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The Devil’s Dream is a standalone novel by David Beers, a book that I received from the author with a request to read and write down my thoughts about it in my blog.
The premise is quite interesting: Matthew Brand is a genius, his mind is at a completely different level than that of most humans on this planet. He IS the smartest guys on this planet, period. At a young age he was getting various Ph.Ds while others were still struggling with their first bachelor’s degree. However he was not really getting anywhere with his life, although many had predicted that he could literally change the world – all by himself.
Matthew was enjoying a rather simple life, got married and adopted a child that he loved very much. But everything changed on a fateful day when his son (a young black teenager) was gunned down by 4 policemen in error of thinking he is a criminal.
This is when Matthew’s life changed completely. Now he let go of his boring life and became a man on a mission – on two missions really: to get revenge for the death of his son, and to become a modern Frankenstein and bring back his son from the dead.
I loved the premise which intrigued me right from the start. A genius who can do what no man on Earth (except in books, of course) could do: revive a dead one and mastermind a plan so cunning that nobody has even the slighted idea on how to stop him from doing what he has set out to do. An unstoppable force of nature.
Due to his own arrogance he was caught and put in a vegetative state for 10 years at ‘The Wall’, after which he escaped with one goal only: to carry on what he started all those years ago.
However Matthew has an Achile’s heel: his ex-wife, whom he still loves dearly, even though she’s already moved on with her life and married someone else. And this weakness of his might be just the ticket for the FBI agent in charge to actually capture him before he does much more damage.
The story alternates between the present and selected chapters from a book about Matthew written by Jeffrey Dillan soon after his capture. The book made Jeffrey filthy rich, but also brought him to severe alcoholism, from which he is still struggling today.
These book chapters gave a much needed background into who Matthew really is, why he got captured (quite an interesting story there) and what his deepest thoughts were at the time. It puts this genius in a more down to earth light that makes him a human to us, not some god.
At first I really loved Matthew’s character and I rooted for him. However the more I’ve read, the more I’ve realized that for all his genius mind, he is a deeply flawed human, with an overinflated ego and a criminal streak. He has no qualms to kill even children, which for me is a big no-no even in books.
Halfway through the book I rooted for the FBI to finally catch him. And whether they did, I won’t reveal here, so I won’t spoil it for you – but it’s totally worth reading what happened next!
All the characters are well fleshed out and each has their own flaws that makes them simply human. None of them is perfect. The FBI agent excels at her work, but her family life suffers from it deeply – deeper than any of the involved characters might have anticipated when she took over the Matthew Brand case.
The book author, Jeffrey Dillan is rich, has a talent for writing, but in wanting to write the next book about Matthew Brand, he becomes also criminal in knowing exactly where Matthew is and what he is doing, and not telling the police any of it – wanting the glory of telling all the gruesome details in his book all for himself. He was a greedy and selfish person who deserved everything that got at the end. In a way I almost tend to believe that Jeffrey was more evil than Matthew, even though he hasn’t actually killed anybody.
Matthew’s ex-wife is a good woman who simply wants her ex to stop. She knows that bringing her son back to life is a mistake and does everything she knows – even by risking her life – in trying to stop him any way she can.
All the main characters in the book made mistakes after mistakes and that really just made them easier to understand and identify with – afterall we all do make mistakes and try to become better for it.
The Devil’s Dream is a suspenseful thriller that kept me turning the pages one after another to see what happens next. I was curious whether Matthew would actually bring back his dead son and how he would go about it. To be honest I’m still not quite sure of the details, the science behind it was lacking. However it is a suspend your belief kind of book, so I just read it for what it was: a delightful edge of your seat novel that deserves being read by anyone who loves a good sci-fi thriller.
Btw the ending almost calls for a second book to be written – it definitely opens up a few interesting possibilities…
To read more about The Devil’s Dream or get the book, head over to Amazon, it’s available on Kindle to download and read as well.