A Dream Within a Dream: A Coffey and Hill Novel (Coffey and Hill #3)

Reviewed by:

G. Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.

Amazon.com: Dream within a Dream (Coffey & Hill) (9780800726461): Nappa:  Books

Title:

A Dream Within a Dream: A Coffey and Hill Novel (Coffey and Hill #3)

Authors:

Mike Nappa and Melissa Kosci

Publisher:

Revell (a division of Baker Publishing Group)

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/revell

Publication Date:

June 2, 2020

Format:

Paperback

Length:

416 pages

OVERVIEW

Things have been going pretty smoothly for Trudi Coffey for the last few months… except her ex-husband Samuel Hill hasn’t contacted her in a while. Granted, he lives a secretive life, but they still have a friendship and they stay in touch. In fact, given Samuel’s past, staying in touch is pretty important. Then a stranger attempts to kill Trudi at a sports event, and two FBI agents confront her asking if she knows Samuel’s whereabouts. When Samuel finally appears, his story about what’s going on involves the stranger (who calls himself Dream), Boston mobsters, and a search for stolen artwork. Trudi will have to do more than just trust Samuel to get the bottom of everything.

This kind of thriller balances lots of details. There are references to Edgar Allan Poe’s poems, to Revolutionary War history, and some technical aspects involving forgery and other forensic topics. Obviously, this is a lot of information to juggle in the narrative. Yet somehow it never becomes too much. The authors strategically pace what information they give, avoiding overload. They also flesh out the characters very well, which is equally important. A thriller with lots of props can easily become just about the concepts and lose sight of the people who keep the plot moving. Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code is perhaps the classic example of this tendency. But with characters who are described well, the concepts feel more important. The readers really want to see the characters unravel the mystery, so they really care about the concepts. Add to that great writing styles which add tension at just the right points, and the result is a masterfully-told tale.

A truly brilliant thriller.

ASSESSMENT

Rating (1 to 5 stars)

5 stars

Suggested Audience

Fans of crime and suspense thrillers, particularly ones with various moving pieces in the plot.

Christian Impact

The main character prays on various occasions and one of the subplots revolves around her struggles to forgive and reconcile with her ex-husband after a difficult betrayal. This forgiveness and reconciliation theme is made very compelling because the authors show it rather than talk about it. Instead of having the characters briefly reference it and then spend the rest of their time trading “church terms” about how they should feel about the idea, the authors describe the characters’ feelings and how those feelings shift as the book goes along. This subtle approach works very well, leaving the audience to extract the theme without feeling talked down to.

Note: This book is the third one in the Coffey and Hill series. The book can be read by itself, but makes the most sense if the series is read in sequence. To read ECLA’s review of the previous novel, Annabel Lee, go to https://eclalibraries.org/2017/02/12/book-review-annabel-lee/

A Dream within a Dream (Coffey & Hill, #3)


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