Thursday 4 April 2024

Seeing Red - T.M. Doran - A Novel

Seeing Red
T.M. Doran

ISBN 9781621646396
eISBN 9781642292787

Seeing Red - T.M. Doran - A Novel

This is the fifth volume I have read from T.M. Doran the first three were in the Toward the Gleam series, the second was Iota, that was very different volume. And this one is very different from both of them. Much of this story is dark and it is often disturbing. From very early on I had a clear idea where the story was going. And I could just not put it down. The description of the book is:

“This book is a thriller set in an alternate America both familiar and unfamiliar—a darkening society in which ordinary, honest citizens fear their own government. Six recipients of Extraordinary Designation Cards (i.e., Red Cards) are hiding on an abandoned northern Michigan movie set, seeking to escape the authorities who intend their demise. An Academy Award–winning screenwriter discovers these fugitives by accident, and soon so does the government, setting in motion a deadly cat-and-mouse game.

Seeing Red takes us from the forests of Michigan to Hollywood and back again, through a world of celebrities, outcasts, and sinister figures lurking in the shadows. T.M. Doran presents a timely and gripping story in an era when the sick and disabled, and those trying to care for them, are deprived of their human rights.”

The story is written in three parts, much like a three act play. The names of the sections are Virgil, Minerva and David. They story is an interesting mix of looking back, experiencing the now, and looking forward. The description states it is set in an alternate America, but I wonder if it could be set today without it being so in the open. And much of what is described is happening in Canada, the Netherlands and other places around the world. Our protagonist is Castro Hume, who is an Academy Award–winning screenwriter, but whose fortunes are falling. His name does not have the pull it did. He decided to travel back to setting of his great success, and he stumbles upon something. And the people he meets change is life. He returns from this trip to northern Michigan with a new purpose and focus. But he must navigate the minefield of politics, the entertainment industry and a government agent Dana Philby. She is on the hunt and is relentless, determined and vicious. 

The plat is very intriguing. It is one that even a week later I am still thinking about often. Who decides who gets Red Cards which is basically a death sentence? Who decides who gets medical treatment and who doesn’t? Who controls the narrative? And will anyone stand up against it?

In some ways it is in part a story of a future Underground Railroad, or Schindler. In part it is the story of a many seeking for meaning and purpose. And in part it is the story of finding a place in the world, even if the world does not want you. 

In some ways it reminds me of The Last Ugly Person And Other Stories by Roger Thomas. It has a Logan’s Run vibe but not so futuristic. And definitely it feels like a step towards a Soylent Green kind of world. 

This story is an excellent read. It is one we need today. It is a great example of modern Catholic fiction tackling current issues in a unique way. A great book for mature readers. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2024 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by T.M. Doran:
Iota: A Novel
Circling the Turtle

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