Review: Glimpse by Jonathan Maberry

Glimpse by Jonathan Maberry
St. Martin’s Press (March 2018)
352 pages; $20.19 hardcover; $13.99 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

Those fans who are hoping to find the swashbuckling heroics of the Joe Ledger novels or the zombified madness of the Rot and Ruin series will be in for a big surprise with Glimpse. Maberry has penned a decidedly different book here, a thriller that delivers for that genre yet still hits on the edges of reality, stretching the imagination in a manner that is utterly human, but entrenched in a Twilight Zone-type story.

Rain Thomas is the portrait of a damaged character. Think about showing up to a job interview, only to discover you missed it—by an entire day. It began when a strange old woman sat next to her on the train and handed her a pair of glasses with a crack in the lens. The little boy Rain sees when she puts them on spurs her into a wild adventure that turns her already off-kilter life upside down. She keeps experiencing the menacing Doctor Nine in visions that may or may not be real, a character that side-steps the usual stereotypes in favor of something deeper and much more interesting than first anticipated. She discovers that he and his minions steal time and life from his victims, those who are the walking wounded.

Rain suffers from PTSD and regularly goes to Narcotics Anonymous with a group of odd but entertaining characters who give the novel a depth that many thrillers lack. A decade ago, at age 16, Rain gave up her baby boy, mostly due to the pressure of her mother but also because the father was killed in combat. The decision sent her spiraling  downward, as she grew addicted to drugs, leading the doctor into her life. The group becomes more involved with Rain’s new adventure, sharing her visions and dangers, as she struggles to grasp hold of her dwindling sanity. Adding to the strange brew of characters are Stick, a taxi driver, and Monk, a private investigator, both of whom battle their own demons.

This novel burns slowly at the start but once the plot and characters begin to spark, Glimpse blazes to the end. Definitely a different turn for Maberry, but a strong effort and a wild, hallucinogenic ride for the readers.

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