Dellosso (Fearless) has written a tense psychological thriller with the feel of Total Recall in its story line. Its a suspenseful ride for the reader as everyone holds a version of the truth and the only thing that cant be taken from you is your faith in God. A solid read-alike is Ted Dekkers Eyes Wide Open.