Read Mania by Craig Larsen Online


Seattle newspaper photographer Nick Wilder has snapped his fair share of gruesome homicide scenes. But when a serial killer dubbed the Street Butcher takes his sick crimes to new depths of depravity, Nick finds the case suddenly getting to him in more ways than one. Original....

Title : Mania
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780786021543
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 376 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Mania Reviews

  • Kelly
    2019-03-01 21:25

    What can I say here to urge everyone to try this book? It was outstanding. A brilliant debut thriller, from a talented new author who will undoubtedly join the ranks of Dennis Lehane and James Siegel. This man is a genius. I started reading Mania day before yesterday and finished it about an hour ago. I found myself carrying it around with me all weekend long, not wanting to put it down until I'd finished; yet at the same time, I didn't want it to end. It was that good. The story in Mania takes place in rainy Seattle, and the author achieves a wonderful sense of place with beautifully descriptive paragraphs. The low-hanging clouds and gray skies create a dark atmosphere that lends perfectly to the suspense as the story unfolds. The book is full of twists and turns, and you never know for sure where things will go until you reach the very end. The timeline jumps back and forth between past to present, yet it does so smoothly and at all the right places. I don't want to say too much about the plot because I went into this book not knowing much about it, and I want future readers to enjoy the same ride. Amazing!!!

  • Richard Derus
    2019-03-23 03:45

    Rating: a revolted 3* of fiveI don't think thrillers are all created equal. I think this book is a thriller because there isn't a sales category called "Noir" although, given the rate at which this kind of novel is being published, there soon will be.I wasn't thrilled by the gory, bloody, lovingly depicted death and torture in the book. I wasn't thrilled by the editor's decision to leave a dizzying number of time-shifts in place. I wasn't thrilled by the sheer vileness of so many of the characters.I was thrilled by the author's evident craftsmanship with words. I was thrilled by the plot's pacing, despite the time all *worked* for the story being told. I was thrilled by the absence of a Hollywood ending.And in spite of all the "ew" moments, I was thrilled by the relentless rightness of the story...that sense I get, in some books, that the story was authentically engaging and exciting to the author himself. It's intangible, it's unprovable, but it's also unmistakeable and unfakeable.Recommended for the "noir" crowd, the puzzle people, and the gore ghouls. NOT for general consumption.

  • Michelle
    2019-03-08 23:52

    Note: I won this book free through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway, which in no way influenced my rating or review. This review can also be found here: book was like a grade-A steak sandwich on moldy bread. I hated the beginning and end, loved the middle. It started off very slowly, which is an odd thing to say for a story that begins with a murder. Larsen's descriptions of scenery seem like filler rather than setting any mood, and slow the pace down. But with the introduction of the character of Sara Garland, the story becomes much more intriguing. The author's frequent use of flashbacks creates a disorientating effect that echoes and allows us to share the protagonist's experience of mental instability.The "meat" of this story becomes quick-paced, harrowing and suspenseful. Larsen draws out the mystery and intrigue perfectly to keep us turning the pages. But the ending left me cold and angry, feeling even more duped than the protagonist. Perhaps it's my unfamiliarity with the straight mystery genre that led me to expect a few more clues that would help the answer to "whodunit" make more sense. I felt the character motivations, in the end, were exceedingly shallow and unbelievable. This book, however voraciously I read it, left me with a foul after-taste. Which is unfortunate, since most of it was excellent.

  • Nancy Oakes
    2019-03-06 01:39

    When I read a suspense/mystery novel, I know I'm into it and liking it when the author keeps me in a state of suspended tension throughout the book. Mania had me so wrapped up that I started it shortly after dinner and didn't stop reading it until I had finished.Actually, I thought this book was quite a fun read, and consider that this isn't my usual fare, I think that says a lot.The main character, Nick Wilder, is a photographer for the Seattle Telegraph, and is generally on hand to collect shots other papers can't get. He was young when his parents died, and came to depend on his brother Sam, with whom he has always been very close. One night after he and Sam were together in downtown Seattle, Nick and Sam are attacked by a rough-looking homeless man. Nick comes out of it with a few injuries, but Sam is dead, Nick's a bit cloudy on what exactly happened, and as you go through the book, he continues to flash back on that episode, as well as others that haunt him. Nick's girlfriend Sara tries to ease his fears but he's still uneasy. There's much more to the novel, but it's hard to summarize without giving away the show.The dark atmosphere of this novel is reflective of Nick's internal darkness throughout. The author's writing and the level of suspense he creates will keep you reading. It was fun as a reader to try and piece together events playing out in Nick's mind while trying to figure out what's really going on. Don't let the flashbacks and returns to the present bother you -- they're necessary to the overall story and the author pulls it off so you won't be confused. Actually, I noticed that a lot of complaints had to do with Nick's flashbacks. It's like if some people don't get a linear narrative then they find the book "tough to read." Well, expand your reading horizons. Overall, a fun read that I can recommend to suspense & mystery readers.

  • Marvin
    2019-03-04 22:50

    Graig Larsen's mesmerizing thriller Mania may be a little disorienting for the first 50 pages. He starts with a shocker and then moves from present to past and back in a way that at first seems random. Yet every movement and every character in this suspenseful mystery holds a meaning. Very soon you are hooked. I thought I was following the clues and thought I understood where it was going but was pleasingly shocked at the ending. A good mystery writer surprises you at the end but leads you so well through the story that you are left with the feeling of "I should have seen it coming". Larsen does exactly that. This is an author to watch. Four and a half stars.I want to mention that I won this in the first-reads giveaways. I also want to thank the author for personally inscribing the book which I assume he did for all 50 winners. Classy touch! But it didn't affect my review at all! Honestly!

  • Clare T.
    2019-02-22 23:33

    So this was a Spooky Book Swap with my friend, where we each picked out a random spooky book for each other and have to read it by Halloween. I ended up with this one (due to last-minute panic about the bookstore closing 😂).I started off really intrigued! There is a murder in the first chapter, but our protagonist Nick here seems to have the worst memory in the entire world. Therefore, we must go through this book as Nick slowly uncovers what actually happened that night. The first half of this book was so great I was going to give it 4 stars. But sadly, the ending was so horrible... everything seemed super rushed and the whole explanation just seemed like a cop out of a better explanation. Very disappointed. I’d give it 1 star, but I enjoyed it so much that I’d feel bad not giving it another. 2.3 stars, maybe?Also this was less spooky/horror and more thriller/mystery, oops 😬😬😬 (but the book I picked out for said friend is too. Double oops)

  • Janelle Dazzlepants
    2019-03-09 00:49

    Wow. Without meaning to sound totally cliche, this book is really quite unpredictable. I thought it was going to be some typical psychological thriller, where the main character suffers from blackouts and kills people; or where the events are really figments in the mind of a hospitalized psychopath. It wasnt. Once I'd realised that this book wasn't going in that typical psychological thriller direction, I really had no idea where it was going! There were a number of subplots going on, and I honestly had no clue how the author was going to link them in the end. I enjoyed following along, but the book fell just short of OMGPAGETURNER status. Regardless, I loved the way everything came together at the end. I was surprised to learn who was in on it, and who had connections to who. The web was quite extensive. The way it came together reminds me of old detective novels, or whodunnit murder mysteries - though a bit more complex than Colonel Mustard in the library with a wrench ;] This web can become a bit confusing though, and like I said, halfway through I had no idea where the book was heading. Readers might perceive this as a positive or negative experience. There isn't a lot of foreshadowing, and it's certainly not clear where allegiances lie, and there are several different subplots to follow. You may love it or hate it. I think the above criticisms perhaps wouldnt be such an issue if the pacing were a bit better. I felt at times like it concentrated too much on Sara and Nick's relationships, and this writing space could've been dedicated to going into further detail about Hamlin's shady dealings, or the string of killings. The big reveal seemed to be hasty and thrown in there right at the end, and I would've liked to see it all come out a little bit slower - especially when revealing each characters' ties and their stake in the matter. It was kind of like WHAM!INYOURFACE and I feel like I need to sit and mull over it for a bit. Overall: I quite enjoyed this book, it was definitely unpredictable and unexpected. It went in a completely different direction from what I thought it would be, and was more whodunnit than Hollywood psychological thriller. At times there is a bit much going on and the pacing could use some work, but I had a good time reading it. I'd love to see how Craig Larsen improves. [Disclaimer: I won this and was sent it for review through Goodreads, by the author. Whether I was sent it or not doesn't influence my opinion, because a bad book is still a bad book. Check my other reviews, you'll see I give honest reviews when a book is shit :)]

  • C.H. Armstrong
    2019-03-22 01:27

    My copy of "Mania" was part of the Goodreads giveaways, so I'd first like to give a *HUGE* thank you to the author, Craig Larsen, for sending this copy to me.I've really agonized over how to rate this book. In the end I gave it only 2 stars - not because it was a bad book - but because I felt it was too predictable. That is to say that I felt like I knew who the bad guys - or most of them - were from the first page of their introduction, so when they turned out to be the bad guys I wasn't surprised. I really prefer a book like this to give me a jaw-dropping revelation at the end where I think to myself, "Wow! I did not see that one coming!" For the most part, that wasn't the case with this book.I had a little bit of trouble following the timeline on this book. One minute the main character was in the here-and-now, and the next minute he was age 10 or 13 or whatever. One minute he's completely lucid, and the next minute you realize he's hallucinating. I didn't feel that the lead-ins to those time changes were done as smoothly as I'd have liked.One thing I will say about this book is that - all of my criticism aside - it would make an excellent movie. I could see what the author was trying to do, but I didn't feel like it translated as well on paper as it would on the big screen. I liked this book, but I didn't love it. I was expecting a nail-biter and a page-turner, and that's just not what it was. I would've preferred to've been really disappointed in the bad guys at the end, but I wasn't at all because I didn't like them from the first page of their introductions...and yet, I think I was supposed to like most of them.So..not a book I'd recommend as a "must read," but not a book that I'd tell someone to not waste their time on. It was simply okay.

  • Georgiann Hennelly
    2019-03-16 02:46

    Mania is an interesting read. Nick Wilder is a photographer for a newspaper he mostly photographs crime scene s. But when his brother Sam is murdered by the Street Butcher. Nick finds the case is getting to him in more ways than one. He,s not sleeping , he has disturbing dreams and flash backs to his child hood. Nick doesn,t know what is happening is he losing his mind. As the motives multiply and the suspects narrow , the cold stark Seattle winter gets even colder. the ending is a little confusing though in how Nick realizes what is really happeneing to him

  • Jim
    2019-03-17 00:30

    If nothing else, this book succeeded in 1) keeping me up way too late and 2) keeping me hooked. There are some nit-picky things I could get into but for a debut, Larsen has really hit the mark. He's done a great job with pacing and while there are spots where the flow is a bit jolting for the reader this is easy to overlook. The characters elicit emotional responses, both good and bad as appropriate which, for my money, is the name of the game.

  • Tamara
    2019-03-01 02:26

    Nick is a journalistic photographer, barely getting by. His brother wants to be rich, so much so he will do anything to make money, like using his brother to test a drug he knows nothing about. Nick meets Sara, she is the girl of his dreams or is she? Lots of twists and turns, and a story that wants you asking for more.

  • Naomi Blackburn
    2019-03-16 23:30

    The book didn't come together until the end and I was pretty disappointed with it throughout the book. I considered it to be mediocre and forgetable. Once I got to the end, it all clicked. I did plan on giving the book 2 stars, but with the ending, will bump it up to 3

  • Melanie
    2019-03-06 01:49

    I love horror movies and this would be a killer movie, no pun intended. The paranormal aspect is something that I am very intrigued by. I would warn anyone that wanted to read this that it is quite visceral. There are some really f***ed up sex scenes so consider yourself forewarned. I was a bit unnerved by some of the actual attack scenes. In fact, the story really creeped me out but that is what is supposed to happen in horror stories. A surprising ending, I definitely didn't see it coming. I found this easy to read, thus I finished it in 2 days. I would read a sequel if it became available.

  • Daniel
    2019-03-04 02:43

    An amazing roller coasterThis book takes you in directions you never expected. Oh you pick up on bait it tantalizingly dangles, but the resolution is nothing like you'd imagine.

  • Gina
    2019-03-09 00:41

    A definitely terrific read!Before I even get started on my own review, I gotta mention: widely known and loved authors, Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Gregg Olsen and William Lashner, all give this book high marks. I'm right there with them! Two thumbs way up, Craig Larsen!Nick Wilder isn't new to gruesome scenes. As a photographer for a Seattle newspaper, he's seen his fair share of crime scenes. The lastest aren't any better. But soon enough, a pattern developes, and the Street Butcher is turning into a serial killer.The deeper Nick begins to dig, the more the pattern developes, for Seattle isn't the only city seeing these gruesome murders. But things are getting more complicated. Nick's brother, Sam, is murdered. A public official is murdered, and Nick is having dizzy spells, blackouts with missing time, and is starting to have flashbacks of traumatic experiences from when he and Sam were kids.But all of this goes deeper than anyone realizes, and who's to say if it'll ever stop.**Incredible first novel by a talented author. Keep 'em coming, Craig!When Mr. Larsen PM'd me to see if I'd like a copy of his book, I jumped at the chance. His novel is one in a genre I like very much. Who'd say no to a book that's getting terrific reviews? Of course I said yes, LOL! And, boy howdy, am I ever glad I did!The confusion, the flashbacks, the twists from past to present, all that blended well. The character is confused and baffled, and the feeling is pressing into the reader. You feel that confusion, and you keep turning the page to see what happens next.I found it suspicious that Nick met Sara the way he did. I didn't like her from the beginning. Now I know why. There's just something about her that puts a person off, especially her "vagueness". And this is all before Nick follows her when she sneaks out of their bed so as not to wake him.But I never even thought to think that Sam's brother had anything to do with this. Or even the detective for that matter. There is a certain amount of predictability, but not enough to put off a reader. A few too many adjectives, but as author Stephen King as an influence, I can see where that comes from. SK is one of my fave authors, LOL, so I didn't mind the overuse one bit. I did find that the characters, some of them, lacked depth. Yet still, the confusion, the blackouts, the flashbacks of Nick's past, all play the part well. Put all together, they turned an incredible book that much better.Mr. Larsen, you keep cranking out books like this, and you'll have a fan here who'll keep reading them. Bravo!

  • Michelle
    2019-03-13 02:44

    Mania by Craig Larsen is an exciting book, I'll definitely give it that. I'm not much of a mystery/thriller reader (I couldn't get through five pages of The DaVinci Code because the prose was so terrible) I've basically pigeon-holed myself into Raymond Chandler and Agatha Christie books when I want a mystery, but Mania kept me reading, at the very least, to find out what the hell was going on.Basically, protagonist Nick Wilder is a semi-freelance photographer for the Seattle Telegraph, his parents died when he was a teenager, and his older brother, Sam Wilder, now a successful businessman and scientist has put him through school and continues to support his adoring younger brother. When Sam is brutally murdered (stabbed twenty-plus times) in front of Nick by an unbalanced homeless man, Nick blacks out, wakes up barefoot in a park far from the crime scene, and is unable to remember what happened--or whether the homeless man was the one who stabbed his brother in the heart.What follows is a jumbled narrative of Nick's rediscovery of what happened, his descent into what apppears to be schizophrenia, and a much larger conspiracy than I ever expected from this book when I started reading it.Larsen does share some qualities with Chandler, if not Christie. However, where as the inclusion of crooked cops, drug rings, and an impossibly convenient, sexually-damaged femme fatale don't come off as believable at all. An unbelievably beautiful woman who picks you up at Starbucks (product placement? or just stereotyping Seattle?) after looking at pictures of a corpse on your laptop screen is not normal and should be avoided no matter how much of a bobcat she is in the sack. The drug use is subtle and sinister, not the dramatic sort of "slipped a mickey" involvement of drugs you find in Chandler.In terms of writing style, some parts of the book work well, others feel over worked, like this how a writer "should" write. The worst is Larsen's insistence on having Sam call Nick "bro'" all the time. This forced intimacy is just annoying to read, and it got to the point where I was cringing my way through every conversation between the brothers (also, is it still the nineties?). However, if you can get through the tears of endearment, it is an exciting book, and will keep you reading.

  • Grey Liliy
    2019-03-10 01:37

    I went back and forth with this one--the writing is a solid 4 rating (descriptive, engaging, emotional), but the story was probably a solid 3 (good, but a little predictable).The book was honestly a little depressing. This was one of those stories where our protagonist Nick was not allowed to be happy. Ever. Sara brought some light into his life as the love interest, but the moments were swiftly smothered by the case surrounding his brother and the serial killer. The more Nick finds out about his brother's murder, the worse his life gets from all angles be it his boss, his brother (even posthumously), his doctors, his girlfriend, and his own mind. They all hate him. Which can be good once in a while. Definitely made the ending far more satisfying--while it was predictable, I didn't care. By the last ten pages I was literally screaming at the book: (view spoiler)[Give Nick his break and gosh-darned happy ending already! (hide spoiler)]. So there was that.Don't get me wrong though, the story is good. It's got some mystery to it, and while I figured out the who-done-its, I didn't get the how. It was nice to see the events that unravel & the pieces fall into place at the end. Nick was a likable protagonist, as much as he was beat up start to finish, and you did feel for him. So I enjoyed that bit.My biggest issue would have to be the time jumps. The book was mostly linear, but every once in a while it did a drastic jump in the timeline that was jarring more cases than not. The distant flashbacks to his childhood weren't so bad, but the ones that were just before or just after the main timeline were frustrating. It was hard to figure out where you were, or caused a constant questioning of "Is this before or after this?" I understand what the author was trying to do (the book is called Mania for a reason), but I don't think the benefit outweighed the frustration. The only time the jumping really worked was the end of the book, where we were already familiar with most of the events and the jumping made more sense.Aside from that, solid story, good writing & Nick's a good guy. So, final conclusion? Good read. Worth a shot if you enjoy a good bit of mind-tricks and manic mystery.

  • Jay
    2019-03-08 19:32

    I was lucky enough to win this book because otherwise I would have steered well clear of it for the simple reason that I don't like 'thrillers'. I tend to avoid these books because the majority of them are simply a series of predicable, violent episodes strung together by a chase. While this book is referred to as a thriller, it is more a mystery with strong psychological elements. I enjoyed this book so much that it practically read itself - I finished it in three days and was left feeling satisfied by an ending that tied up all the loose elements of the story without appearing contrived or forced. More on that in a moment. Highly atmospheric - the city is dark and wet and filled with menacing, shadowy figures - and characters that are fully realised and each have their own drives and agendas, to me the book is less about a serial killer than it is about the main character and his apparent descent into madness. Nick's blackouts and fragmented memories are written such that reading them is a confusing, blurry experience that truly conveys what Nick is feeling and these passages really add a lot to the enjoyment of the book. And while Nick is not necessarily a particularly likeable character, in his favour is the fact that he doesn't stumble through the book making stupid mistake after stupid mistake like a lot of fictional characters. This alone is a refreshing change from the reader constantly shouting "what the...!?!?!" when the character makes yet another blunder that intimates a lack of all commonsense.The end of the book hits hard, and long. There is revelation after unforeseen revelation as the depths of the story are revealed, each layer building upon the other and then being peeled away to show the rotten seed at its heart. When the first revelation was made and Nick found out what had happened to him I was pleasantly surprised that the book hadn't take the predicable route I had been anticipating... and yet there was even more to come, and little things I had forgotten about or assumed would be left untended suddenly took on more importance.

  • Kari Anderson
    2019-02-23 20:36

    On the rainy streets of Seattle, Nick Wilder is leaving a bar with his brother one moment, waking up and finding his brother dead the next. Nick is a photojournalist for a newspaper and with the snap of a finger, things start getting stranger and stranger for him. He starts blacking out and people start dying. Is he the one doing the killing? Why is he always around when the victims are found? And why are so many homeless men involved in murders?This is one of those books that I can only read every now and then. The death and murder and drama, I can only handle them a little at a time. Otherwise, I’d be having nightmares like Nick. And I get really angry when I can’t figure out who the bad guy is. I thought I knew, then they’d die. I thought I’d figured it out again, then they’d die. It was very nerve racking, but I do appreciate a good story that I can’t figure out.Although this was a little bloodier than I like, but my really only complaint I had for this book was the jumpy-ness. I read a couple other reviews on the book, some agreed, some didn’t think it was an issue. There were times when we’d be with Nick today, then the next page, we’d be back when he was 10. There were times when we’d be with him after the death of his brother Sam, then we’d be during the middle of the murder. There were only a couple of times when I had to keep reading to figure out where we were. It wasn’t a major problem for me, but it did keep me thinking. This is the kind of book that keeps your turning pages and keeps you on the edge of your seat. It’s not one though, that I could read again soon. With books like these, that once you know the killer, there’s no surprise, it’s hard for me to want to read them again. They never have the same intensity the second time around. For that reason, I can’t give this book 5 bookmarks. I only give 5 to those that I know I will pick back up. But, I will give this 4 because it kept me guessing and was written creatively to keep you thinking.

  • Mandy
    2019-02-28 02:42

    Mania is a thriller with twists and turns that will keep you reading and guessing right to the very end. The title is very apt as mania = “a mood disorder; an affective disorder in which the victim tends to respond excessively and sometimes violently” and this is what you get but the real question is who is the victim? Craig Larsen has produced a fast-paced thriller which will see you turning the pages faster than you can say Mania.The main character Nick Wilder is a newspaper photographer who finds himself at crime scenes where the serial killer named the Street Butcher has left his handiwork. The pictures Nick takes are not for the faint hearted and they dance around in his mind, playing tricks and raising questions. Nick’s brother Sam is a victim of this monster and Nick sets about investigating the murder in hopes of finding out the true identity of the Street Butcher. In the process of Nick’s investigations he uncovers things he perhaps wishes he could have left buried deep down in the darkness of the past. He finds himself having flashbacks….but are they flashbacks…..he just doesn’t know anymore. It seems Nick’s mind is going through quite a traumatic time but is it just caused by the grief he feels after his brother’s death? Nick persistently pursues his quest to find the answers, all the while being a prime suspect in his brother’s death as he was with Sam when he died. Will he find the answers he wants?There is lots of jumping around in time throughout the book and coupled with Nick’s flashbacks it really made me feel I was on the journey with him, investigating Sam’s murder and I also wanted to uncover the truth. I liked the switching between past and present and really feel because of the way Mania was written it would make a great movie….a really great movie. I must say a big thank you to Craig Larsen and Goodreads as I won this book in a first reads giveaway – so thank you, Craig, for allowing your book to be in the giveway and thank you, Goodreads, for making the giveaway competition happen!

  • Gareth Cuddy
    2019-03-03 19:44

    Rarely if ever have I read a book that is disturbing and enthralling in equal measures.From the opening, disorientating chapters in which the reader is introduced breathlessly into the present, hurled to the past and dragged kicking back into the here and now, there is a masterfully crafted sense of paranoia and delusion, the purpose of which only becomes apparant towards the end.The main protaganist is Nick Wilder, a down on his luck freelance photographer, whos job is to be first on the murder scene to scoop the pics. However, when his brother is vicously murdered on a night out with him, the blood-soaked, confused photographer immediately becomes a suspect. The subsequently unfortunate ability to appear at murder scenes before the police do does not endear him to Seattle's boys in blue. A series of horrific murders (I genuinely had to turn away from my Sony reader once or twice and wince)provides the framework for a tight, taut thriller that really delivers value for moneyDespite his predicament, Nick is not a particularly likeable character from the very beginning. He is selfish,lazy and unpredictable, but is all the more human for it. Larsen's characters are all complex, real people who's traits and motivations are revealed slowly and deliberately. With each gruesome murder, and trust me they are gruesome, we are drawn into the intricate web of suspicion, betrayal and intrigue.This is a compelling thriller, with great characters, storylines and the inevitable twists. Craig Larsen really is a name to watch out for, and I look forward to his next title.Mania is perfect for a cold winters night with the lights down and the fire blazing!I bought the eBook at

  • Nancy Carty Lepri
    2019-02-23 01:24

    Nick Wilde, photographer for the “Seattle Telegraph”, lives in a tiny studio apartment, just making ends meet. One night when he is out with his brother Sam, the two are attacked after leaving a bar. Sam is brutally murdered and Nick manages to survive a beating. Everything from that night is a blur to Nick, and as time passes, he wonders if he is going crazy. A month before the attack, Nick met a beautiful woman named Sara Garland in a coffee shop and the two became lovers. Sara confessed to Nick she is the step daughter to Jason Hamlin, a wealthy entrepreneur who only owns the newspaper, as well as other companies. As Nick and Sara’s relationship become closer, she discloses some horrifying information about her step father, and wants to go after the man. Though Nick fears he may lose his job because of their relationship, he cannot break away from her. Remembering bits and pieces of that horrible night when Sam was killed and he was attacked, Nick decides to pursue the murderer, feeling he knows who it could be. But for reasons unknown to Nick, he sinks into a fugue state at times, blacks out, and cannot remember things. For a while, he is convinced that he himself murdered his brother, and when he and Sara go to her stepfather’s palatial island home, Jason is brutally murdered. Nick is apprehended and committed to a psychiatric institution where he is diagnosed with schizophrenia. But the situation becomes more sinister when Nick learns that his psychiatrist as well as Sara’s stepfather and others were involved in an insidious situation with his brother, Sam. Mr. Larsen has woven a tale that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat, gasping with the turn of each page. Filled with suspense, and unbelievable terror, this book will have the reader enthralled until the last page.

  • Vicky
    2019-03-03 01:34

    Scared to think that one day you could be Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hide? Nick Wilder, photographer for the Seattle Telegraph, finds he’s loosing control, but is it as simple as a magic potion or is it something more? Could the cure be finding out what’s the ultimate cost of money and power? Nick, younger brother to Sam, finds he’s deep in the throws of conspiracy, murder, and mayhem. Problem is he doesn’t know where he fits in and who the players are. In the end betrayal tells the tale.Craig Larson paints a perfect picture of loosing control, delves in to the depths of schizophrenia, and paints the essence of the quintessential youngest child (the desire to be independent while still wanting to be taken care of) – without this, the story wouldn’t work. The culmination is a chilling tale. And one you won’t be able to put down.I will caution readers to pay attention. To drive home Nick’s loss of control the time frame/flashbacks can be a little bewildering. IMO, if you pay attention you will see this is Larson’s way to paint the battle a schizophrenic faces: black outs, lost memory, hallucinations. There is little in the way of negativity I can lend to his review, and what little I do have can’t be expressed without giving away a spoiler. I’ll just say, from reading this book from a female perspective, there are behaviors that are a little far fetched that cause the reader, me, to question a character's motives and thus making some the antagonists easier to deduce.I will stick with my original reaction when finishing the last page: Wow! “Wow,” about sums up Mania quite succinctly. I was completely entertained. The story left me guessing who really were all antagonists. And just when I thought I had it all figured out… I didn’t. A great read.

  • LuAnn
    2019-03-03 01:41

    I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy reading books where the characters are journalists. I love reading how authors portray the passion that comes with the business of reporting.Why? Because it’s what I do. It’s how I make my living and it’s what defines me as a writer. It’s in my blood and I can’t ever imagine doing anything else with my life.That said, I now turn to “Mania.” This book puts the reader right into the crime scene so he or she can view it from a reporter’s eyes.Granted, Nick Wilder doesn’t carry a notepad. He carries a camera, which makes him a PHOTOjournalist and, from the description, a good one at that. His job isn’t that different than the reporter end. He just uses a different way to capture the scene – with pictures rather than words.Nick gets sucked into the crime scene himself as he becomes the accused. How could this happen? How could his life get so turned around in a brief moment?Sounds fascinating, doesn’t it? Indeed!And to top it off, this story takes place almost in my own backyard. I’ve been to the areas of Seattle where the book is set and I could picture the darkness, the stairs, the crumbling streets. Wow!So, how do I rate this book?Take the great contemporary mystery writers of today – Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Patricia Cornwell, you name it! – throw in some of the macabre of Stephen King and you get “Mania.” Undoubtedly one of the best books of 2009, this one will be hard to beat when the awards come out! And to think … this is only his first book. He says his second one promises to be darker than “Mania.” Amazing!All I can say is: Bravo, Mr. Larsen, bravo!

  • Batsap
    2019-02-23 00:48

    I won this book through a first reads giveaway, so thank you to Craig Larson for sending me a copy.Centering on the events surrounding the death of protagonist Nick Wilder's brother, this novel immediately drew me into the confusing and claustrophobic mental world that Nick inhabits. Almost from the very first sentence I could feel the cloying anxiety that seemed to effect Nick.Frequent flashbacks throughout the novel also add to the atmosphere. Each time there is a flashback, a new piece of information is given to the reader or something has changed a little, exhibiting the subjectivity of memory. Flashbacks can be a little confusing to readers, especially when time jumps are not specially marked out in any way, but it is a testament to Larsen's writing ability that I never once got confused. It was fascinating to watch the memories unfold. It also gave me a terrifying sense of how Nick felt himself slipping out of control.On the whole, I really liked the style of writing. It was lean and elegant, whilst still retaining enough power to really pack a punch. There were also some truly beautiful turns of phrase such as "The moon was red. Bathed in blood, it had fled to the horizon." There were a few minor things such as Nick keeping his "ears peeled" that vaguely annoyed me, but it was not enough to detract from my enjoyment of the novel.The ending was a slight surprise, although I must admit that I expected one of the characters almost as soon as they were introduced. But the turnaround at the end, I was definitely not expecting. All in all, a very good book that I really enjoyed.

  • Jordan
    2019-03-05 22:24

    Wow. I am incredibly lucky to have won this book from Goodreads Giveaways. This book takes twisty, turny plot lines to a new level. Everytime I thought I had something figured out, it twisted and made me doubt myself. Craig Larsen is now one of my favorite authors. He knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat, guessing what will happen next only to be right and wrong at the same time and then completely blow your mind with the ending even if you thought you had it figured out. The scenes are detailed in a way that you can feel, hear and smell with just the slightest attempt. Though I was sitting in my chair, I could easily have been skating on the frozen pond, waking on the salty pier, and walking the rainy streets of Seattle. My hands were sticky with blood and my memories were erratic.Mania brings to light the fact that you may not really know yourself and those you love as well as you belive. People can hide strange secrets and involve themselves in seemingly innocent situations that twist into something more than one could have imagined. Lives are intertwined in mind blowing ways both here and in reality.Mr. Larsen, I salute you and wish you all the best. May your next book be as twisty, dark and mind bending as your debut.

  • ♦Jennifer♦
    2019-03-05 23:35

    I won on first readsMania is a suspense/thriller that I feel definitely fit the bill. It had an ending that I didn't see coming, and that is a plus. Seriously, when the ending was reveled my mouth dropped. Your led to believe that someone else is behind everything, and then BAMB turns out that someone completely unexpected was pulling the strings all along.Right off the bat ,in the first couple pages, you are brought into the murder of Nick's brother Sam. Nick and Sam are walking from a jazz club when they are jumped by a crazed homeless man. Nick blacks out, and wakes up a few blocks away with his shoes missing. He has trouble remembering anything that happened after the homeless man attacked. And throughout the book you follow Nick as he tries to piece together his memories of not only that night, but of repressed memories from his childhood with Sam.I will say that there are parts that are slightly confusing. When Nick is in the middle of doing something, and a memory is triggered, he immediately gets immersed in whatever he has repressed. And as a result I was left more than a few times wondering if I had accidentally skipped a paragraph or two. When everything was reveled it made much more sense, but up until that point I was left scratching my head.Overall, great read. Nick is one of those characters that make you want to stand up for them, and because of that I felt myself pulling for him the entire time.

  • Jenna
    2019-03-19 22:44

    First and foremost, thank you, Craig, for sending this to me. I did enjoy reading it :)So. Nick. Creepy guy. From the start, he creeped me out. I knew that if I had ever met him in real life (if he actually existed off of the pages this novel), I would probably get that "creepy guy" vibe off of him. Now I know why... but I can't tell you that without giving it away!I found the dynamic between characters interesting. This is one of the few books I've read where I didn't like absolutely everyone and still liked the book (the exception to the disliking of the characters is Laura, of course- how can you not like Laura?). I'm one of those people that gets a little too into a book, and while I'm reading it, those characters are, in a sense, real people to me. So I love it when an author can make a character come alive, and Mr. Larsen does this very well. Part of liking a book is loving the chacacters, and enjoying them for what and who they are, even if you don't particuarly care for them, know what I mean?The story itself was a little convoluted, and I, at times, got a little lost with the past/present thing. Also, seeing the world threw the eyes of a person who is (insert huge plot twist here) also made it somewhat confusing, but as I soon figured out, it was supposed to be, so it added to the suspense and made it that much of an enjoyable read for me.All in all, good book, good read, and I enjoyed it!

  • Danielle
    2019-02-23 22:45

    Initially a I kept putting off reading this book because I was afraid of how it would end. I'm a Happily Ever After kind of girl and from the very beginning this story took me outside of my comfort zone. But let me clear up any misconceptions, THIS MYSTERY/THRILLER IS GREAT!!! From the very beginning, I was asking myself what the hell is going on. I pride myself on being able to easily figure out a mystery but this one kept me second guessing myself. The book read like a movie (and I love moviews), I could picture clearly each scene but that did not make it easier to solve. The imagery was clear, but not too abundant, which allows the reader to imagine their own idea of what is gruesome and scary. Craig Larsen, hit the ground running from the first few pages, an gives the reader a glimpse of a gruesome murder. This gruesome murder is witnessed by the main character, but he is unable to figure out what exactly occurred because he blacked out during the attack.Nothing is what it appears to be in this story. I had lots of questions but I had to wait till the very end to figure out the full scope of these murders. So if you like mysteries, try this one on for size. It is a MUST read for you mystery/thriller lovers!!!!

  • Amy
    2019-03-13 22:31

    I won this book on Goodreads! I can't wait to read it!I think if I could, I would rate this a 4.5. I feel bad for the timing of receiving the book and the corresponding events of my life because it took me far too long to really sit down and READ this book. Once I sat down to really read it, on Friday night, it was difficult to set it down. I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoyed Shutter Island.Larsen's Mania centers around Nick, a young newspaper reporter. A killer known as the Street Butcher is loose in Seattle, and Nick always seems to be one step ahead in getting pictures of the crime scenes. Of course he becomes a suspect in the eyes of some. Soon the stress seems to get to him, resulting in pieces of his past haunting him and his questioning of who the killer really could be.I loved how the plot kept twisting. Every time I thought I had it figured it out, something else was thrown at me to make me question if I had it right or not. For me, the sign of a good thriller is if you have all the pieces and you just can't figure out how they go together until the end. Mania succeeded in keeping me involved in the read. The last eighty pages resulted in me staying up much later than I should have, but it was worth it! :)