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The Soul Warriors
In May 1918, Captain Christian Braithwaite faces a grim battle for survival as his division—following its mauling whilst resisting the initial stages of the all-out German Spring offensive in March of that year—is transferred south to a supposedly quiet section of the French Front at Chemin-Des-Dames.
The Allied High Command, despite repeated warnings, remains unconvinced that this is the very sector in which the enemy will strike next with overwhelming force. As a result of a head injury, Braithwaite—a dangerous man when cornered—has been gifted with precognitive insights. But can even he survive the coming cataclysmic clash of arms when his own commanding officer—a ruthless careerist and covetous of his fiancée: Catherine—would prefer him dead?
In May 2015—based in Yeovil, Somerset—wealthy Hypnotherapist: Timothy Trevelyan faces any practitioner’s worse nightmare when he is accused of rape by an attractive married client—Jessica Cassidy—with whom he has foolishly entered an affair. Can he survive ruin and imprisonment when the evidence—although contrived—against him is so seemingly overwhelming? Trevelyan is taken to the limit of his endurance and ingenuity as he attempts to fend off the well-orchestrated campaign of fraud waged against him.
‘Parallel Lifetimes’ is an unusual, accurately researched crime novel which is based on the author’s personal experience of undergoing a Past Life Regression in deep hypnotic trance.
A crime novel, a historical romance, a murder mystery, a war story, a psychological thriller... Parallel Lifetimes weaves multiple genres into a many-layered story built on the premise of individual reincarnation.
The theme of past life regression is central to the plot and it is no surprise that Chris Allen, who is a noted hypnotherapist himself, is able to give us a credible and lucid account of the subject. Even more impressive is the realism and attention to detail in the first World War sequences, which transport the reader into an experience of trench warfare as vivid and realistic as it is for the character experiencing it all under hypnosis.
There are subtle differences in Allen's narrative style, depending on the historical period in which the action is taking place, which add significantly to the impact of his prose. The protagonists are all well-drawn, very flawed but somehow sympathetic characters who engage our sympathies, and we quickly come to care what happens to them.
Each chapter begins with an iteration of time, place and occasion. I found I tended to ignore these, since the quality of writing makes it easy for the reader to pick up this information within the first few sentences. The device, however, gives the work something of the feel of a therapist's patient notes, a packet of military despatches, the record of a police interview, laboratory research papers or even a young girl's diary, and since the book does in fact include all of these and more, it seems a very well-conceived format.
In short, Parallel Lifetimes is an innovative and very well researched book, as well as being a very satisfying read.
Gareth Morgan (Author of the Art of Science)