Delirious is the first novel authored by Daniel Palmer, son of famed mystery/thriller writer Michael Palmer. It is evident the son inherited some of his father's talent. The book has some areas that could stand improvement but the overall content makes for an auspicious beginning for the younger Palmer's writing career.
The novel starts with a suicide off a huge bridge, a great way to hook an audience. The impact of this event is not understood until much later in the story. From this "gotcha" beginning the story relates information about the life and career of Charlie Giles. He was the owner of InVision, a hyper GPS type system, and sold it to SoluCent where he is now employed. Charlie's career dreams have all come true and he is sitting on top of the world.
But it all begins to unravel when Charlie begins to experience "blackouts" where he does things and writes things that he doesn't know he did. This causes him to panic because his only sibling, Joe, suffers from mental problems as did their father. Charlie wonders if he can be developing the same illnesses that faced them.
When murder enters the picture Charlie knows he has to find help. He reaches out to Joe's psychiatrist, Rachel Evans, and begs her for her help and assistance. Rachel wants to help Charlie but she also is controlled by certain ethical rules of her profession. She feels she has to notify the authorities and this will pretty much cinch Charlie's fate.
This "is he or isn't he insane?" quandary makes for suspenseful reading. The reader is totally on Charlie's side from beginning to end but some of his actions and the actions of others slow down the plot and make it less than logical. This is certainly true at the end of the book when everything is explained. It makes sense in the loosest sense of the word but for reader satisfaction it all seems too contrived and too convenient.
Daniel Palmer's writing style needs to be reigned in as he is too apt to over describe a situation rather than make it brief and taut. In most thrillers less is more and too often Daniel gives us much too much in the way of descriptions and analysis. He could also spend more time creating the essence of the characters. The framework information about Charlie and company is good, but it could be better with more descriptive meat on the bones.
As a first novel Delirious is certainly a winner. It has a solid plot foundation and some intriguing twists. Pared down it would have been exceptional. The Palmer family can certainly be proud of this first effort and readers will look forward to the next novel and the next. Daniel Palmer's future is bright.
Delirious is published by Kensington Books. It contains 384 pages and sells for $25.00.