Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 50-55,000 words
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“Melissa Bowersock is an eclectic, award-winning author who writes in a variety of fiction and non-fiction genres: biography, contemporary, western, action, romance, fantasy, paranormal and spiritual. She has been both traditionally and independently published and is a regular contributor to the superblog Indies Unlimited. She lives in a small community in northern Arizona with her husband and an Airedale terrier. She also writes under the pen name Amber Flame.”
“Julia Martin, newly-divorced but still reeling from her husband’s infidelity, takes a much needed vacation to visit old college friends in Germany. While touring a little-known concentration camp and museum, she spontaneously experiences a violent past life memory of being murdered in this very camp during the Holocaust. Efforts to understand her memories only lead to more questions, the largest being: is her killer still alive? Supported by her friends and comforted in the arms of a handsome doctor, Julia attempts to uncover the mysteries of her past life and find justice for the person she used to be.”
Wikipedia says that suspension of disbelief “is a term coined in 1817 by the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who suggested that if a writer could infuse a 'human interest and a semblance of truth' into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgment concerning the implausibility of the narrative.” To put this in a more simplistic way, write a good story, and the reader will willingly (probably subconsciously) play along with the parts they'd never believe in real life.
At its heart, Fleischerhaus is a mystery. Actually two. The first is what is causing the protagonist Julia to have the flashbacks? Hallucinations? Whatever it is that happens when she visits the site of a former concentration camp feels like a memory of a past life, but her brain doesn't want to believe. I'd never believe this in real life, but while reading I was onboard from the start, not questioning it at all.
The mystery of who Julia was in this past life was the first puzzle to be solved. (If they could verify the things she was feeling actually happened, then maybe she really was experiencing something from a past life. As those pieces started falling into place it setup another mystery, who murdered her in that prior life and was it too late for him to face justice? This was well written. Integrated what I'm assuming are reasonably accurate bits of history into the story, and was a clever, well executed story idea. Definitely recommended if an offbeat mystery appeals to you.
No significant issues.
Rating: ***** Five Stars