Book Review: Centralia

17 Aug

519xgTW6z6L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Peter Ryan wakes up on a typical morning only to find his house empty, his wife and daughter nowhere to be found. His world is shattered after a phone call to a friend confirms the impossible: his wife and daughter died in a car accident he does not remember. Haunted by faint memories and flashes of details, Peter becomes convinced that something isn’t right and begins to question reality. When he discovers a note in his daughter’s handwriting, strange memories begin to surface that cause him to second-guess nearly everything he once believed. Suddenly armed men show up at Peter’s home, turning the mysterious puzzle of his past into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. On the run and unsure whom to trust, Peter has to discover what’s real and what isn’t . . . before he loses everything.

71p4CBCcmtL._UX250_Mike Dellosso is the author of seven novels of suspense and several short stories. He also writes family dramas under the pseudonym, Michael King. In addition to his novels he’s written for periodicals, websites, and is a regular conference teacher and speaker. Born in Baltimore, Mike now resides in Pennsylvania. He is also a colon cancer survivor and speaks often about dealing with suffering. Find out more about Mike on his website,


My Impressions:

I have read several of Mike Dellosso’s novels — all have been breathless suspense/speculative books that leave the reader slightly off-kilter. In Centralia, he has stepped it up a notch. Page-turning, with jarring images and ideas, this book is for those who want an adrenaline-laced read and a mind bending concept. This one kept me wondering to the last page and beyond.

Peter Ryan wakes up one morning with a memory like Swiss cheese. A confusing mix of holes and conflicting memories leaves him searching for his wife and daughter that others assure him died tragically months ago. But Peter knows that can’t be right, especially as gun-wielding assassins keep showing up. Images skirting on the edge of his mind give him flashes of insight and a muscle-memory of guns, martial arts, and strategy keep him alive as he searches for those he loves and the truth that may set him free or bind him forever.

Centralia is definitely not for the faint of heart. There are lots of scenes with gunfights, car chases, and hand to hand combat. One especially cringe-inducing scene involved a hot grill in a diner. Eww! And while the physical is front and center, the psychological aspects of this thriller may be the most disturbing. Peter is a complex character that the reader roots for from the beginning. Secondary characters aid in the advancement of the plot. One such character, Lawrence Habit, was the most intriguing — is he a good-guy or manipulative villain. Centralia is a Christian thriller, but is not preachy in any way. It’s compelling message of God’s faithfulness is woven seamlessly throughout. As Peter finds “they tried to take him away from God, but God just wouldn’t let go”. At the end of the novel, the reader is left with more questions than answers, literally and figuratively. The discussion questions at the end really helped this reader process what I had just read.

Fast-paced, with physical danger and psychological trauma, Centralia is recommended for those who like lots of action, twists and turns, and an intellectually challenging reading experience.


Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Tyndale for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

3 Responses to “Book Review: Centralia”

  1. Sue Wendt August 18, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

    I have not heard of this author but the premise has captured my curiosity. I made a quick search of our library system and yippee my small town library has a copy of it. I love libraries. You left a message on my blog about Hope Harbor and cranberry nut bread. I thought maybe there would be a recipe at the end of the book, I even looked. We have cranberry bogs near our up north cabin and so I have collected several very good cranberry cookbooks. Every fall I buy 10 lbs or more of cranberries. Yum.

    • rbclibrary August 18, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

      Hope you enjoy Centralia. Dellosso writes suspense with a speculative bent. It has a good bit of “violence” — fighting, shooting, people die — so beware if that is not your thing. I was hoping for a recipe too! Sounds like you have a perfect cabin setting. I love cranberries too. Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Stuck in A Good Book Giveaway Hop | BY THE BOOK - September 19, 2015

    […] am giving away a copy of Mike Dellosso‘s novel Centralia. This speculative thriller was hard to put down. To enter, please leave a comment. The winner will […]

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