Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mystery Book Review: Nothing to See Here by David L. Post

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written a review of Nothing to See Here by David L. Post. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.Nothing to See Here by David L. Post

Nothing to See Here by David L. Post

Beckham Publications (Trade Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-931761-29-8 (0931761298)
ISBN-13: 978-0-931761-29-4 (9780931761294)
Publication Date: August 2007
List Price: $14.95

Synopsis (from the publisher): Nothing To See Here spans one summer in the life of psychiatrist Alan Sarnower, an ordinary citizen who finds himself in extraordinary circumstances when his wife suddenly leaves him and their young son in the middle of a psychotic episode. When she returns unexpectedly with a new lover and announces her intention to get a divorce, his own life and sanity begin to unravel.

As the divorce process grinds on, he forgets appointments and lets responsibilities slide. An affair with his seductive secretary provides only temporary relief from a frightening descent into mental illness. Now, finally sicker than his own patients, as people and events are misinterpreted and doors begin to close, his comfortable suburban life recedes and murder becomes the only option left.

Review: David L. Post's debut novel, Nothing to See Here, is a well-written though formulaic psychological thriller that promises far more than it delivers.

Nothing to See Here opens with Cassie, the wife of psychiatrist Alan Sarnower, systematically destroying their bedroom as she prepares to leave. To where and for how long he doesn't know. Nor does he seem to care. He has a thriving practice, a large home in the suburbs, a young son he adores, and a close friend he can confide in and count on. Maybe life without her would be better. But when she suddenly returns and files for divorce, he starts to see his world being taken away from him. His anxiety about potentially losing his son and his home and the staggering fees he's paying his lawyer to represent him begin to affect his reasoning, so much so that he'll do anything to ensure that his wife doesn't take everything he values away from him.

Nothing to See Here fails to generate any real suspense primarily because it is told from the point of view of Alan Sarnower. Every action he takes is telegraphed well in advance, and therefore nothing he does surprises the reader. He loses control of his marriage, his relationship with his son, and his professional practice, but there is never any sense that he is out of control, and certainly nothing to suggest that he is mentally unbalanced. Of course that's the crux of the problem: since the story is told from his perspective, he's not going to think anything is wrong with him. He's the only sane person in a world gone mad. It isn't until the last few pages that he's threatened in any way, uncertainty clouding his future. This provides a welcome element of surprise for the reader, but with only a few paragraphs until the end, it's too little, far too late.

Post is a talented writer but the lack of originality in his plot and the manner in which he chose to relate it make Nothing to See Here rather prosaic and dull.

Special thanks to Maryglenn McCombs Book Publicity for providing a copy of Nothing to See Here for this review.

Review Copyright © 2007 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

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