Delirium Tremens is a quite extraordinary and a genre defying novel. A once successful and committed family man Jacob returns home one day to find his wife and daughter brutally murdered. Descending into a spiral of depression and alcoholism he finds himself washed up in a bar in Antigua along with others of life’s flotsam. Here he falls into the clutches of the mysterious Uri, who in return for Jacob performing certain unpleasant tasks in various corners of the world promises to reveal the whereabouts of his family’s killer.
The tale twists and turns, springing one surprise after another as Jacob becomes convinced he knows the identity of the man who took his life away. Uri promises to deliver the man to Jacob in return for one more job.
By day he spends his time in the bar where he shares tales with the locals and with each telling of his own story he finds more memories revealing tantalising glimpses of something horrible. By night as the dreams take hold and tear away curtain from his alcohol numbed mind he comes to understand exactly what happened and why.
The book is written in an unusual style that draws you into Jacob’s world and refuses to let you go until the final twists that will leave you numbed. This is one of those books that will remain with you long after you have finished it and begs a second read.
Delirium Tremens is a very difficult novel to review as in order to give a true flavour of the story one would have to reveal too much of the ending. But suffice to say, if you enjoy the twists of such films as Sixth Sense or Jacob’s Ladder then, although quite different, you will find this remarkable novel ranks alongside those two in terms of surprise endings. In fact personally, I would rank this one more highly as the final twist is nowhere near as telegraphed as that in The Sixth Sense.