id by Kevin Spark – Book Review
id by Kevin Spark – Book Review
- Author – Kevin Spark
- Publisher – Story Merchant
- Release Date – 24th October 2022
- Pages – 332
- ISBN 13 – 978-1970157352
- Format – ebook, paperback
- Star Rating – 4.5
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Dr. Shelly, a brilliant psychologist, forever haunted by her father and his murderous past, is driven by the need to find out why we do the things we do? Is the concept of free will just a concept and nothing more, a construct that blinds us to a less palatable truth, that who we are is predetermined and encoded at birth? Does anyone really choose to do the bad things we do or are we just doing what comes naturally?
Shelly constructs an experiment using a sensory deprivation tank and virtual reality, allowing the darkest part of ourselves, the id, to run free. Unencumbered by morality or remorse, Shelly finds the perfect subject in Adam. A borderline psychotic born into a world of neglect and crime. Delving into the deepest pits of his subconscious, Shelly surfaces with far more than she bargained for.
Detective Hopper, responsible for Adam’s capture, remains a broken man. After suffering a breakdown due to the escalation of his own violent behavior, he is placed under the care of Dr Shelly. Encouraging him to go looking for his own redemption, Hopper becomes a pawn in her web of deception until the lines of reality are redrawn as Hopper and Adam come full circle to an explosive end.
Review by Julie
‘id’ is the debut novel from the pen of Kevin Spark. The opening scene definitely scores highly in shock value and those who enjoy a complex horror story will be hooked immediately. We then skip forward and find that the young girl, who witnessed such awful depravity, has become a well-respected psychologist. As Dr Alison Shelly, she meets Adam a violent individual with extreme mental health problems and takes charge of his care and rehabilitation. Adam has been apprehended by Detective Jack Hopper, who isn’t averse to using excessive violence himself. After losing control on an unrelated case, Hopper is placed on restricted duties and ordered to undergo therapy. Shelly pulls some strings to ensure she has Hopper assigned to her care; therefore giving her access to both predator and hunter. This opens up dark avenues for them all and there are strong undercurrents to suggest that the doctor has her own subjective agenda.
The doctor is pleased with Adam’s response to his treatment and arranges for him to be given a job at a local zoo. The introduction of the zoo and the characters we meet there, lead to the plot developing and another layer being added which enables Dr Shelly to delve even more deeply into the complexities of her patients’ minds.
There were long sections of description because much of the story is played out in the innermost thoughts of the various characters. The author uses metaphors to add colour and throws in the occasional bit of black humour. The main protagonists are all multi-dimensional and even those with cameo roles are fleshed out to make them relevant and relatable. I have a couple of reservations; firstly, I didn’t fully understanding much of the psychoanalysis. Secondly, I have a bug-bear about the tendency to dip in and out of different people’s thoughts in the same segment. However, these elements didn’t stop me from appreciating the power of the story. Those readers who like a tidy ending will no doubt be shocked by the dénouement.
The author has produced a well-researched piece of work which is hard-hitting and at times brutal. The violence is probably at the limit of what I find acceptable and it definitely isn’t a read for the faint-hearted. Objectively, I can appreciate that many will thoroughly engage with this book and I award 4.5 stars.
id is my first book and hopefully not my last as I think I have a few good stories to tell, and I’m already busy on my second, which is vastly different to Id–it’s a comedy! Or at least it is at the moment, things may change, so watch this space.