The following review first appeared on the book review site, Dove's Reading Room. Special thanks to Dove for permission to reprint it here.
Book Title: DIALOGUES
Page Count: 356
Author: Stephen Spignesi
Release Date: April 26, 2005
Genre: Suspense/Drama/Legal Thriller
Basic Storyline/Plot: A young woman is found standing over the bodies of her six dead co-workers, at a local animal shelter. She is quickly transported to a local Psychiatric Hospital for evaluation. Her doctor, through numerous "dialogues" (hence the title), has the daunting task of proving her fit to stand trial.
Setting(s): Waterbridge Animal Hospital, New Haven, CT (and surrounding towns) - Psychiatric Hospital - Court Room - Ward 9...
The People You’ll Meet...
- Victoria (Tory) Troy, Certified Euthanasia Technician, Writer
- Dr. Baraku Bexley, Psychiatric Examiner
- Carolyn Payne, Defense Attorney
- Viviana Troy, Tory’s mother
- Crouch Troy, Tory’s father
- Chiarra Ziegler, Psychiatric Nurse
- Brawley Loren, District Attorney
- Gabriel Mundane, Tory’s Writing Professor
- Gwyneth June, Forensic Pathologist
- Gerard Becker, Judge
- Marilyn Costanza, Crouch’s lawyer
- Halle Bexley, Baraku’a wife (and former Clerk to Judge Becker)
- Lester Jackson, Medical Transciptionist
- Noah, Chiarra’s fiance
- David North, Catholic Priest
The Six Victims (in order of death):
*NOTE: Tomoyuki (Tommy) Nakamura - Witness to Tory’s crime. Would’ve been the seventh victim, but he didn’t have to work that day. Lucky him, I’d say!
The Jury (by occupation):
1. Thoracic Surgeon
2. Hospice Nurse
3. Stay-At-Home Mom
4. Stay-At-Home Mo
5. College Student, part-time employee at Olive Garden
7. Assembly Line (Pratt Whitney)
11. Reporter (for the New Haven Messenger)
Dove’s (Personal) Review:
Awesome! Superb! Brilliant! Mind-blowing! Thrilling! Exciting! Perfection on paper! A true page-turner!
Stephen Spignesi’s first novel, Dialogues, is a major hit!!! He’s created a unique crime, fascinating characters, an intriguing story, and a completely unpredictable ending that will knock your socks off!
Tory Troy is a very bright young woman. She’s currently employed as a Euthanasia Technician, at the Waterbridge Animal Shelter, located in New Haven, Connecticut. She’s responsible for “putting the unwanted animals to sleep.” One day, her job finally gets to her, and she snaps under the pressure. She kills six of her co-workers, and is caught red-handed, shortly after the dreadful act takes place.
She’s also a writer, in her spare time. Included in Dialogues you will find three pieces of Tory’s work. Two short stories entitled "Skyline Pigeon" and The Baby’s Room, along with a poem called "A Crow on the Lawn of the House I Grew Up In." All three give the reader a ‘behind the scenes’ look into Tory’s past, enabling us to understand Tory - and her actions - that much better. The Baby’s Room is my personal favorite.
Tory is a marvelously developed character. She becomes ‘real’ in the reader’s mind. At least in mine she did, LOL! Some interesting facts about Tory that helped this happen: She’s 28 years old, dark brown hair, green eyes, she stands 5 feet/5 inches tall, and she’s 109 pounds. She’s single, lives with her mother, and her full name is Victoria Abigail Troy. She carries a pink iPod, likes orange Tic-Tacs, and enjoys her Maaroni with Ketchup! She’s described as pleasant and agreeable, but sometimes distant... and she hates Fridays. Especially rainy ones. She also used to work for a pharmaceutical company as a Sales Rep, which plays a big part in the story!
Stephen King is known for writing about Maine... so Stephen Spignesi shall be known for writing about Connecticut. I reside in CT as well, so Dialogues appealed to me for this reason also. There are many local references mentioned that all CT residents will be familiar with. Some examples being: The town of New Haven, Old Saybrook, Hartford, The Q-Bridge, St. Raphael’s Hospital, University of Bridgeport, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Bridgeport’s Beardsley Zoo, the Crystal Mall, and the NCI/Death Row facility in Somers just to name a few.
Dr. Bexley, the Psychiatric Examiner assigned to Tory’s case, is an interesting fellow! He’s half Jewish, half African-American. That, right there, could have been a story in itself, but we don’t know much more personal info about him other than that. He’s a very intelligent, compassionate person, who - eventually - befriends Tory, regardless of her murderous acts. His role in this drama, is to dig deep into Tory’s mind, in order to determine if she’s mentally fit to stand trial. Part of his research also includes extensive interviews with Tory’s family, friends, past teachers, and multiple discussions with various attorneys and Judges along the way. From these ‘dialogues,’ he builds his case regarding Tory’s state-of-mind during the crime.
I wish I could say more, but I don’t want to give anything away! You’ll just have to experience Dialogues for yourself. If you’re a ‘book lover’ like me, you MUST pick up a copy of this novel today! I’m serious! Do it! Don’t wait! Really! Sign off, and DO IT RIGHT NOW!!! You will not be disappointed! Then, once you read it, tell all your friends and family about it! Tell your co-workers, tell your neighbors, tell your teachers, tell your students... hell, tell your pets, I don’t care. EVERYONE should read this book!
Bravo, Mr. Spignesi! WELL DONE!!!! I will be keeping a close eye on the book shelves for your future titles!