Thursday, March 3, 2022

ARC Review: Don't Get Close by Matt Miksa

Don't Get Close

Matt Miksa
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (March 8, 2022)

Description: An infamous reincarnation cult resurfaces in the wake of a deadly bombing, and it’s up to an FBI novice to learn its true aim—and uncover its dark past before it consumes her.

Special Agent Vera Taggart walked away from a promising career as an artist to join the FBI, and she impresses her new colleagues with her eerie ability to divine conclusions from the grisliest crime scenes. Taggart’s first assignment is a decades-old cold case centered on a cult of suicide bombers known as the Sons of Elijah who believe they’ve been reborn hundreds of times, going back centuries. It seems like a low-risk assignment until a bomb tears apart a crowded Chicago restaurant. The Sons of Elijah have returned—and now it’s up to Taggart to stop their modern-day reign of terror.

Taggart’s investigation begins with Dr. Seth Jacobson, a renowned psychiatrist who claims to help people remember past lives through hypnotherapy. Jacobson had treated two of the Sons of Elijah’s founders before they’d gone on to commit a series of horrific murders. Desperate to understand how these ordinary patients could have taken such a violent path, Taggart agrees to undergo similar treatment with Jacobson.

 Through her hypnosis sessions, Taggart comes to suspect the Sons of Elijah are targeting a high-tech government laboratory that could expose the group’s greatest secret with a controversial experiment. To save millions of innocent lives, Tag must come to grips with the shocking truth about the cult and her own puzzling role in its timeless mission. The fate of humanity rests on her ability to determine which threats are real and which exist only in her mind—and to decide whose side she’s really fighting for.

My Thoughts: DON'T GET CLOSE was an intriguing and twisty thriller. Rookie FBI Agent Vera Taggart finds herself assigned to the Sons of Elijah case. Twenty-eight years earlier, there were a series of suicide bombings that killed hundreds of people. Now, it seems, the Sons of Elijah are making a return.

One clue is that two of the bombers were both patients of psychiatrist Dr. Seth Jacobson. He has made a very successful career because of them. Best-selling books, speaking engagements, and television appearances have kept his name front and center. His treatment was controversial; he used hypnotic regression on them. He learned that they lived many previous lives protecting a secret that is still secret to this day. 

The newest bomber - who didn't commit suicide after his bombing - was also a patient of Dr. Jacobson. Tag determines that she needs to undergo this hypnotic regression herself if she is going to understand the bomber and stop him before he carries out a mass murder.

The story includes a lot of these past lives since it turns out that Tag herself is a part of the bigger picture of the Sons of Elijah than she had ever imagined. The weaving of the past lives and the aims of the FBI into the story gives an interesting picture of what is really happening. What is the ultimate goal of the Sons of Elijah? Is Jacobson really their leader? Are the past lives Tag sees real or induced by the therapist? 

This story deals with reincarnation and the ideas that souls are separate from bodies and are indestructible. The story also includes a lot about physics and the things physicists study. One of the characters is a physicist who is studying consciousness through physics. Tag meets her when her lab becomes a target of the newest bomber since destroying it could destroy a big part of the Mid-west. 

The twisty plot kept me engaged and intrigued. Tag was an intriguing character - an artist who becomes an FBI agent who also happens to be a lesbian and who just might be a victim of a complex plot herself. 

Favorite Quote:
"Most of the men who questioned you I've never met. Many have retired by now. Some are dead. So I can't ask them myself."

"Ask them what?"

"Why they didn't give a shit," Tag answered. "It's obvious from their questions that they wished they were doing something else -- anything else -- other than speaking with you. And I'm assuming you felt the same way."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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