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Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Fregoli Delusion

Another book in the Donaghue and Stainer series by Michael J. McCann, The Fregoli Delusion  provides another good mystery along with information about a rare condition: 

 The Fregoli delusion, or the delusion of doubles, is a rare disorder in which a person holds a delusional belief that different people are in fact a single person who changes appearance or is in disguise. The syndrome may be related to a brain lesion[citation needed] and is often of a paranoid nature, with the delusional person believing themselves persecuted by the person they believe is in disguise.     (Wikipedia)  

Never having heard of this disorder, I found a mystery centered on a character's strange disability compelling.   Having a witness to a crime, but one that is subject to compulsive misidentification, presents a unique problem for Donaghue and Stainer.

The reason I liked Blood Passage so much was because of the way the crime revolved around the idea of children and past lives, and McCann's research into the studies concerning this phenomenon.  The twist that The Fregoli Delusion presents makes this murder investigation much more interesting.  It isn't that difficult to figure out (at least for the reader), but proving it is a conundrum.

Once again, although part of a series, each book works perfectly as a stand-alone.  

Mystery/Police Procedural.  2012.  268 pages.


  1. This book sounds like it tackles some interesting topics! I haven't heard of the Fregoli Delusion before either. I can't even imagine what it must be like living with such a disorder. Past live stories always interest me too.

  2. LF - It would be awful, wouldn't it, to be unable to identify anyone with certainty. Another similar disorder is Capgras syndrome in which the person believes a friend or family member has been replaced by an impostor. I'd heard of that one before.

    McCann drew on the research of Dr. Jim B. Tucker (the medical director of the Child and Family Psychiatry Clinic, and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia School of Medicine) for the past life element in Blood Passage. Life Before Life: Children's Memories of Previous Lives by Tucker looks interesting.

  3. Thanks again for your kind words. I'm glad you found the conundrum posed by Brett Parris's condition an interesting twist. Positive feedback like yours definitely puts the wind into my sails as I move forward into the next story! Thanks once more, MJMc