Fear Dreams opens in the aftermath of an accident, one that has left Liddy, a talented designer and artist, with a damaged memory and psychological trauma. Her husband, working a scientific breakthrough, is increasingly distant, stressed, and rarely available. When Liddy sees a news broadcast concerning a cold murder case, the face of the murder victim begins to show up in her dreams, in her sketches, and in the corner of her eye across the street. In conjunction with her post-accident trauma, Liddy begins to fear that she’s losing her mind – until a dedicated police detective catches a detail in one of her sketches that was never publicly released, and which has the potential to break the case wide open.
J A Schneider’s vivid characterisation and strong portrayal of inner doubt and intense fear makes this book a contagious read, giving a tense and gripping story that makes it entirely clear how even the most rational of us can end up doubting our senses, our deductions, and our own memories. Built on stress dreams and fractured images, the evidence trickles in to coalesce into a damning picture where the finger of possible guilt points to one after another of the principals, building suspicion and creating rifts between the characters. Fear Dreams is one of the best psychological mysteries I’ve read this year, filled with tension and doubt and spiced with unexpected twists.