Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Conversations in Real Time
AUTHOR: Nicholas J. Finch
PUBLISHER: Self Published
LENGTH: 69 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 23, 2016
Beginning with a series of emails sent back and forth between the UK and the USA, this novella is the story of how two men, one a Los Angeles detective and the other an Oxford research student, find themselves drawn to each other despite leading very different lives on opposite sides of the world.
Their relationship starts with a professional offer of assistance and through instant messaging, texting and phone calls they invade each others’ lonely and yet busy days, learning about themselves and slowly falling in love as they discover they both need something from the other until they finally get a meeting face to face and can get up close and personal.
While its no secret that paranormal, science fiction and fantasy are my bread and butter when it comes to books, there is the occasional contemporary that catches my eye and makes me want to sit down and read it. My interest was first peaked by this book by the manner in which the story is told, through e-mails, and I was intrigued enough to want to give it a try. I’m so glad that I did! What starts as a mutually beneficial arrangement between strangers: for Daniel, the information he needs to complete his research study and for James, help in the solving of a particularly difficult cold case, slowly evolves into friendship and then into something more.
I have to admit that I wasn’t entirely certain how I felt about the story being told through e-mails at the beginning of the story but as the relationship between Daniel and James evolved, so did the story telling and method of communication between the two men. Interspersed with the e-mails were thoughts and impressions of whoever was reading or composing a reply so that you slowly got to learn more about them while they were learning about each other. E-mails eventually give way to instant messaging, and then onto telephone calls and frequent text messages which allowed for a more diverse way for the two main characters to get to know one another. I loved the way the author managed all of this; I was learning about each of the men as they slowly learned about each other and it was interesting seeing how my mental image of them both shifted with each new piece of information learned.
The evolution of their relationship from strangers to friends and then more was gradual but just seemed to be much more meaningful because Daniel and James were separated by an ocean and had no idea when, or if, they’d actually meet face to face. After all the time they spent apart I’m not ashamed to admit that I may have, possibly, squealed a little bit when they finally met in person. It was perfect and I think I smiled for a solid five minutes afterwards. This book was, quite frankly, a wonderful read with a unique delivery that just completely exceeded expectations. I totally loved this and am pretty poised to just recommend it to everyone, especially since it only costs $.99. Seriously. Fantastic start by a newly published author and after this I can’t wait to see what comes out next!