The very best book I have read in years, and I read five books a week. I read "Denial", from digital cover to digital cover, in one sitting. I have not yet been to sleep, and it is now 10:00 in the morning. Am I tired? No! I am wide awake! Completely EXHILARATED! Filled with the excitement and joy brought about by genius story-telling, brilliant prose, fascinating characters and the trance-like immersion one feels when wrapped up in and absorbed by a transcendent literary experience! I LOVED my every moment spent with this profoundly entertaining, enlightening, downright creepy, utterly thrilling, and totally involving, genre-defying masterpiece! The story, or stories... the multiple layers of characters, each character fully-drawn and mesmerizing, then made ever more so as their lives began to connect. These are arresting, brilliant characters, some dedicated and persistent, some motivated in the way that only a profound, life-altering love can inspire, and some wonderfully, bizarrely insane, yet no less gripping for it; living lives without the helpful context of reality. Yet, all of these characters, even the most sane, have to deal with life's "Wrench Thrown Into The Works"; DENIAL. Denial proves to be, in all our lives, essential, unavoidable, and both helpful and disfiguring. This book is a gloriously colorful, intoxicating, and wildly enjoyable, puzzle, being put together by characters, most of whom have no idea that anyone else is working on the same puzzle. Then, as the noose (and the story) tightens, they, still without realizing it, are suddenly sitting at the same table, finding places for the pieces of the puzzle that only they have. Ultimately, this entertainingly diverse handful of characters place a sufficient number of pieces to identify the image of the puzzle, THEN enough to realize that the image is actually a MAP. At this realization, each character BURSTS from the table, STILL unaware that others have been solving the same puzzle, and they dash out, through different doors, to follow the MAP, choosing different starting points, but heading in the same direction. Until they finally MEET, physically, ultimately finding tragedy or salvation, or both, with all of these results proving rather magically satisfying. WE feel triumphant, celebratory. And, YET... there remains one final surprise that will change EVERYTHING! That will make us marvel at Mr. James' pure literary audacity. Because there is one final piece of the puzzle. One we'd all missed. It must have dropped to the floor, hidden under a bed or behind a door. This final, staggering piece (a revelation) is kept from us until the VERY. LAST. MOMENT. That's when Mr. James, almost casually, reaches over our shoulders and puts in place. It is mind-blowing and outrageous and absolutely RIGHT. The puzzle WAS an image, and it WAS a MAP, But, it was also, we now see, a work of art. "Denial" is the rarest of artworks; a perfect book. Peter James is a true artist. And, I thank him for sharing with us this most meticulous and instinctive novel. "Denial" is a true treasure. A brave, outrageous, surprising, enlightening, fully satisfying, thrilling and totally believable testament to humanity's foibles. Our never simple failures, our complicated successes, and our necessary-for-survival, yet just as often necessary-for-our-destruction... denials.