Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Stranger in a Foreign Land by Michael Murphy

Losing his old life and finding a new love.

After an accident stole his memory, the only home American businessman Patrick knows is Bangkok. He recovers under the tender ministrations of Jack, an Australian ex-pat who works nights at a pineapple cannery. Together they search for clues to Patrick’s identity, but without success. Soon that forgotten past seems less and less important as Jack and Patrick—now known as Buddy—build a new life together.

But the past comes crashing in when Patrick’s brother travels to Thailand looking for him… and demands Patrick return to Los Angeles, away from Jack and the only world familiar to him. The attention also causes trouble for Jack, and to make their way back to each other, Patrick will need to find not only himself, but Jack as well, before everything is lost…

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Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

2.5 stars

Unfortunately, this is one of those books where I loved the blurb and the underlying premise but really didn’t get on with the actual book. I loved the Thai setting but the characters and relationships felt flat and undeveloped to me.

I’m not sure if Patrick is supposed to have special needs or a mental disability in addition to his amnesia, but he presents like a small child. His decisions don’t make sense and his conversations are limited. As readers don’t get to know much of what is going on in his head or with his emotions, I found myself unable to engage with him.

Jack is an equally opaque character. There are hints of trouble in his previous life in Australia but nothing about him or his circumstances is ever explained to readers. Like Patrick, he feels very simple and I’m not sure if this is a deliberate author choice.

I found the storyline bewildering. It took me some time to understand what was going on with Patrick after his accident. I didn’t ever fully understand why he couldn’t engage with his family and the ending feels rather rushed. This is a low heat story and I’m still not sure I’d call it a romance.

Originally from rural upstate New York, MICHAEL MURPHY grew up walking through fields of corn taller than most people, riding horses, and driving on dirt roads. For more than thirty years, he has lived in Washington, DC, where there aren’t many dirt roads or horses.

His biggest influences when growing up were his two grandmothers. Both were ferociously strong women who were widowed young while they still had children at home. Neither remarried, but they picked up the shattered pieces of their lives and built new lives for themselves. They taught him that the underdog could come out on top if he or she just tried.

Those women loved to read and to tell stories, so it just always seemed a natural thing for him to want to do the same. When he hit a major milestone birthday, he realized that there were fewer years left in which to do things than there had already been. He made a bucket list, which had writing a book at the top of the list. With his twentieth book now in the editorial production process, that dream has been realized and has been one of the highlights of his life.

Connect with Michael

Facebook  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Stranger in a Foreign Land by Michael Murphy to read and review.

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