Governmental organizations want to exploit a man’s ability to see people’s auras in this anonymous author’s novel.
Bob is tracked and threatened by establishments that want to harness his gift—the ability to detect people’s energy levels. Agencies believe he could expose deception in interrogations, but Bob wants control of his own life, preferring to dodge secret intelligence groups and protect his wife and daughter. The author’s novel opens with the protagonist and his wife being pursued, literally hearing the splashing in puddles of those chasing them. Unfortunately, the story shifts to a series of flashbacks, and there’s never a genuine conclusion to the chase scene. The bulk of the novel explores Bob’s life with his ability. Some passages show the development of his capabilities, e.g., his time in school; learning that most couples, based on their auras, are pining for other people. But his narration acknowledges “tangents,” and the main character too often spins tales that have little or nothing to do with auras: a rant against hippies—his five-year-old self hates them for stinking and saying “Peace, Brother”—in which he blames them for the existence of politicians; and an anti-bullying tirade, which suggests that Al Capone was a criminal because he was standing up against bullies. Secondary characters have diminutive personalities and are as anonymous as the author himself, with very few names given, so that readers will likely question the validity of the protagonist’s name. More visual imagery would have helped establish scenes in the reader’s mind—new settings are only moderately described—especially considering the lead character’s ocular aptitude.
Sometimes impassively narrated but has enough humor and quirkiness to make it worth the read.