Friday, February 24, 2017

Dream State - Book One of The Sleeping Detective Series - by Charles R. Hinckley

August (Gus) Chase dreamed dreams just like we all do, sometimes enjoying dreams of somebody women who meant a lot to him... but something changed about five years ago...

The dreams started about five years ago, around the time I turned thirty. I was walking home early one Sunday morning after a previous evening while chasing a pretty girl named Sarah, playing a flirty cat and mouse game, tring to get her to come home with me. I failed in my attempt, and in the process had way too much to drink. I got sloppy drunk, maybe a bit obnoxious, and she ended the game. With time on my hands and little money for a cab, I began to walk the fifty-something blocks back to my apartment.
It was freezing. Anemic snowflakes fluttered through the air around me. After a while the snow grew heavier, stopped melting, and began a rapid accumulation. The light sputtering transformed into a white curtain and obscured visibility beyond a half block in any direction. The wind began to pick up and swirling blasts hit me in the face, numbing my cheeks and nose. I grabbed a newspaper from a nearby trash bin and held it over my head. I looked down to protect my fact from the biting wind, and watched one foot methodically plod in front of the other.
That was when I saw the blood. There was a large drop of it on my shoe, then another on my knee. Putting a finger to my nose, it returned covered in thin red liquid. I collected snow from the ground and put it on my nose. My legs felt heavy. I was no longer capable of walking properly, and dragged my feet across the sidewalk as I fought the pull of gravity. Wooziness enveloped me, but I trudged on.
After what seemed like hours, I finally made it home. I unlocked the door, staggered into the building and fell to the floor. Fighting to get back to my feet, I grabbed the stair railing and tried to pull myself up, but hadn't the strength. I slumped back down, my dead thumping onto the linoleum floor, and everything went black.
That's when I had the first of many special dreams, the specifics of which are not important now. What I didn't realize at the time is that the snippets of information I was acquiring through this Dream State would later enable me to save lives.
This life-saving dream data came to me in short black and white images, similar to a video clip or micro movie, that I eventually learned I could play back in my head and try to comprehend, but only if I could wake up immediately. If I didn't wake up right after the dream, the information slowly dissolved from memorable pictures into a mist of crumbling gray dots.
I didn't choose for this to happen to me. I didn't believe in ESP, precognition, mind melding, kinetic energy transference, time travel, or anything else you can cram into that mystical category. I was just an ordinary guy.
Pablo Carrillo, the man I'd identified as the driver of the car, didn't realize his life was in danger. Nor did he think the gringo who knocked on his door that afternoon was anyone worth mentioned to his wife, Phyllis. It wasn't until the gringo started hanging around the corner deli near his apartment that he began to take the situation serious...

Dream State:
The Sleeping Detective Series
An August Chase Novel

By Charles R. Hinckley

The Paranormal - If you can think it, it could be true... Gus Chase hadn't a clue why, when he was around 30, he suddenly began to foresee into the future in his dreams... But he dreamed of only one thing--he could see when somebody was going to die...

Gus worked in a packing job...getting things ready to move in or out for his company...a boring job, that had never really been his chosen line of work. On the other hand, even if he now had this "thing" happening to him, how could it be anything but trouble for him? The first dream had been about a man who Gus had seen killed in a car accident. He had tried to warn the man, but Gus was, naturally, seen as some kind of a nut or a con man!

For one, Gus just didn't have the touch of our famous ghost whisperer who quietly explained that the person she was talking to was being haunted... But, of course, Gus was placed in a much more urgent position--he was trying to save somebody's life! Let's just say, he really wasn't good at telling somebody to listen to him to prevent their death... After all, he can't control his visions, nor can he tell when this "death" would be happening... What do you think? Would you listen to Gus if he was telling you that you'd be gone in the near future?

Yes, there is an underlying humor to this book that cannot be denied, even when the emergency is very real! But Gus does get better... I'd say by meeting a new friend in a local bar to whom he begins to share and talk about what his daily life had become... Mill was a genius who'd developed a high-tech company, with a money-hungry wife who was now bleeding him dry in a divorce... Mill seemed to be relieved to have found a friend and little by little began to lend his business acumen to his new friend and planning became part of what was going on...Gus was willing to consider becoming a private investigator, who happened to use his sleeping precognition to help...

His second dream was harder to take as he sees a young woman running into a dark alleyway with somebody chasing her, then brutally killing her... This dream really got to him as he tried to find the girl and prevent her death, only to fail... It was her sister who found out he'd been originally involved and contacted him to see if he could help her discover what happened, since the police were getting no where...

Without realizing an evolution, readers begin to see that Gus's dreams are slowly becoming connected...and it is only through investigation and some underhanded hacking and break-ins that a criminal case begins to be revealed...

The storyline was intriguing, even with the bumbling detective who was learning on the job... And, really, I did not see that a mystery was being solved. Gus is an interesting character and should improve if the series continues. However, one character which, fortunately, was not introduced until later in the book, the cop, was, for want of a better description, overdone... While it led to a climatic ending to the story, I was disappointed that the author chose to create a bad, violent cop... His actions didn't fit the feeling that was being created around Gus, who was trying to save people... The same results could have occurred by a good cop, albeit, less violent... He didn't fit with the other characters, at least in my opinion, and left a bad taste as the book was ending...

I don't think I will recommend this, even though I'd rank it a four for overall storyline, but do check it out further by reading other reviews... The series has potential, but this debut may not be the best one to explore...


Charles R. Hinckley is an author, audiobook producer, playwright and fine artist. His short stories and articles have been published by several online magazines and News America Syndicate. His plays have been produced regionally. As a producer-voice actor, Charles has several titles available through Audible and Amazon.

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