Thursday, January 5, 2012

Charlene Reviews: Fractured Persona by Harry James Krebs

ISBN #: 978-1461149576
Page Count: 312
Copyright: November 12, 2011
Publisher: CreateSpace


Richard Fornek is shocked to discover he has acquired not only a different identity, but also a new body after recovering from a coma in a North Carolina hospital. Although he recalls every detail of his life as Richard Fornek - his job back on the West Coast as a structural engineer, and his stormy thirteen-year marriage to Karen - his appearance is that of a local warehouse worker Dan Curtis.

Traumatized, he insists that he's Richard Fornek, but when faced with the prospect of incarceration in a psychiatric hospital, has no choice but to live as Curtis; including accepting his marriage to Curtis's spunky wife, Elizabeth. Before long, Fornek finds himself beginning to fall for Elizabeth, but the accusation of the murder of Curtis's former lover throws a wrench in the blossoming relationship.

Fighting to prove his innocence, he attempts to plead his case to his only confidante, a Baptist minister. If all fails, he will be faced with the death penalty and losing the woman he has grown to love.

Charlene's Review:

Fractured Persona follows the life of Richard Fornek, who is involved in an accident and awakens from a coma in someone else's body. As if this strange development isn't enough, as time goes on, and he realizes he must live as Curtis, he finds that he has a dark past and is being questioned for murder. As he tries to reconcile his new identity, and fights to stay out of jail, Fornek realizes his new reality comes with some perks, mainly in the form of Curtis' wife, Elizabeth.

As a first-time author, Mr. Krebs has a grasp on character development and the art of storytelling. Intriguing from the first page, Fractured Persona is everything you could want in a fiction work: murder, mystery, a bit of the unexplained, love, passion, and flowing dialogue. The characters' ability to jump into his new identity seemed a bit too easy, but watching him transform Curtis into a different person made up for it. There was a certain soft quality to Fornek that drew you to him, and made you applaud the "loss" of Curtis.

I am not commonly a mystery reader, but I would be lead to read anything written by Mr. Krebs in the future. It all fit together so seamlessly, and the descriptive personalities of the characters left you feeling as if you knew them intimately. The true measure of the genius of the mystery was I never suspected the murderer, and the twists just kept coming. The redemption of a marriage plays a huge part, despite the extenuating circumstance. I would have liked to have seen a reason for the "body switch" but nonetheless, a very enjoyable book. I am looking forward to reading Mr. Krebs next novel, Lethal Retribution.

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