A cop-noir novel with horrific overtones is the theme of Gregory Lamberson’s Personal Demons. While several other themes are explored – namely, genetic engineering and life after death – at its heart lies a compelling story of a man whose world has spun more out of control than he could fathom.
Lamberson does a fine job of creating believable people and bringing the characters of Helman, Tower, and every other person in this book to vivid life. While Jake may be, in many respects, the stereotypical hardened cop, Lamberson breaks away from the mold by allowing the reader to see inside the rough exterior, allowing a look at his struggles with addiction and with what his life has become. The character of Tower is everything his name implies, from his paranoid-reclusive surroundings to his cooler-than-ice demeanor. The other characters, whether supporting or only bit-players, are handled with equal grace and passion.
The story in Personal Demons is compelling and written with great care. Though the author’s style seems to favor brevity over ornate language, it is obvious that he can certainly turn a phrase. Several passages in this book made it difficult to put down, even at the end of a chapter.
With a hard-hitting resolution and fast-paced action, Personal Demons never looks back to see if readers are following, certain that they will be keeping stride. It is a well-written piece of fiction that promises great things still to come from the author.
By Gregory Lamberson
Broken Umbrella Press, 2004
4 out of 5