“You can’t trust your memories. Don’t trust them. Whatever you think is true may or may not be. Your reality has been so tampered with that you can’t know for sure that anything is real,” Peter is told in Mike Dellosso’s novel, Centralia. Part of the Jed Patrick series, this four-hundred-page paperback targets those who enjoy fiction filled with action, suspense, and mystery. With no profanity or sexual scenes, topics of physical abuse, torture, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. This reader wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence. The ending includes an advertisement for the next book in the series, acknowledgments, nine discussion questions, the author’s biography, and ten discussion questions. In this current day story based on the East Coast, psychobiology research assistant Peter Ryan wakes up at home one morning to find his wife and eight-year-old daughter missing. Reminded again the two had died in a car accident months ago, the man wonders why his memories do not line up with reality. Having a recurring dream about a house with several rooms, the one locked door at the end of the hall is the key to finding out what has happened and why he cannot remember. When he reads a note written by his daughter, he seeks to find her and his wife’s whereabouts, believing he has not been told the truth. As he races to the deserted ghost town of Centralia, Ryan is chased down by a covert government agency that runs a secret military project involving memory manipulation. Analytical and calculating, Ryan not only has to deal with his past professional skills as a trained killer, but he also feels God’s hand of protection, especially when it involves his daughter and her unfailing faith. Trying repeatedly to determine what is the truth versus lies, the multi-dimensional character recognizes that appearances can be deceiving, and things are not what they seem. Fast-paced whenever Ryan encounters a new situation, he must combine his dreams, memories, and what he has been told to understand who he was and what he has become. The tale of one’s hidden past ends with a plausible beginning of a sequel. Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars Adjunct professor of creative writing and conference teacher, Dellosso has authored eight suspense novels. Having a masters degree in theology, he as well as his wife serve in their local Pennsylvania church. Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinions.
Centralia is one of those books I wanted to read in one sitting. The fast-paced, pull-me-through the pages of this psychological thriller kept me wanting more. I rooted for Ryan and couldn't wait to find out what happened, then wanted to read more when I finished. Dellosso knows how to write a story and weave in elements of faith. I loved how he sewed God into the fabric of the story and showed the reader what faith can do. If you enjoy Ted Dekker or Frank Peretti you'll love Mike Dellosso. Warning: There is violence throughout the story. I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
If you’re a Jason Bourne fan, you won’t want to miss this one. It’s a similiar idea, but different. Its amazing. Mike Dellosso is very talented in creating an off the edge of your seat thriller that will keep you guessing at what will happen. Just when you think you know what’s going on, a complete twist and turn is thrown at you. This is for anyone who loves a good thrill, mystery, with a lot of kick butt action. Peter Ryan wakes up on a typical morning only to find his house empty, his wife and daughter nowhere to be found. His world is shattered after a phone call to a friend confirms the impossible: his wife and daughter died in a car accident he doesn’t remember. Haunted by faint memories and flashes of details, Peter becomes convinced that something isn’t right and begins to question reality. When he discovers a note in his daughter’s handwriting. strange memories surface that cause him to second-guess nearly everything he once believed. Suddenly armed men show up at Peter’s home, turning the mysterious puzzle of his past into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. On the run and unsure whom to trust, Peter has to discover what’s real and what isn’t”¦before he loses everything. Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
In Dellosso’s (Scream) newest thriller, Peter Ryan believes himself to be a university lab researcher, but discovers he is a subject in a highly secretive government experiment to train a new breed of super-soldiers. When things go wrong, military masterminds must reel Ryan in before he exposes the abuses of the program. The story draws on the premise of The Bourne Identity, with a protagonist on a quest for the truth of his own identity. For readers of Christian fiction, the lost-identity concept parallels the main character’s wrestling with God’s identity and presence. A search for Ryan’s missing wife and young daughter runs concurrent with his quest for a seemingly hidden God, making Christian faith integral to the action-packed narrative. Dellosso, a creative writing professor, writes with punch and moves the story along briskly, but he relies on abrupt transitions too often, such as with the main character falling asleep or awakening. There’s so much waking, dreaming, “brain scrubbing,” recalling faint memories, and double-crossing that readers may be confused—though not unintentionally—until the very end.
Peter Ryan is still mourning the loss of his wife and daughter two months after they died in a tragic car accident he can’t remember. However, he senses something is not right as flashes of memory call up scenes of a different existence he doesn’t recollect. Friends chalk it up to post-traumatic stress disorder, but Peter’s faith won’t allow him to believe that his family is dead. When he finds a note from his daughter, indicating that she and her mother have been kidnapped and taken to a mysterious place called Centralia, Peter goes on the run. What he discovers forever changes how he sees himself.
VERDICT: Dellosso (Fearless) has written a tense psychological thriller with the feel of Total Recall in its story line. It’s a suspenseful ride for the reader as everyone holds a version of the truth and the only thing that can’t be taken from you is your faith in God. A solid read-alike is Ted Dekker’s Eyes Wide Open.