The Daemon in our Dreams opened as an assassination is methodically carried out in a London hotel bar. The victims were shot three times each by a dark Indian man whom they each recognized.
The novel acquaints the reader with three strangers preparing for a cruise bound for India. Each has endured frightening dreams of an Indian man starring at them in a menacing manner as they prepare for their land and sea adventure. Unsure what the dreams mean, they find common ground after they embark on their trip.
Fran Carr, Paul Rowan, and Dr. Lee Ably, the cruise ship’s resident lecturer, soon realize they are not alone in their sightings as the dark man begins to make personal appearances at various stops along their route.
As they travel through various regions and cities of India, the apparition appears to grow stronger and more frightening. After much discussion, they name this daemon Ramesh.
As the three experience the evilness of the daemon, their own evilness begins to rise to the surface. At first, the three are dismissive of the fatalistic belief system of the Hindu that once our lives are set in motion nothing that happens to us is by chance, but rather part of a grand scheme.
The Hindu believes our lives are preordained. There is inevitability to the events and experiences and we “are powerless to change the course of events once underway.”
As the exhaustive trip continued, each of the three began to realize their own growing fatalistic views because of their recent experiences.
Fran and Paul bonded to the consternation of their respective partners, as Ably continued to try to distance him. The three, individually, come to the realization that there are inexplicable forces at work in their life.
The fate of the three is not a surprise as the author, John F. Rooney, revealed the assassination in the prologue. The surprise comes in the next few pages after the shootings.
The Daemons in our Dreams is part travelogue, part mystical beliefs, and part spiritual journey. There is a great deal to learn about Eastern culture and how that affects what ultimately happens to our three travelers.
The theme of fate is a thread throughout the novel, with clues becoming more apparent toward the end. Why these three were chosen may become clear to discerning readers through the course of their travels.
Rooney tells an excellent story using detail and atmosphere to bring the scenery alive. Whether his characters are on land or at sea, he is able to set the pace of the story based on their travels, their interaction with one another, and their thoughts, dreams, and fears when they are alone.
The author is a storyteller in every sense of the word. His novels are difficult to forget after the story ends. I hope there are more of Rooney’s compelling tales in our future.