** spoiler alert **
When I read a suspense/mystery novel, I know I'm into it and liking it when the author keeps me in a state of suspended tension throughout the book. Mania had me so wrapped up that I started it shortly after dinner and didn't stop reading it until I had finished.
Actually, I thought this book was quite a fun read, and consider that this isn't my usual fare, I think that says a lot.
The main character, Nick Wilder, is a photographer for the Seattle Telegraph, and is generally on hand to collect shots other papers can't get. He was young when his parents died, and came to depend on his brother Sam, with whom he has always been very close. One night after he and Sam were together in downtown Seattle, Nick and Sam are attacked by a rough-looking homeless man. Nick comes out of it with a few injuries, but Sam is dead, Nick's a bit cloudy on what exactly happened, and as you go through the book, he continues to flash back on that episode, as well as others that haunt him. Nick's girlfriend Sara tries to ease his fears but he's still uneasy. There's much more to the novel, but it's hard to summarize without giving away the show.
The dark atmosphere of this novel is reflective of Nick's internal darkness throughout. The author's writing and the level of suspense he creates will keep you reading. It was fun as a reader to try and piece together events playing out in Nick's mind while trying to figure out what's really going on. Don't let the flashbacks and returns to the present bother you -- they're necessary to the overall story and the author pulls it off so you won't be confused. Actually, I noticed that a lot of complaints had to do with Nick's flashbacks. It's like if some people don't get a linear narrative then they find the book "tough to read." Well, expand your reading horizons.
Overall, a fun read that I can recommend to suspense & mystery readers.