Author: Harry James Krebs
Summary: A west coast structural engineer, Richard Fornek, awakens from a coma in a North Carolina hospital in full possession of a lifetime of memories—including the recollection of his rocky thirteen-year marriage—but not in possession of his body. A glimpse in a mirror and the evidence of a driver’s license prove that Fornek is trapped in the body of warehouse worker Daniel Curtis. Frightened and enraged, Fornek insists that he is not Curtis, that somehow his persona became interchanged with that of another man. To avoid being admitted into a psychiatric hospital, Fornek has no choice but to live as Curtis; including accepting his marriage to Curtis’s spunky wife, Elizabeth. Their relationship develops, and it isn’t long before he falls in love with her.
However, Fornek’s newfound happiness is decimated when he becomes the lead suspect in a homicide when the Holly Springs police find the strangled body of Curtis’s pregnant lover. All evidence points to Curtis as the woman’s killer. Fornek is now facing the death penalty, and time is running short. Refusing to believe he could be a delusional killer and dealing with the wake of personal destruction that Curtis left behind, Fornek’s search for answers forces him to reveal his true identity to his only confidante, a Baptist minister named Reverend Walters. A mystery with many layers, Fractured Persona takes numerous twists and unexpected turns before reaching a climax guaranteed to keep readers on the edge of their seats to the very end.
Review: Two strong plots could collide in this book, one being a murder mystery, the second being an identity crisis of some kind – not the case with Fractured Persona. Yes, Fornek has to figure out why he is in the body of Dan Curtis, but once he becomes the number one murder suspect a homicide investigation nothing else matters – that becomes the main plot. Krebs does a wonderful job of making the reader see it is more important to figure out who killed Heather Grimaldi (the pregnant lover) than why Forneck is in Dan Curtis’s body. There are several suspects that could have killed Grimaldi including Dan Curtis. The problem is Fornek can’t remember what Dan did that night; so technically he could be the killer in the investigation. There is also his new wife he’s fallen hopelessly in love with, she could have killed her, and his two friends, one with a real shady past. Oh yes, there’s the Baptist minister, he has a secret too – too much information. I don’t want to give too much away, but this was a book that kept me on my toes to the very end and had me change my murder suspect twenty pages before finishing, of course, I was wrong, but this is what a good writer intends.
Now, the later sub-plot why did Forneck’s soul find its way into Dan Curtis’s body? Krebs did not leave you hanging with that one, and it brings up a good quote from a favorite of old Southern writer of mine, Flannery O’Connor.
“The novelist always has to create a world and a believable one. The virtues of art, like the virtues of faith, are such that they reach beyond the limitations of the intellect, beyond any mere theory that a writer may entertain. If the novelist is doing what as an artist he is bound to do, he will inevitably suggest that image of ultimate reality as it can be glimpsed in some aspect of the human situation. In this sense, art reveals, and the theologian has learned he can’t ignore it.” Mystery and Manners
Again, I’m not going to tell you how Krebs answered the question of soul jumping, but I will say the Dan Curtis’s Baptist minster could not ignore the ultimate reality presented in the book. Krebs created a believable world, not just in the mind of the Forneck, but in the reader’s that went beyond mere intellect and hung on more than a small strand of faith – this was a rope. I highly recommend Fractured Persona to a mature adult audience and
one more thing…
I’d like to add one word about the characterization of Richard Fornek
who became a better Dan Curtis – ‘Great’ and he had a dog named, Baloney.
I’d follow him anywhere.
What more do you need?
Fractured Persona can be found at Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.