Editorial Review: The Mind of Stefan Dürr by Alan Joshua
Ousted whistle-blower Beau Walker is spinning his wheels as the resident eccentric academic at a small and unremarkable university, until one day he is marched back into this world where a project based in research he helped develop is out of control and killing people.
Beau Walker is an empath, among other things, who experiences intense and unpredictable flashes of insight that are triggered through physical touch. After expressing ethical concerns over the treatment of test subjects in their experiments he was unceremoniously fired from his government research position. Now, his one-time friend – the same person whose failure to back Walker up prompted his fall from grace – needs Walker’s help. An expert in parapsychology and the paranormal abilities of the human mind, Walker is not your usual scientist. Battling the resistance of conventional science against these ideas, racial prejudice against him, and a whole secret department trying to manipulate him, Walker doesn’t seem to be able to trust anyone.
After being kidnapped and delivered to a top-secret location Walker is convinced to return to the project – though threatened into returning might be more accurate – alongside an odd assembly of similarly coerced experts. En route to Russia the newly formed team is briefed, a whole town surrounding a secret research laboratory has been destroyed by … something. They are not sure what, but it has created a mile-wide crater and there is nothing left within those bounds. Descending into the crater, Walker and his associates take on the seemingly simple task of drilling for core samples to test but something is very wrong. While in the crater one of the team becomes unwell and time starts to slip, but this is only the beginning. This action-packed sci-fi thriller revolves around a lofty goal – find the key to everything and manage the cause, or it’s the end of everything. In order to do this, Walker must venture into his past, his mind, and the vast capability of human consciousness.
The Mind of Stefan Dürr is the first book in the SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy, and it sets the pace beautifully. Despite it fitting rather well in the sci-fi, psychological, and paranormal genres it has tantalizing aspects of thriller and horror woven through that elevate it to something that will appeal to readers outside the immediately obvious genre. The characters are well flawed, Beau Walker is likable and feels real thanks to these very flaws. The Mind of Stefan Dürr is a well-balanced novel – the plot and structure are engaging, the characters are relatable and developed, and it is all brought together by clear and concise writing skills.
A fast-paced and well-written thriller, The Mind of Stefan Dürr is a complex and riveting read.
Deft dialogue, crisp plotting, and a likable central figure make this multidisciplinary scientific adventure an exuberant and involving read.
Portland Book Review
Having the right amount of adventure and romance this crisscrossing genre tale isn’t just a good read, but may also look great on a big screen.