Inner Space, Book Two, The Reluctant Nemesis, by Merlin Fraser
Writing a series is difficult for any writer. The expectations from readers are immense. Thus, it is not surprising to hear readers complained about the first book being much better than the second, or to have the reader began to collect minus points against the second book in the series, with a rating, which borders from average to zero points.
This weekend I took the time and continued on my trek in inner space, to read the second book in the series of Inner Space by Merlin Fraser. Considering myself to be like the average reader that is extremely critical when it comes to a series, and the fact that the first book was wonderfully written and impressed me so deeply, because of the storytelling ability of the writer and its plot development, I had prepared myself for a let down. In other words, even though the first book was excellently written, I did not think it likely Inner Space, Book Two would capture my attention as Inner Space, Book One did. My did I underestimate the storytelling ability of Fraser. He hooked me into the story with the first page, and Deborah Patterson, and it is not easy to draw me in to anything so quickly. I sat and read, intrigued and wondering, what has this to do with Burton and Co? The farther I got into the first chapter, the deeper I sank into Inner Space, Book Two. By the time Nick Burton and Company and Dr. Jilly came along, I was hooked, lined and sunk into the story.
Amazing how Fraser takes three themes and bring them all together into one story, but he did not let me get lost. Instead, I was sitting here like little old Miss Marple trying to figure out who was doing what to whom. The victim and the awful damage done to the soul and the mind of the person became apparent as I read, and the three themes tie into one big surprise that led me to the real varmints in the story.
There is a fair bit of humour in this book. I found it sad, and I do mean this with lots of irony, Burton stopped poor Dr. Prentice from administering punishment on the man who had attacked her. I will only say every woman who reads the book would have agreed with her punishment sentence and had a good, healthy laugh. Unfortunately, I was reading this chapter in a bistro with a group of people surrounding me, and they thought I needed medical care, I was laughing so hard.
Also, in Book Two, Nick, the supposedly dumb cop, who is tough, correct and does his job one hundred percent according to the rules and regulations, begins to discover the tenderness that has been locked up inside of him. He is still tough, but his tenderness begins to show towards the end of the book. Besides, he finds out Jilly is not the only woman who has fallen in love with him.
Bennett and Taylor, his employees and assistants, stand behind him as part of his team and are highly efficient. The young Bennett does a terrific job in Cambridge. It is gratifying to read about the outcome of his investigation, as Fraser begins to wrap up his story.
What I enjoyed most about Book Two of Inner Space is the love story between Nick and Jilly and its development. Sure, I admit I am a romantic at heart, and that was butter for my soul; however, the love story was not the only plot, which appealed to me. The mind traveling continued on with Dapper Dan, and this time I met a Dapper Dan, who was pondering over the decisions he had made and had to keep. Alone and feeling lonely, he could no longer turn back, which shows some decisions are irreversible.
The second theme centers on the inner spaces of the mind. The world of parapsychology is put to the test with the theory of regression, psychotic disorders, hypnosis, and psychopharmacology. The necessity of psychopharmacological medicine and the use of hypnosis, and how these types of treatment are administered were brought to the forefront, and the obvious misuse by qualified, licensed personnel are pointed out vehemently through the character, Jilly.
The thriller aspect of the book can be found in the third theme and introduces the world of organized crime. It is beautifully woven like a similar plot from William Shakespeare, the story of Romeo and Juliet where two feuding families, who finally decide to make peace with each other, come together through marriage.
Finally, I cannot praise Fraser enough for the humour I found throughout the book. There were three or four times I laughed aloud out of pure enjoyment at what I was reading. So, if you decide to read the book, please make sure you are not sitting in a coffee shop or a library. People tend to look at you strangely when they see you enjoying yourself with a book.
At the moment, there are two strikes for Fraser and two strikes against me. If I were to compare his Inner Space Series to a baseball game, where he, as the writer is the pitcher, and I, as the reader am at bat, then he has to get one more strike before I am out. This means the third book, Inner Space, Three, will determine whether the series, which has so far captivated and convinced me of his excellent writing and storytelling abilities, becomes one of those classics that is etched into my soul.
Let me closed by saying:
- Inner Space, Book Two, exceeded my expectations.
- Humorous, witty, suspenseful, it builds upon the first book presenting a well-written story, I am sure you will enjoy.