Successful psychiatrist David Druas has a thriving practice, an attractive secretary and caring friends. He also has Hans Werner, a patient who sees doors that aren’t there. In order to destroy his patient’s delusion, David performs the Invocation of The Doors ritual, just as his patient did. At first, he notices no change but after Werner leaves, Druas begins to see the doors too. And when he opens the doors and travels through them, he sets in motion a chain of events which end in him being framed for murder.
I was intrigued when I read the synopsis of Daniel Brako’s Doors. It sounded like an interesting and challenging book and I was excited to read it. But…
Sadly, there is a ‘but.’
The book is quite short, too short really to do the fantastic premise real justice. The narrative would have been strengthened by the author taking more time to explore the characters and let them show themselves to us through their actions. It was hard to care about characters I wasn’t given the time to bond with.
The story is well told, apart from the odd clunky phrase here and there: “Falling in love with David Druas was as easy as walking through fallen leaves, the kind that crunch pleasantly underfoot.” Or how about “Celeste’s thoughts began swirling like a washing machine set to tumble dry.” Hmmm.
While the plot isn’t new – Philip K Dick’s The Adjustment Bureau is very similar – I had hoped that Brako would bring something new to the party. And I feel sure that he would have had he but taken more time to tell the story. We didn’t spend nearly enough time in the worlds on the other sides of the doors or exploring Druas’s relationships with the other characters, each of which, I believe, would have led to a more satisfying read.
The author bases his story on a non-linear structure which I really enjoyed, jumping back and forward in time so that we are told only what we need to know at any given point of the tale. A good choice.
This book may not have lived up to my expectations, but the author obviously has talent and a vivid imagination. I hope that the next Daniel Brako book I read has more flesh on its bones than this one.