Book Twelve of 2014: DANGEROUS ILLUSIONS by Joseph J. Gabriele



In a beguiling tale of deception and murder, desire and theft, seduction and betrayal—where nothing is what it appears to be—a man is murdered and an iconic musical instrument is stolen during a gathering at Eliot Sexton’s Park Avenue apartment. The stolen item—an object of desire worshipped by millions—is the key to solving the crime, or so the detective brought in to investigate believes. The murder, however, is not nearly as straightforward as it seems—nor is the theft.
Though the island of Manhattan presents no shortage of suspects—many of them capable of killing to satisfy their appetites—Eliot, a young economic historian and writer, soon becomes the prime suspect. As he draws closer to the truth behind the theft and murder, he also becomes the killer’s next target.
Irreverent, provocative, and utterly unpredictable, Dangerous Illusions is a weeklong polyrhythmic journey into contemporary New York that will keep readers guessing right up to its thrilling conclusion.

It has been a while since I read a book that gave me an intellectual response. I actually found myself trying to figure out what this book is really about. The author begins in a noir like fashion with a murder scene. Unfortunately, there is a slew of architectural depictions of New York buildings, mini history lessons and character backgrounds for seemingly minor characters.

I was forced to sit back and think about what I had just read and came to a conclusion. The book isn’t a mystery, though there is a mystery in the book. The book is actually a social commentary on corruption and how people going through the process of corruption don’t stand up and fight against it.

I’d like to compare the narrator to Nick Carraway from THE GREAT GATSBY (I can’t believe I remember his name after close to ten years). In the GREAT GATSBY we don’t really know much about the narrator unless his background is intertwined with the other characters. Which is the case with Eliot Sexton. It is in this way that the author introduces the reader into being the narrator.

Instead of having a character as the main focal in DANGEROUS ILLUSIONS, Joseph J. Gabriele introduces New York as the main character. Hence the many architectural and historical references of New York.

I never meant to write a mini book report, but this book actually inspired me to do just that. It hasn’t been since college that I was actively excited about tearing apart the book and finding the meaning. If you are looking for an intellectual read, this is a book for you. But, if you’ve been reading pluff and are more of a pluff reader (which I do a lot of), then it’s not going to hurt you if you don’t bother.

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