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Book Review: Fraterfamilias by Judith Doloughan and Paula R. Stiles

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Dr. Alan Kedward was in disbelief as he and the world learned about the shooting of his only family member, shot by police as he was intercepted at JFK in New York, for multiple vicious murders in Paris. Paul Michel Farrell got off the plane and then waited for the police. Interpol was on its way, and yet as an officer began talking to Paul, he admitted to the killing, got up and walked towards the police while reaching in the back of his coat. Believing he was reaching for a gun, he was shot to death.

Alan headed directly to the airport; he needed to be there when Paul woke up, it was his only thought. As he reached the terminal, he passed an ambulance leaving. Knowing Paul was headed to the hospital, Alan stopped to complete a small errand. He is interrogated, but since he was not at the airport until after the murder, he was allowed to leave.

Dr. Kedward then called his assistant and asked her to meet him at the hospital with her van. He needed her help rescuing his “cousin” from the hospital; he believed that he would be the only one that could save him. As Bobby shows up, they find Paul, dead in a room in the hospital awaiting transport to the morgue. He assures her that Paul has a rare condition called catalepsy, a conditions somewhat like hibernation where the body shuts down with too much stress, and tries to convince her that Paul is not dead. Bobby does not believe but does not argue. They move the body to an old beat up hotel, out of the main stream, and it is here that Bobby leaves them.

All is not as it seems, as Alan begins to circle the room in salt to help keep the ghosts out. He sees them everywhere, and wants to make sure Paul has some time on his own to heal. Alan finds himself very short of breath, which has been a normal condition for some time now; his asthma has continued to get worse. His age is beginning to catch up with him, but he is not ready to give up. It is here that he uses every bit of his knowledge to bring Paul back, once again to this world.

As the police and Interpol compare notes and try to track down a missing body and solve the mystery of the Paris murders, the information begins to twist in strange and unbelievable ways. Paul appears to be someone who had disappeared many years ago, an artist of great renown, but that would be impossible. When he disappeared, he was at the same age that Paul was now. And not only that, but Dr. Alan Kedward bares a remarkable resemblance to the brother of that renowned artist. However, that would also make his age wrong. It will take all the resources of Inspector Thierry Ballard of Interpol, his assistant Jonah Parker, an avid fan of the missing painter, and an NYPD Homicide detective Charlie Rains.

Will they find the answers? Is Paul Farrell really the multiple murderer, of the group in Paris, or did he take the fall for Dr Kedward? Is it possible that Paul Farrell is alive regardless of the information to the contrary?

Judith Doloughan and Paula R. Stiles have written in intense and very interesting book dealing with several individuals born of a lineage that live an extremely long life, and have other interesting capabilities as well. While the style of writing was a bit difficult to get used to, the story is amazing. The narrative is as written as though the characters are writing comments to each other, and was a bit distracting, but the story made up for it.

In Fraterfamilias, Doloughan and Stiles have put together a wonderful group of characters. They are interesting and exciting, and yet each of them is flawed in ways that make them so human. Each character is well developed and was easy to picture as the story evolves. The book was fast-paced with a unique storyline, written with a plausibility that helped make it seem real.

Charlie Rains is at the end of his rope, dumped by his wife, into some deep problems and yet is able to transform himself, while Inspector Ballard just wants answers. If he can tie Dr. Kedward into the picture so he will be happy, to him Paul just seems to be a very good man, and he cannot understand the killing and the way it happened. He is also very open to the odd things that he finds and keeps searching for even more information.

Jonah Parker is in over his head, and when he learns things about himself that he did not know, he does not know where to turn for advice or answers. He must make some decisions on his own, and yet he has mixed feelings. Not all is what it seems, and he is just beginning to understand what this means.

I would recommend Fraterfamilias for anyone interested in a story of fantasy, an unbelievable way of life and just some interesting and thought-provoking questions. I enjoyed the fast pace, and think that this would be wonderful for a book club. There would be a great deal to discuss and analyze.

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About Leslie Wright

Leslie Wright is an author and blogger in the Northwest.