* Received as a Goodreads First Read*
Dan Greenburg has an exceptional thriller in Fear Itself, the story of a psychopathic prisoner who fools the parole board and therapist into releasing him into society. He is released into the custody of his mother who is the very reason he ended up in prison in the first place (indirectly, of course). He assumes his psychopathic role of finding women who have phobias and forcing them to face those fears, while becoming aroused emotionally, physically and sexually by their discomfort. He learns that he is in love with his therapist and that she is the only person to help “save” him from his psychopathic tendencies…so he embarks on a journey to make her his. Unfortunately, Detective Segal is in love with the same woman and hot on the trail of this killer. This book ends in rare fashion and with loads of emotional gratification for the readers.
I found myself really submerging into the book, reading carefully each line and ruminating over it before moving on. It’s beautifully written and the characters are really developed to the point that you feel that you know them and understand them on deeper levels, especially Max Segal. You get a look at the inner demons of the characters and really invest yourself into whether they will work through their issues.
Greenburg has a thoughtful twist to his thriller in which the reader follows along with the characters and finds out things as they go along. I was not able to pinpoint what would happen or how they would manage to find the answers but cleverly, they did. I was very satisfied with this book and really applaud the premise of phobias being tied to the psychological aspect of murder. It was a really cool idea and one that I found believable and well thought out. I enjoyed this novel immensely and recommend it for readers who like to be a little uncomfortable, a little appalled and taken on a journey of inner thoughts that most of us deny having.
– T.R. Horne, author of Breaking Mobius and blogger at Raging Book Reviews on www.ragingbookreviews.wordpress.com