The Orientation of Dylan Woodger: A Central New York Crime Story
by Chiuba E. Obele
Fischer House Publications

"But this much is clear: Utica would forever change my life."

What would happen if one's normal, everyday life not only turned upside down but morphed into a nightmare? When Dylan J. Woodger finds himself being questioned by a ruthless mafia boss in 2019, the last thing he remembers is being dropped off by his mother at Hamilton College in Utica, New York, in 2016. Apparently, he's stolen three million dollars but has no memory of how, when, or why after being tortured, raped, and given a memory-impairing drug. One never truly understands the depths of evil or one's own capacity to commit crimes until seized by the talons of desperation.

Dylan has no choice but to attempt to piece together the puzzle his life has become. Amnesia makes it impossible to know the people who claim to be his friends. He has a beautiful ex-girlfriend but can only accept her account of how their relationship started and ended. Why does she seem bent on protecting him even though they're not together? There isn't a single aspect of Dylan's current life that is comprehensible. Ultimately, he discovers that nothing at Hamilton College or in Utica is what it seems. He must juggle nosy detectives, vicious mob characters, white supremacists, and the attempt to redeem himself with a best friend that he viciously betrayed.

The author's book is extremely imaginative, even to the point of requiring readers to suspend their disbelief at some points in the narrative. The novel's major strengths include how it explores white supremacy, feminism, misogyny, and sexual assault of both females and males. Author Obele brings philosophical and psychological depth to the gun-and-run crime sprees. New adult readers may identify with this academic ambiance and the story's emotional tenor.

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