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Coma Sins - Steven Nedelton & Joseph Parente, Authors

Coma Sins – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

From next door a woman shrieked.  Anger, white, blazing fury came over him.  Was that damn Mary screaming again?  “Kill her.  Kill Mary.  Kill Janklaw.  Kill Sims,” the voices urged him.  The nearest lamp’s light was so harsh it was blinding him.  He grabbed it by the stem and smashed it into Mary’s door.  The noises stopped.  The room was in pleasant darkness now but the dim lights from the street made strange, infuriating shadows across the window panes.  And then the telephone rang and it continued ringing deafening him.  He grabbed the apparatus and threw it on the floor.  The ringing topped.  “Use the lighter on the drapes.  Start a fire.  Let everything and the hotel go up in blazing hell,”  the voices suggested.  That seemed reasonable.  He heard a knocking at the door.  A strange baritone voice was asking some nonsense.  “Is everything okay, Sir?”  “Damn you!” he shouted in response.  “Jump from that window!  Go, open it and jump!”  the voices encouraged.  “End the misery on the pavement”  Then, a dead quiet… Oblivion.

If a person is mentally ill and commits a crime, even a deadly one, is he responsible for his actions?  Apparently the law says no.  They are sentenced if found guilty but to an institution or hospital, not prison.  And if they are ‘cured’ they can be released to start it all over again. 

Ben Bluman may not have been sentenced for his crimes but he did have himself hospitalized to prevent himself from committing more.  He even agreed to experimental treatments provided by the government but did they help or make him worse?  His only choice was to escape their hold on him, change his name and continue his life.  Did this work?  Apparently not since people continued to die.  But is Ben really committing them?  As he sleeps he ‘dreams’ of events leading up to their deaths so did he actually commit them or are they simply dreams? 

Coma Sinsis a deep story of a man who did and didn’t commit the crimes that he will eventually be blamed for.  How do you commit yet not commit a crime?  You can be insane or you can dream them.  Question is, which did Ben do or did he do both?

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