SOMEONE IS WATCHING …WAITING…
An amateur magician, accomplished killer, an unassuming family . . . a fatal illusion Haydon Owens wants to be the next Houdini. He has been practicing his craft and has already made four women disappear. All it took was a bit of rope and his two bare hands. With the heat on in Cincinnati, he has come to Newberry, Michigan, hoping to start a new life.
Gillian Thayer’s calligraphy business helps to keep her mind off two small headstones in the cemetery. Still healing from the death of her twins during birth, Gillian absorbs another emotional blow when she finds a love letter addressed to her husband Marc, a pastor and counselor. But before Gillian can confront him, a gunshot shatters her already fragile world. Gillian’s family is forced to leave Chicago to escape the eye of the media. Together they seek refuge in the north woods, Whistler’s Point, a historic lighthouse on Lake Superior near the tiny town of Newberry, Michigan. They are looking a peaceful sanctuary from a shattered past. But they are not alone. Little do they know that they are about to become part of Haydon Owen’s next act. Time is running out and already the killer has spotted his next victim. Who will escape alive?
Bio: Adam Blumer graduated from Bob Jones University with a degree in a print journalism. Since childhood he has been writing stories and has since been published in a variety of periodicals. He works full-time as a freelance writer and editor. A print journalism graduate of Bob Jones University (Greenville, SC), he served in editorial roles for fourteen years at Northland Baptist Bible College (Dunbar, WI) and Awana Clubs International Headquarters (Streamwood, IL). He has published numerous short stories and articles. Kregel Publications (Grand Rapids, MI) released Fatal Illusions, his first novel, on March 31, 2009. He lives in Michigan with his wife and their two daughters.
“Fatal Illusions is an engaging, fast-paced read with a captivating storyline that grabs you from page one and doesn’t let go. Highly recommended!”-Mark Mynheir, homicide detective and author of The Night Watchman
“An awesome ride!”-Rosey Dow, Christy Award winning author of Reaping the Whirlwind
“Adam Blumer tells a fast-paced story that weaves together a serial killer, a physically wounded pastor and his spiritually wounded wife. The twists and turns will keep readers guessing.”-Rick Acker, author of Blood Brothers
Haydon Owens, a wanna-be-Houdini, had made four young teenage girls, each with blonde hair, blue eyes, and wire-rimmed glasses, disappear. Wanting to change his life around and avoid police capture, he spirits himself off to a small cabin in Newberry, Michigan, where no one knows anything about him. Little did he know that he’d find another blonde, blue-eyed girl with wire-rim glasses that would enrage him.
Pastor Marc Thayer has been shot by a woman, Stacey James, who is obsessed with unrealistic romantic interludes with him, who screams that he tried to rape her. To put the media to rest and salvage the church’s ministry over an alleged sex scandal, he, along with his wife, Gillian, and daughter, Crystal, is put on sabbatical up in Newberry, Michigan. Little does the Thayer family know who is out there … watching them.
Adam Blumer starts his book, Fatal Illusions, with the murder of a young teenage girl, who feels like someone is always watching her, but she can’t see anyone is the wings.
He fast forwards us four years into the midst of media frenzy over an alleged rape/possible affair that involves Pastor Marc Thayer and Stacey James. The dialogue between Pastor Marc and his church staff, as well as his wife’s questioning conversations are real and relevant for the circumstances. You can feel the anguish of Gillian’s mistrust of her husband’s possible infidelity. The reality of a mandated sabbatical leaves all three family members in consternation, yet they are forced to move on.
From the moment that the Thayer family strikes out on their way to Newberry, the author ups the ante with fast-paced twists and turns amongst a serial killer, a rejected woman, and an unsuspecting family. Of course, most of the intense activity is set in the evening, which inflates your level of fear, as nighttime always makes the suspense more eerie and frightful, something the author plays on throughout the story line.
Tucked in between the suspense and danger, Adam throws in some romance to lower the intensity of the scenes, while keeping your mind on the killings at the edges of your mind. It’s a fine-line approach that intertwines superbly.
The character that I loved the most is Crystal. Her innocence and love of music endears her to my heart. She doesn’t like the upheavals in her life, but she doesn’t make a scene about it.
The constant prayers of newly-involved retired FBI agent Chuck Riley, as well as the Thayers and their friends, is interspersed throughout the episodes naturally. They are constantly giving thanks and glory to the Lord in every circumstance. Yes, they definitely have doubts and anger, but they encourage one another to trust that the Lord is in control of everything that happens.
This book was provided by the author, Adam Blumer, through Susan Sleeman of The Suspense Zone, in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.