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Customer Reviews for Kregel Publications Fatal Illusions

Kregel Publications Fatal Illusions

* With her pastor husband, Marc, entangled in a church discipline situation, Gillian Thayer agrees to a much-needed sabbatical at Whistler's Point in Michigan, where amateur illusionist Haydon Owens is also visiting. When a woman is strangled, the police arrest the last person to see her alive---Marc! Can the investigator of Cincinnati's "magician murders" clear him? 352 pages, softcover from Kregel.
Average Customer Rating:
4.824 out of 5
4.8
 out of 
5
(17 Reviews) 17
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2 out of 2100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Fatal Illusions
Review 1 for Fatal Illusions
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Extreme Thriller!

Date:March 17, 2013
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Nancee
Location:Grand Rapids, Michigan
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Law enforcement authorities in the Cincinnati area are investigating the deaths of four young females murdered by strangulation with a magician's trick rope. A young man with delusions of grandeur fantasizes, practicing and honing his skills in magic, his aspiration to become the next great illusionist. In Chicago, a crazed woman is obsessed with her former pastoral counselor. False accusations and an ensuing scandal require the counselor's family to be placed on sabbatical in the North Woods of Michigan's upper peninsula until the scandal subsides. Caretaker of the grounds at a lighthouse and mansion, the counselor's family experience more than just a sabbatical.
Adam Blumer has unmistakably researched his topics and geographic locations down to the most careful details. His presentation is descriptive and dramatic, yet without gory scenes or obscenities, proof that great novels can be penned without sordid, graphic description. Numerous heightened emotions are encountered throughout this fast-paced novel, and overcome through prayer and faith, forgiveness and grace, harmoniously intertwined, creating a calming spiritual quality in the midst of adversity.
Fatal Illusions is an impressive, masterfully written suspense story containing multiple plots interwoven into an impressive, heart pounding, and unpredictable experience! This is suspense at its best, thrilling and volatile, undeniably the optimum in suspense in religious fiction. Shocking and unforeseen events come to light throughout this novel, creating a roller coaster ride to the very end.
"Fatal Illusions" is as good as it gets! Drama unfolds with an ever-increasing pace. I highly recommend this thriller of a suspense novel.
Disclaimer: For the purposes of FTC compliance, I hereby state that I have no vested financial interest in this book, and I have received no monetary compensation from the author or publisher. I received a PDF copy of this book from the author.
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Review 2 for Fatal Illusions
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Someone is Watchful...Waiting

Date:December 12, 2011
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Anonymous
Location:St. Paul, MN
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Haydon Owens, a wanna-be-Houdini, had made four young teenage girls, each with blonde hair, blue eyes, and wire-rimmed glasses, disappear. Wanting to change his life around and avoid police capture, he spirits himself off to a small cabin in Newberry, Michigan, where no one knows anything about him. Little did he know that he’d find another blonde, blue-eyed girl with wire-rim glasses that would enrage him.
Pastor Marc Thayer has been shot by a woman, Stacey James, who is obsessed with unrealistic romantic interludes with him, who screams that he tried to rape her. To put the media to rest and salvage the church’s ministry over an alleged sex scandal, he, along with his wife, Gillian, and daughter, Crystal, is put on sabbatical up in Newberry, Michigan. Little does the Thayer family know who is out there … watching them.
Adam Blumer starts his book, Fatal Illusions, with the murder of a young teenage girl, who feels like someone is always watching her, but she can’t see anyone is the wings.
He fast forwards us four years into the midst of media frenzy over an alleged rape/possible affair that involves Pastor Marc Thayer and Stacey James. The dialogue between Pastor Marc and his church staff, as well as his wife’s questioning conversations are real and relevant for the circumstances. You can feel the anguish of Gillian’s mistrust of her husband’s possible infidelity. The reality of a mandated sabbatical leaves all three family members in consternation, yet they are forced to move on.
From the moment that the Thayer family strikes out on their way to Newberry, the author ups the ante with fast-paced twists and turns amongst a serial killer, a rejected woman, and an unsuspecting family. Of course, most of the intense activity is set in the evening, which inflates your level of fear, as nighttime always makes the suspense more eerie and frightful, something the author plays on throughout the story line.
Tucked in between the suspense and danger, Adam throws in some romance to lower the intensity of the scenes, while keeping your mind on the killings at the edges of your mind. It’s a fine-line approach that intertwines superbly.
The character that I loved the most is Crystal. Her innocence and love of music endears her to my heart. She doesn’t like the upheavals in her life, but she doesn’t make a scene about it.
The constant prayers of newly-involved retired FBI agent Chuck Riley, as well as the Thayers and their friends, is interspersed throughout the episodes naturally. They are constantly giving thanks and glory to the Lord in every circumstance. Yes, they definitely have doubts and anger, but they encourage one another to trust that the Lord is in control of everything that happens.
This book was provided by the author, Adam Blumer, through Susan Sleeman of The Suspense Zone, in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.
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Review 3 for Fatal Illusions
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 30, 2010
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Vickie Gress
Very good book fast moving, once you start reading you will not want to put it down, I read that this is the first book for this author, I know I will read more of his books when they come out.
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Review 4 for Fatal Illusions
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:February 17, 2010
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Rick Combs
The thing I loved about this book was the solid,Christian heroes & heroines, showing good values and good judgement. Sad to say, it seems to be "cool" nowadays for Christian authors to focus on less than spiritual heroes. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 was predtictability. I would've liked to seen a few "red herrings" or plot twists instead of it being so obvious who the bad guy was. All in all, though, an enjoyable read.
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Review 5 for Fatal Illusions
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 9, 2010
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Pam Barry
This book was great! What a fast paced page turner! What I really like is the fact that it is truly "Christian Fiction". Thank you Adam Blumer for remembering Our Lord and His Word as you wrote your novel! Most Christian Fiction or Inspirational Fiction is just "clean" fiction. Not only did I get to read an intriguing story line, I got to read God's Word and His outlook on the events happening in the book. I can loan this book out and know that it will keep my friend's interest AND minister to her heart!THANK YOU!!!!
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Review 6 for Fatal Illusions
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:December 16, 2009
This is Blumer's first novel, and it is not to be missed! It was a story that dealt with tough family and personal issues that easily touch our lives, and yet, he kept the story real. Throw in the illusionist serial killer, and you have an interesting cross-over of lives and situations that keep you turning the pages long after you should be going to bed! I am a big fan of Frank Peretti,and Blumer ranks right up there. If this is only the beginning of his writing career, I will be first in line to get his next novel.
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Review 7 for Fatal Illusions
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 24, 2009
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Melissa Hatfield
Fatal Illusions by Adam Blumer is a Christian suspense novel. My first reaction was,"Wow, what a book!" I was very intrigued while reading this book. I had trouble putting it down. Sometimes I read ahead in a book that is captivating like this one was for me. So, as you guessed it, I read ahead in this book. I couldn't help it. The story keeps you guessing as to what will happen next.
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Review 8 for Fatal Illusions
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 9, 2009
Whoa! What a book! I wanted to read Fatal Illusions for two reasons. First, I heard it was a good book and second, because I thought it would be a good change from what I usually read. To say that I was impressed with this book would be an understatement. I cant tell you how many times I had to remind myself to breathe while I was reading this book. The setting of the North Woods of Michigans Upper Peninsula added to the mystery of a killer on the loose and the beauty of Gods love and care. This book moves very quickly and keeps the reader engaged pretty much from the first page. There is a bit of a lull toward the beginning of the book, but it is necessary plot development, so it does not hurt the story at all. The author was just getting started.Despite the fact that this book is an excellent suspense story, there is also a tender side to the story. The Thayer family is a loving, godly family, but they are also a grieving family and they need to learn to trust God and to forgive. I was impressed with the authors inclusion of Bible verses and biblical lessons throughout the story. These elements fit in perfectly and provided an excellent spiritual foundation for the story.I very highly recommend this book to suspense lovers and to anyone who wants to read a book that is maybe different from your usual. So, bravo, Adam Blumer! If this debut novel is what readers can expect from this author, I will be first in line for the next book.
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Review 9 for Fatal Illusions
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:August 4, 2009
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Kathy M.
This is a book I can recommend to anyone looking for a good, exciting read. Adam creates people that are real dealing with injustices, hurting, questions, responsibilities, disruptions to their lives, and still trusting God to see them through. The story keeps you guessing as to what will happen next and you will not fall asleep before the end!
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Review 10 for Fatal Illusions
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:July 16, 2009
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Jim Black
Fatal Illusions is an excellent first novel by Adam Blumer. This book is a suspenseful page-turner. I read it while on vacation and that is a good thing. Since I did not have to get up for work in the morning, I was able to stay up late and read a few more chapters each night. The author kept increasing the intensity with each chapter. The short chapters that changed between the different viewpoint characters also helped contribute to the pacing. I personally like the short chapters when the storyline is fast-paced. I am looking forward to the author's next book.
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Review 11 for Fatal Illusions
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:June 29, 2009
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Adina Fitzsimmons
The warnings were correct. The book was hard to put down.The story is well written, easy to read and deeper than the average novel. The characters are well developed individuals who are already dealing with real life struggles when their lives are turned upside down by attempted murder and then a serial killer. I appreciated the extra details and quotes that Adam used throughout the book. This isn't just another Christian suspense novel, it also teaches good spiritual truths.
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Review 12 for Fatal Illusions
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 20, 2009
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Stephanie Reed
When I read suspense, I like to be surprised. Adam Blumer's first novel is chock-full of surprising twists. I second-guessed myself many times as he unfolded the complicated world of Gillian Thayer, her husband Marc, and their daughter Crystal. I've been anticipating this book since I watched the trailer--you can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJHDmK-2Osc . After watching the preview, I thought I knew how the book would play out, but turns out it's all an illusion. The cast of characters is large. Another pleasant surprise--they're all fully developed, even the minor players. Some of my favorites were Stacey James and Clara Henderson. The killer is all too believable as someone who doesn't stand out at first glance. With so many story lines, there are layers to Fatal Illusions. The stalker storyline will have you watching your back. Solid Christian values shine, too, as characters face crushing challenges--suspected infidelity, stillborn twins, and moving to another high school, to name a few. Yet those values don't overshadow the creepy suspense that Blumer has crafted. He maintains a delicate balance of every element a reader craves in a mainstream novel, and then some. If you are facing pain or loss in your life (aren't we all?), don't miss this one. Looking for a breakneck, suspenseful book? I highly recommend Fatal Illusions, and I challenge you to predict the twists before Blumer ropes you in and it's too late.
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Review 13 for Fatal Illusions
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:April 23, 2009
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Marta Hoelscher
This book is magnificent! Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. I'm definitely a new member of the Adam Blumer fan club. The book had a lot of action that never quite let up. Even at almost 400 pages I read this in a day and a half. The book never seems to slow down, so it's a quick read. One of the great things about this book was that it was a Christian murder mystery. Typically in this genre you get a certain amount of cussing or sex scenes. You get none of that here, just non stop action. This book also through some twists at me that I wasn't expecting, and believe me I'm not easily surprised by plot twists anymore. I'd put Fatal Illusions up against a James Patterson novel any day...it's that good! I'm definitely recommending this to anyone who likes a fast paced thrill ride of a book.
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Review 14 for Fatal Illusions
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:April 18, 2009
Mystery and suspense, murder, attempted murder and a serial killer. This book is packed with an excellent storyline that kept me on edge as I flipped the pages. Though I figured out who-dun-it early on (to a certain extent I think I was supposed to) the writing style was so well done that I held my breath to the end. The past wraps around to the present as we realize that nothing should be overlooked. There is a lot going on in this book - a pastor and his wife that aren't as close as they used to be, pastor is accused of rape and his wife is in mourning over her still born babies... wedges are driven between them and they are asked to take a sabbatical from the church till everything blows over. In the meantime in another state, a detective is getting ready to retire, but he hasn't been able to retire the case that has been under his skin for years - a serial killer who murders thin blonds with wire rimmed glasses. When things converge at a lighthouse in Michigan all heck breaks lose... pastor is accused of murder, his daughter is being hunted by the killer, mom is trying to hold it all together. Well written and suspenseful - I enjoyed every moment of this book!
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Review 15 for Fatal Illusions
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:April 17, 2009
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Christy Lockstein
Fatal Illusions by Adam Blumer is a creepy-crawly thrill ride you don't want to read alone in the house! Gillian Thayer, husband Mark, and daughter Crystal have been through more than enough drama for any family. Gillian is still mourning the stillbirth of twins just six months ago when a female parishioner of Mark's fixates on him. When he rejects her, she vandalizes their home, shoots him, leaving him for dead, and then shouts an accusation of rape to a passer-by. The resulting turmoil forces Mark to take a sabbatical in northern Michigan on the coast of Lake Superior. Unfortunately for the family, a serial killer from Cincinnati has come to the same area on the lam. Blumer is familiar with Lake Superior, so he captures its beauty so perfectly, the tourism rates should skyrocket. Each character is completely wrapped up in their own concerns; Gillian her grief and calligraphy, Mark his frustration and preaching, and Crystal, her anger and singing. Blumer uses the tragedy to shatter the shells around each of them and reunite them as a family. Haydon Owens, the murderer, is a top notch scary villain. The reader never knows when he's going to pop up or escape. The author does a great job of juggling the multiple story lines and keeping the pages turning. One small complaint: at the end of the story, I had a difficult time understand some of Gillian's decisions; they seemed to be counterintuitive to the character and made just to propel the story. I hope that Blumer continues to visit the town of Whistler's Point, he's created a great deal of intriguing history along with some fascinating characters.
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Review 16 for Fatal Illusions
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:April 17, 2009
From the first page to the last, I loved this Christian suspense novel. I had a doctor's appointment and took the book with me, knowing that I'd have time to read. Picture this: in a waiting room full of patients, with the inevitable television in the background, I gasp aloud! It's that good.The plot weaves two stories into one fascinating tapestry thriller. One of a pastor in a mega church, counseling an obsessive woman, who misunderstands Christian love and won't back off from pursuing him. The second story is of an amateur magician who stalks and kills young, blond, blue-eyed girls who wear wire-rimmed glasses. The talent of the author has the divergent stories neatly converge.Characters are well rounded and quite believable. At various times, I wanted to shake one and hug another. There is a theme of trust and forgiveness that point the characters (and the reader) toward God.This is one fabulous book that I highly recommend. Reader's Group Guide included.
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Review 17 for Fatal Illusions
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:April 14, 2009
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Danette
Riveting! I finished the book in two days because I could not put it down. Incredible writing style and especially appreciated the correct use of Scripture. Excellent balance in that the author is never preachy but he does not portray an emotional "feel the love" kind of faith either. Loved it and look forward to his next book.
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