One of Kirkus Reviews "Top 100" Indie Books of 2013
A beautiful graduate student suspects that her psychiatrist is ruled by the fantasies of a poet who's been dead for 200 years....
A mental patient with no musical training sits down at the piano and plays a fiendishly difficult piece of classical music....
A young doctor's life spins out of control as he falls under the spell of three irresistible women....
Art and illusion. Deception and delusion. Sex, evil and death.
"A mind-bending marriage of ambitious literary theory and classic murder mystery...In this intricately plotted novel, Hartman spins the familiar trappings of gothic mystery together with a fresh postmodern sensibility, producing a story that's as rich and satisfying as it is difficult to categorize.... As Hartman skillfully blurs the lines between fiction and reality, the book becomes a profound meditation on art, identity and their messy spheres of influence...An exciting, original take on the literary mystery genre." (Kirkus Reviews)
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An engrossing mystery!
Dubin, an unscrupulous detective-turned-blackmailer, finds himself outside the Palmer Institute in northern New York. He’s investigating the apparent suicide of Maria Morgan, a local opera singer and the wife of a wealthy landowner, some seven years ago. His motive isn’t necessarily to find the truth.
Ned Hoffman, a psychiatrist who is new to the institute, is charged with the care of Hunter and Antonia Morgan, twin siblings and progeny of Maria and Avery Morgan. He’s concerned that the treatment they are receiving may not be in their best interest.
Each begins to question the same series of events from seven years before, trying to determine what really happened to Maria, and why Hunter and Antonia are in the institute. They soon learn that there’s more to Maria’s suicide and her children’s descent into madness than meets the eye.
In The Rules of Dreaming, Hartman uses a diverse cast of characters to tell a chilling tale of power, corruption, greed, and consequences. Each character is so well defined that it is often difficult to tell whose narrative is the most important to the story. Hartman’s seamless blend of first and third person narration keeps the mystery at the fore, while always leaving more questions than answers. From the first page to the last, I found myself reading at a frenzied pace to unravel the mystery. The moment I reached the words ‘the end’, I immediately wanted to read it again to look for hidden clues. The Rules of Dreaming is unquestionably the most engrossing mystery story I’ve read in years!
Neal Arango’s narration of the story is wonderful. Each character has a unique voice which makes the task of keeping track of a dozen or more characters a bit easier.
- Donnie Burgess
What a Ride!