Sunday, October 2, 2011

One Voice Too Many

One Voice Too Many was written by Paul Martin Miller.  It is a psychological thriller - not a typical mystery I usually read.  It was an interesting story. 

The main character was a carpenter named Jeremy Walker who starts his day with an internal conflict about something he has read.  He is on the way to work when he gets caught in a traffic jam. At this point he begins doing something very odd.  He walks away from his truck and seems to wander back in the direction he came - reason unknown.  He seems to be disconnected with the world outside of himself.  Finally, he goes to a restaurant to get something to eat and he seems to have a breakdown.  The police come and end up taking him to a hospital.  They call his ex-wife to let her know what has happened - and since she appears to be the only known family he has.  At this point the focus of the story takes a shift - to explore what has lead up to this point.

The story tells how Jeremy was a lonely man who had been married twice before.  He was divorced from his first wife and he lost his second wife - she presumably was killed in an accident.  The loss of his wife took a toll on his life and was something he found hard to come to grips with.  Eventually he improved outwardly and started functioning in what appeared to be a normal fashion.

Then he meets Macy - a woman he is impressed with.  He enjoys spending time with her and her daughter and they get married.  Things seem to go nice but the story always brings up problems in this relationship.  Jeremy - from Macy's point of view - always seems to hold things back and she kind of resents that.  This is a mechanism that Jeremy has developed from previous experiences and their mariage is a source of internal conflicts for Jeremy.  Some "Voice" occassionally breaks into Jeremy's life and further complicates his life.

Things in Jeremy's view of the relationship seems to shift back and forth.  At times the relationship is a great one and other times it is a disappointing one.  He struggles with loving feelings for Macy and her daughter and feelings of resentment.  During those periods of loneliness, he starts longing for communications from the "Voice". 

The story rotates back and forth between the lives of Jeremy and Macy.  And they end up getting divorced.  But they still have some sort of connection.

Most of the story focuses on what happens before Jeremy has his breakdown.  The story ends up continuing after the breakdown but comes to a quick (and unexplained) end.  Maybe that is just the nature of being a thriller.  For me it was a little disappointing but the story (and it's ending) did make me think.