Cover from JFPenn.com
“Those who the Gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.”
LONDON. When a prominent psychiatrist is found murdered in the old hospital of Bedlam, Detective Sergeant Jamie Brooke finds herself investigating the history of madness to fathom the motive. Blake Daniel, a reluctant psychic, helps her to research the case, only to discover that his own family are entwined with the shadowy forces that seek to control the minds of the mad.
As the body count rises, and those she loves are threatened, Jamie discovers that the tendrils of conspiracy wind themselves into the very heart of the British government. Can she stop the killer before madness takes its ultimate revenge?
A thriller with an edge of the supernatural, Delirium is a story of love for family, revenge for injustice and the question of whether we all sit on the spectrum of madness somewhere.
J.F. Penn’s Delirium is like Nancy Drew on acid. J.F. delivers a sensory overload on this one, by that I mean the way she describes everything from the oil slick on the street to the smell of rotted bodies, really takes the reader to that place in the story. At times I felt like there was too much information that didn’t really move the scenes forward but other times they worked really well. These books are not for the faint of heart, if you really get engaged in a book to where you smell and see the locations you’re in for a treat.
I would have loved to learn more about Blake Daniel, I loved his character from the first novel in the series, Desecration. We got a little teaser about him when we found out that his estranged father was dying and he returned home. We even met his mother, but all of that was glazed over.
Blake has special powers that allows him to see the history of an object by holding on to it. Neat right? Not so much if you’re Blake, some of the things that he sees are absolutely horrendous! One scene that stuck out in my mind was of him seeing demons opening his dying father’s skull and eating his brain. Blake finds his father’s grimoire, and of course I wanted to know more, but Blake was kidnapped and that was kind of the end of that.
I would have liked to see more interaction between Blake and Jamie, they have such awesome similarities; they are both such broken characters and it left me yearning for them to turn to each other. Their paths crossed when Jamie asked him to help her on a case she was working on (Jamie is a detective), but Blake declined because he was dealing with facing his dying father who treated him like a demon seed all his life. By the way, his father was a man of the cloth. Jamie and Blake meet again towards the end. I’m not going to say more on that because I don’t want to give away anything. I would have prefered to read more about Blake than the politician. I love the way it ended, it had me shouting “you go girl!” about Jamie’s character’s making the decision to make her own destiny.
Overall I enjoyed this story but it didn’t connect for me like Desecration. Thank goodness I bought the next book in the series, Deviance I started reading it right away. It is the final book in the trilogy and I can’t wait to see where J.F. takes it.
One of the things I really love about J.F.’s novels are the research that she puts into it to make sure everything is accurate. At the back of the book she shares her experiences and I really appreciate that. Thank you J.F. for reminding us that we all have a little “crazy” in us and that is quite normal.
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