*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Self-published through Outskirts Press.
Â Gomez has a slight problem – ok, he has several problems. He’s absolute crap at managing the antique store his parents left him. The drug trial he entered for extra cash has left him unsure what is real and what may be drug-induced side effect, and he thinks he may or may not be in love with Dr. Hargrove, the lab assistant who administers his drugs each week. When another participant in the drug trial ends up dead, Gomez realizes he may be in much more trouble than he thought.
As part of his entry into the drug trial, Gomez must keep a blog and post about his experiences. As successive posts get stranger and stranger, both the reader and Gomez wonder if what is happening – his upstairs neighbor drilling holes into Gomez’s ceiling; Dr. Hargrove asking him to stalk her stalker; a customer at the antique store wanting to buy his tax documents – is actually real.
Yet what could easily become an unmanageable mess of a novel becomes a funny, human look at life and its idiosyncrasies in the hands of Graham Parke. Gomez creates tests to discover if he’s actually in love with Dr. Hargrove or if his feelings are just the result of the drug trial. He investigates the death of Joseph Miller, another drug trial participant. He attempts to assuage the eccentric behavior of his assistant Hicks, whose proclivities for order rival Gomez’s own increasingly chaotic life.
In the end, the truth about Gomez is much less interesting than what the reader begins to believe, but Parke is forgiven this as it is Gomez’s journey, and his truth that make the novel: What is and what isn’t? How much of what we see is perspective and belief, and how much is objective truth?
Add this to your Goodreads shelf (it looks like they’re hosting a giveaway until July 4!).