BOOK REVIEW: Through The Fog by Michael C. Grumley
Through The Fog, written by Michael C. Grumley, is the story of a psychiatrist, Dr. Shannon Mayer, who has been forced to face a parent’s nightmare – the kidnapping of her child. Questions and uncertainties abound and linger. For the longest time no leads appear, only tears and heartache. While Shannon’s marriage all but disintegrates under the weight of the couple’s sadness, her husband stops communicating altogether, consumed by guilt, lost in his dark thoughts and falling deeper into depression. Naturally, as desperation for her child’s whereabouts envelope every single cell of her being, Shannon becomes overwhelmed, distraught, angry and deathly frightened.
Desperate for answers, Shannon goes against her better judgment and enlists the help of a young man, Evan Nash to help her find her daughter. Evan is recuperating from a severe head injury, which has left him experiencing many strange but accurate visions -images that might provide the answers of the child’s disappearance and by whom. However, Evan is not only seriously ill, but he is also Dr. Mayer’s patient, -which is a serious infraction, a no-no. This grave lack of ethics in ‘using her patient’ is not lost on this distressed mother-doctor, but desperation can make even the most moral and professionally conscious individuals make choices they may have never before thought remotely possible or acceptable.
Despite the uncanny accuracy of these visualizations, there is a high cost to be paid concerning Evan’s health. The more the flashes of clarity reveal themselves, the more his body revolts. The more his body revolts, the higher the physical toll, but Evan is a kind soul, raised by a nurturing mother who taught him to be his brother’s keeper. Determined not to let the possibility of his helping be hindered no matter what the cost, Evan makes a selfless decision, but should Evan help Dr. Mayer and reveal to her all that he sees? And if he does, will he be believed? With time running out, Evan must struggle to stay alive long enough to see the child returned home safely – if she is in fact still alive. Lastly, do the rights and needs of the one outweigh the rights and needs of the many?
I enjoyed the story, and the concept was intriguing, so much so that it would have been far more fascinating had the author chosen to expand upon the depravity of the antagonist a tinge more. PTSD can produce a wide array of reactions and conditions, and I found myself craving further information and nuance as to his mindset as it unraveled. The Reader is given snippets, but in my humble opinion only, the kidnapper’s personality would have been a remarkable character to delve deeper into particularly when revealing his demented motivations for absconding with the child in the first place.
The author portrayed a mother’s grief and a father’s guilt in both a succinct and poignant manner. The familial relationship between Dr. Mayer and her sister was also well done and endearing. Towards the end of the book, the story felt a bit rushed, and could have been fleshed out a bit more, but the dialogue was believable and more than made up for this slight shortcoming. I will, however, concede that at one point I thought the ending would turn out much differently, and despite the somewhat all-too-neat wrap up in the end, Through The Fog was a pleasant, steady read.
For the sake of full disclosure, I also listened to the audible version of this book and the reading was done nicely and worth the added experience.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR [FROM AMAZON]
"For years, Michael Grumley dreamed of writing action thrillers the way he thought they should be written; stories with unique plots that 'move'. Enter BREAKTHROUGH, AMID THE SHADOWS, and THROUGH THE FOG: all original stories with endings you will never see coming.Michael C. Grumley lives in Northern California with his wife and two young daughters where he works in the Information Technology field. He's an avid reader, runner and most of all father. He dotes on his girls every chance he gets.
He is currently working on the next Breakthrough story".