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  • By Michael Kalapick
    Oct 15, 2009
    "THE DIVE crawled inside my head in a way that few other novels have." I must confess that the whole notion of someone faking his own death to start a new life caught my attention from the start. Why would someone go to this extreme? What internal or external crisis would propel a man to risk throwing away everything he had worked so hard to achieve? The first chapter was very intense, in the sense that it was quick paced and very visual—like the beginning of a movie. The author goes out of his way to make it feel personal, directly challenging the reader to think along side of the main character—to crawl inside his head. For this reason, the first chapter was profoundly disturbing. The writer painted a picture of a basically unsympathetic, materialistic man, who, I disliked—an anti-hero. Yet, much of why I disliked Michael Charon had to do with the fact that I was constantly battling the notion that there was much about this guy’s thought life that struck me as real, as... More > genuine. It hit close to home. Perhaps too close for comfort. I was relating to certain aspects of this man’s escapist, criminal daydreaming. That bothered me immensely. It also sparked an intense curiosity that kept me reading. I realized that I now sympathized with Michael Charon completely. Somehow the author had skillfully captured me, despite my initial resistance. This character was essentially a criminal. Now I was convinced he was redeemable, maybe even remarkable. By chapter eleven I was a full partner in Michael’s quest for identity. Moreover, I began asking myself how I defined myself. The author deployed a bit of literary slight of hand to get me to buy into the idea that Michael Charon was redeemable. A curve was thrown my way. Perhaps I should say: “curves.” A woman, that is. The story really takes on greater dimensionality with the introduction of Maria Pressman. Maria is a writer who Michael meets by chance while in Berlin, Germany. A romance blossoms as Michael and Maria are thrown into some unusual situations involving the political radicals that she has been researching for her latest book. I don’t want to give away the rest of the book, but this much must be said: the author did a heck of a job creating tension as Michael and Maria are plunged into perilous situations. As billed, THE DIVE is indeed “a romance-laced, intrigue-driven tale”—“The story of a man who goes to the extreme of faking his death in order to start a new life... and the woman who saves him from himself.” The second half of the book is about Maria’s efforts to rescue Michael from some serious trouble he has gotten himself into. She is developed as a strong and intelligent character. Women will find the character of Maria Pressman extremely attractive. She is intelligent, crafty, strong-willed and beautiful to boot. From the midpoint on, the author switches to Maria’s perspective. It is this refreshing change-up that gives THE DIVE a certain male-female balance. Though, let me warn you: just because you see things through Maria’s eyes doesn’t mean that the intensity of this story subsides—quite the opposite! THE DIVE is not a simple romance. Not even close. In the end, I was left wanting more, with the certain knowledge that this story had more ground to cover. I smell a sequel.< Less
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Product Details

Third Edition
Beachfront Press
July 21, 2010
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
1.29 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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