Title: THE MASK OF SANITY
Author: JACOB APPEL
Genre: FICTION, THRILLER, PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER
Length: 256 PAGES
Publisher: THE PERMANENT PRESS
Type of Book: HARDCOVER
Received From: FREE FROM THE AUTHOR
Release Date: MARCH 31, 2017
Price: $28 USD (Hardcover)
Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
On the outside, Dr. Jeremy Balint is a pillar of the community: the youngest division chief poorly, he reveals the depths of his cold-blooded depravity.
At a cultural moment when the media bombards us with images of so-called sociopaths who strive for good and criminals redeemed by repentance,The Mask of Sanityoffers an antidote to implausible tales of evil gone right. In contrast to fictional predecessors like Dostoyevesky’s Raskolnikov and Camus’ Mersault, Dr. Balint is a man who already has it all –and will do everything in his power, no matter how immoral, to keep what he has.
Jacob Appel has a true gift. His vivid descriptions of place are minimal in length but are still somehow able to paint an exact picture in the reader’s mind. His genius shines through mostly with his uncanny ability to get inside the heads of his characters and to take his readers with him. His writing makes each character seem less fictional and more real.
Jacob’s vast educational and life experience and his background in the medical field make this book even nore scary. I can’t help but wonder if this book is based on a past patient or maybe even one of Jacob Appel’s colleagues. I really hope not.
In this book the protagonist is a respected physician. A married father of two adorable girls, Jeremy Balint seems to lead the perfect life.
However, when he discovers that his wife is cheating on him with a colleague, one he had considered to be a friend, Jeremy does not react out of anger. Instead, he calmly decides that his marriage must be saved at all costs. Instead of confronting his wife, he hatches a diabolical plan. That plan, and his execution of it will both shock readers and have them glued to the book’s pages.
Psychopaths and sociopaths have historically been portrayed as loners. They seemed easy to identify since they were seen to be “creepy” and no one was all that surprised when they found out that he (and it was ALWAYS a he) murdered someone. This gave people a sense of relief. If they stayed away from creepy men, they were safe. The reality is much more terrifying. As author Jacob Appel is aware, true sociopaths do not fit that description at all.
In fact, since sociopaths are masters of both manipulation and of adaptation, it is quite likely that all of us know or live close to at least one of them. This book brings that fact home unlike any other.
If you are a fan of psychological fiction you will LOVE this book. It is a MUST READ and I rate it enthusiastically as 5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jacob M. Appel is the author of the following novels:
Wedding Wipeout (Cozy Cat Press)
The Biology of Luck (Elephant Rock Books)
The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up (Cargo Publishing)
The short-story collections:
The Topless Widow of Herkimer Street (Howling Bird Press)
Scouting For The Reaper (both Black Lawrence Press)
The essay collection Phoning Home (University of South Carolina Press)
His short fiction has appeared in numerous literary magazines, including:
Jacob has taught at Brown University, Columbia University, and the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.
He holds a BA and MA from Brown University, an MA and an MPhil from Columbia University, a JD from Harvard, and an MFA in Creative Writing from NYU.
(In other words, this is one incredibly intelligent and extremely well-educated individual.)
Jacob Appel teaches writing classes at Gotham Writer’s Workshop which hosts classes both in New York City and online.
All these “jobs” as an author and a teacher would be more than enough to keep a regular person extremely busy, but these are all second (and third, and fourth, etc.) jobs for Jacob.
In a way he is like Superman.
Jacob Appel is a mild-mannered, well-respected Lawyer, Doctor and Bio-Ethicist by Day and he turns into SuperWriterMan whenever and wherever he is needed. (As far as I know, he doesn’t own a cape or do quick-changes in phone booths which is probably a good thing since I am not sure if there are any phone booths left.
Jacob holds Graduate Degrees from Brown University, Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, Harvard Law School, New York University’s MFA program in Fiction and Albany Medical College’s Alden March Institute of Bioethics.
He taught for many years at Brown University and currently teaches at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
To learn more about this author visit the following links:
To read my review of Jacob Appel’s fantastic short story collection “MIRACLES AND CONUNDRUMS OF THE SECONDARY PLANETS” Click on the cover below:
To read another of my reviews for Jacob Appel’s Literary Masterpiece and short story collection “EINSTEIN’S BEACH HOUSE,” Click on the book cover below:
This is one of the best short story collections I have ever had the privilege of reading.
I am a fan of Jacob Appel’s and after reading this book I guarantee you will be too.
* I received a free copy of this book from the author, however, this did not effect my review or my rating in any way.