**Review of 'Denial' by Peter James**
I am reviewing the paperback version of 'Denial'.
Denial is a gripping thriller by UK author, Peter James. His work has been likened to that of Stephen King and Michael Crichton by the Sunday Express newspaper's literary critic, personally I feel the novel 'Denial' is far superior to those of other thriller writers. The plot is intense, it twists and turns and gives the reader surprises aplenty. There are several gruesome, gut wrenching passages which are wholly appropriate to the storyline, not gratuitous or overly violent, but nonetheless horrifyingly real.
Thomas Lamark is the only child of has-been actress, Gloria Lamark. Gloria's acting career has nose-dived, she is no longer in demand for movie roles, her once loyal fan base has faded and her marriage is over. She had never divorced Thomas' father, who has since died leaving Gloria a fortune, which enables her to lead a life of luxury and cosseting in London's wealthy Holland Park. Thomas is a striking man, having inherited his mother's good looks and his father's height. Consequently Thomas is six feet six inches tall, handsome, has an IQ of 178 and has always been told by his mother, that he 'is not right in the head'. Thomas is his mother's greatest fan, her carer, her only child and, when the mood takes her, her lover. Gloria uses Thomas appallingly from a very young age, as a result he is a very damaged man, who cannot function without his mother.
When Thomas finds his mother dead in bed one morning having taken an overdose of prescription drugs he is desperate to find someone to point the finger of blame at. He comes up with two possible suspects, his mother's psychiatrist, Dr Tennant and her rival in the acting world, Cora Burstridge.
Thomas resolves to investigate these people and takes matters into his own hands.
More than that I will not reveal for fear of spoiling the book for others!
**About the Author**
Peter James was born in Brighton in August, 1948. He lives in Ditchling, Sussex and has a home in London. He has written a total of 19 books, supernatural thrillers, thrillers, spy fiction and a children's novel. He is also a screen writer and film producer and holds a racing drivers licence.
Peter James is the son of Cornelia James, Glove Maker to the Queen.
Awards for Peter James work
Sitges International Horror Film Festival, 1974, Best Foreign Film for Dead of Night.
Honorary Fellowship, FHS Emeritus award by the Hypnotherapy Society, 1999.
Krimi-Blitz, Best Crime Writer of the year in Germany, 2005.
Prix Polar International, 2006.
Prix Coeur Noir at the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines festival, 2007,
**Publisher, pricing etc**
Published in 1998 by Orion.
Orion Books Ltd
5 Upper St Martin's Lane
Paperback cover price £5.99
Also available from www.amazon.com from 0.45p plus P&P.
'Denial' is an extremely well written and researched work of fiction. It is not always comfortable reading, but as it is a thriller, that is not surprising! The plot is imaginative, gripping and everything I want from a book of this genre. The characters are diverse, well drawn and testimony to the in depth research the author has obviously conducted. The author lists several members of the Brighton and Hove Police, the staff of the Missing Persons Bureau and the Sussex Ambulance Service in his acknowledgments. It is clearly apparent that Mr James has researched this book very thoroughly and his findings have been transformed into a splendid thriller. I would certainly re-read this book and I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a thriller with a strong detective/psychological theme.
Thank you for reading!
Also publsihed on ciao.co.uk
Its not very often that I read books of the thriller genre but 'Denial' by Peter James really caught my eye. It is the first title that I have read by this author and I can most definitely say that it wont be the last!
'Denial' is the story of a mans immense love and devotion towards his mother.....and the depths of despair and desperation that he is plunged into when she dies.
Gloria Lamark is a fading actress who seemingly can't cope with her ever decreasing fame. She has been troubled for quite some time, resulting in regular trips to see her psychiatrist. It becomes too much for her to bear and she tragically decides to end her own life.
Her son, Thomas, cannot comprehend why this has happened. He is absolutely distraught and believes that somebody must be to blame. His quest begins as he chooses to seek revenge against anyone who made the mistake of being disrespectful towards his mother in any way.....no matter how trivial it may have been.
As the tale unfolds, we realise just how 'unstable' his character is. This is quite possibly the result of his sheltered and smothered childhood which is detailed in the form of his memories. Some of these recollections are quite graphic, particularly with regards to the 'special' relationship that he shared with his mother.
At times, I found this to be quite sickening although thankfully, it is only described on a couple of occasions during the book. It therefore doesn't become too overpowering and is purely described as an underlying explanatory theme. I feel that it is necessary to make the reader fully understand the relationship that they experienced.
Thomas never met his father. This has always made his love for his mother even stronger as she is the only parent that he has ever known. We learn that despite this love, he does hold a certain amount of resentment towards her for the rules that she enforced upon him and way that she has made him live his life. His continuous adoration of this cruel woman remains the driving force behind his shocking and brutal motives.
This book is terrific in the way that it gets inside the criminal mind of Thomas, exploring his numerous feelings and thought processes. These are partially expressed in his diary entries which are included at intervals throughout the book.
Charming, yet devious and manipulative, this crazed man will stop at nothing to get his revenge. In a very subtle way, he creeps into the lives of his unsuspecting victims - many of whom have no idea who he is so he can successfully assume a false identity.
Amazingly, his insanity leads him to use the toss of a coin to make even the most crucial of decisions. A flip of a coin can even determine whether someone will live or die!
Alongside the exciting and sometimes gruesome storyline, the investigative process of the Police is also tracked until the book comes to a great conclusion. It has a brilliant twist at the end which to me was totally unexpected. Perhaps more experienced thriller readers will guess but it certainly never even crossed my mind!
This psychological thriller is excellently written with a huge amount of suspense throughout. The various settings, such as the house of Thomas Lamark, are wonderfully described so that you can really picture the scene. Characters in the book are also beautifully introduced and developed making them completely believable.
In fact, the whole book is realistic! Peter James writing style has been likened to that of Stephen King but I feel that this book in particular is more realistic in terms of the fact that it could actually happen. I think this is due to the lack of any fantasy element which is usually found in the work of Stephen King.
It is also apparent that 'Denial' has been thoroughly researched by the author. His acknowledgments list his thanks towards a variety of people and organisations such as various Police forces, doctors, coroners and The National Missing Persons Helpline. Their input has quite obviously been a major factor towards the realism involved in the book. Peter James actually admits that the help and creative ideas that he received from some of these sources, assisted him in successfully shaping the whole novel.
A book that has had this much effort put into it is bound to be a terrific read. 'Denial' most certainly doesn't disappoint. It is gripping and undeniably superb from start to finish.
Published by Orion Books £5.99
Only within the past year have I started to read books, it all began with Jeffrey Archer?s prison diary. Then I moved to a more thrilling book by Peter James entitled ?Faith? which I believe is his most recently written one. I have since read a few more, and also obtained a few more Peter James Books. The second of my Peter James books that I have read was called ?Denial?. Denial tells the tale of a man whose mother is a fading actress-Thomas Lamark. His mother Gloria starred in film with the likes of Clark Gable and her house is a shrine to her stardom: Filled to the brim with pictures of her in her starring roles. Thomas doesn?t know his father, but adores his mother! His mother is not your run of the mill mother, she belittles him, and shares his bath, and plays with his choo-choo. Later in his life girls laugh when he asks them to play with his choo-choo. He takes her breakfast and his mother is pleased to see his erection just for her. Thomas has been told all his life that he?s ?not right in the head?, from his mother, and he has always had a ?quick off the mark temper?. When his mother apparently commits suicide Thomas is distraught The funeral is advertised in the national papers, and more but her legion of so called fans must all be busy. Thomas is furious that no one turns up to his beloved mother?s funeral, and sets about on his revenge campaign. A young reporter ? Justin Flowering is sent to cover the fading film stars funeral from a local paper ? no national bother. But unaware of whom Thomas is-begins a conversation with him. It soon becomes very clear Thomas?s mother was not held in the esteem [by the reporter] he feels she should have been. Thomas seeks revenge. First on his list is a young female editor: years ago she refused to publish his mother?s biography which he had written. She goes missing, no one can find a reason for her disappearance, no one has sighted her ? she has simply vanished.
Next on the list is the young reporter who laughed at his mother?s funeral, but his ultimate goal is his mother Psychiatrist- one doctor Michael Tennent. Doctor Tennent has a new girlfriend who goes missing, and so begins the search by Doctor Michael Tennent to find his new love. His search takes him into the sadistic world of Thomas Lamark and his torturing and killing-but will he find his true love before Thomas Lamark carries out his delicate operation on her?. I have found that Peter James is an excellent writer, and with his stories based in the UK and written in a way that has twists and turns at every corner ? they are thoroughly enjoyable. Furthermore his writing is totally believable. Peter James is obviously well educated and writes thriller books second to none. Once I start reading his books I simply find the only way I can put them down is by falling asleep! Twists and turns all the way through ensure you simply can?t leave the book alone. A final twist at the end is fairly predictable and even I guessed it. Who does Peter James appeal to? My guess would be any adult who enjoys suspense books. My wife enjoys his writing, and he is by far my favourite author that I have read. Overall: Denial is a book full of suspense and thrills without having too much explicit gore or unnecessary sex. Peter James has created another fine work or art. The book doesn?t swerve from anything but exciting, and is a must read for any one who likes thriller/suspense. Peter James has been likened to Britain?s Stephen King. A couple of his books have been made into movies/TV. Highly recommended Thanks for reading ? Dave ISBN: 0752826883 Price £5.99 Other books by Peter James include: Faith, Alchemist and the truth.
When Thomas lamark's adored mother Gloria, who used to be one of England's greatest movie stars, commits suicide rather than face the end of her acting career and fading looks, her son decides that the people who he feels are responsible for her death, should be made to pay. He starts off by kidnapping the editor, who had turned down his biography about his mother. After doing unspeakably horrific things to her, he sets his sights on Cora Burstridge, a fellow actress and long time rival of his mother. She is found sometime later, dead, but not entirely alone!! Thomas then sets out to destroy the life of the person, he sees as being the most responsible, and that man is Doctor Michael Tennent. Dr Tennent is a psychiatrist, who was treating Gloria Lamark, for severe clinical depression. Thomas starts his campaign of revenge, against the Doctor, very subtly. He worms his way into the Doctors life by pretending to be a patient, but ends up analysing the Doctor instead. Although Dr Tennent is disturbed by this strange man, he sees no reason to be overly alarmed by him. Then, Thomas, having researched the Doctor thoroughly, finding out about his private life and such, kidnaps the Doctors girlfriend and keeps her hostage in a windowless, pitch black room, with only two rotting corpses for company. Who or what have made this man so evil? What has made him so determined to seek such a terrible revenge? Is there more to this man's past than meets the eye? What will the eventual devastating outcome be?....Well you'll have to read it for yourselves to find out! Peter James has been hailed by many as Britains answer to Stephen King and the style and the realism that lends itself to his work, go to make him my favourite author. His books grip you from beginning to end, much the same as 'Kings', but to me at least, they offer a more, 'this could actually happen', feel to them. I recommend this wr
iter highly, everyone into the genre of horror and/or thriller should give this talented writer a go. The turning of the first page, will leave you gasping for more....Brilliant!!