After receiving an anonymous note saying, ‘I am innocent,’ James Maddox, a young bank employee, starts having nightmares about his ex girlfriend Emilia, her brain tumor and how he stayed with her at the hospital to the end. His high school friend and fellow employee advises him to get over her death and move on with Jennifer, who clearly loves him. Alone, both parents dead, brother and sister living their own lives, Maddox has no one – except Jennifer, but he cannot embrace her love, not as long as Emilia’s ghost torments him. Seeing a psychiatrist, Maddox is told he is in denial, suppressing a bad memory, and needs to take control of his emotions and start thinking positive. While visiting Emilia’s parents, he is told that she was murdered and did not die from a brain tumor. This sends him into profound shock and he doesn’t know what is real anymore. A box of pictures and documents leads him down a path of a terrible discovery.
The Unseen Face is beautifully written in a fluid style that is a pleasure to read – although I didn’t like some of the excessive slang. As the pages unfold, the reader is drawn inexorably into Maddox’s troubled mind, his fantasies and nightmares, and gradual disintegration of his life. I wanted to reach out to him and extend a helping hand, but I could only read on as Joannes Rhino took me deeper into Maddox’s fantasies and final confrontation with a shocking truth. Joannes Rhino draws the reader deep into Maddox’s character, and I wished that he gave me a similar insight into Jennifer and his friend Richard, which would have made the book more compelling. The plot is handled very well, as is the gradual buildup in tension and discovery as Maddox finally faces a tortured reality. He is a fascinating character, but Joannes Rhino should have made him more positive and decisive. The Unseen Face is a compelling journey into a disintegrating personality, which will make many readers reflect.
Buy The Unseen Face at Amazon.