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Christopher Bonn Jonnes

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Wake Up Dead
by Christopher Bonn Jonnes   

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Publisher:  Salvo Press ISBN-10:  0966452054 Type: 


Copyright:  Apr 1 2000

Barnes &
Wake Up Dead
Salvo Press

What if you could dream your own future? And what if you could change it? Would that save you when you dream your own death?

After researcher Mason Brooks invents a dream-the-future machine, he uses it to amass riches in stocks and gambling and to impress the young and comely Monica Westfield. But then he starts dreaming, and avoiding, his own death with increasing frequency. Death is seemingly imminent. The various lethal dreams share only one common component: the presence of a complete stranger, Paul Fontana. Now Brooks and Fontana are linked in an enigmatic death dance. Desperate to solve the mysterious bond, Brooks invites Paul into his home. Throw in a gun, a love interest, Sigmund Freud, and a prophetic golden bracelet, and things get interesting. This is Deja vu at its most devastating. Excerpt
Paul broke the silence with a nervous laugh. "You believe what you want, Brooks. You've got a hell of a tale there, but you're not going to get me to believe that if I wake up dead tomorrow it's because I dreamed it the night before."

Professional Reviews

February 11, 2001 Christopher Bonn Jonnes makes the transition from business writing to mystery writing with his first novel, Wake Up Dead. An unlikely author, Jonnes is vice president and co-owner of an industrial manufacturing company. His own personal experiments with lucid dreaming inspired this novel. Mason Brooks is a rogue professor who has made himself rich by experimenting with the concept of lucid dreaming and cashing in on what appears to be the ability to predict the future within a certain time frame. He has lured a beautiful young student, Monica Westfield, into his life and home with money and power. But he begins to see predictions of his own death tied in with a stranger named Paul Fontana, a handsome salesman with a taste for fast cars, loose women, and gambling who regularly manages to elude loan sharks. Brooks invites Fontana into his home to further his experiments and to try to find closure on the death dreams, but he doesn't bank on how quickly Fontana and Monica fall in love: "In a masochistic way he was proud of his cleverness for having acted upon his suspicion of Paul and Monica. After all, there hadn't been much to go on. Paul's desires were clear, but would he act on them? Monica had done only two things to make him question her faithfulness. She was quick to defend Paul on the question of the gun, and the fact that she searched his room and found the gun began to eat at Mason." Wake Up Dead is a psychological thriller of sorts, heavy on dream psychology. Jonnes does a great job of conjuring up characters that project Hitchcockian qualities: Monica is beautiful, intelligent, and is completely under the sway of the increasingly psychotic Professor Mason Brooks. Paul Fontana evolves from a two-bit hustler to a brave and self-sacrificing man worthy of Monica's love...if he can save her (and himself) from the clutches of the mad professor. Wake Up Dead is a page-turner that simmers with sensual passion and pulses with unspeakably haunting danger. There is nothing more terrifying than contemplating the breakdown of the human mind and civility when the scientific experiments begin. Christopher Bonn Jonnes rocks.." -- FIVE STARS from Midwest Book Reviews' INTERNET BOOK WATCH on both and Barnes&

Believeable Exploration
February 28, 2001 "Paul, have you ever experienced déja vu?" Professor Mason Brooks has learned over time to envision and somewhat control the future through his dreams. When he finds himself repeatedly having to avoid his own imminent death, he decides to bring Paul Fontana, a salesman who seems to be the focus of each near miss, into his research to explore the connection and try to avoid the inevitable. Fontana listens in disbelief to Mason Brooks's explanation and proposal, but for the offered $2000 a week and the chance to be around the lovely Monica Westfield, he agrees to participate in the professor's dream research. He doesn't count on his obsession with Monica turning deadly. Jonnes introduces the possibilities of the subconscious and the power of dreams as he weaves a believable exploration into the unexplored powers of the mind. Jealousy, greed, intrigue and fear drive the characters of this thriller, and keep the pages turning." -- Charlene Austin Mystery Reviewer for

A novel filled with fascinating philosophical and ethical quandaries.
November 3, 2000 Yet this is not a boring cerebral treatise, but a fast paced thriller with deep psychological ramifications. Highly recommended. The future exists in the present -- we witness it every night while we sleep. Déjà vu is the bringing of these subconscious memories into conscious awareness. Because we have seen the future, when it occurs, we experience a feeling of repetition. When researcher Mason Brooks invents a machine that allows the subconscious world of dreams to be brought into consciousness, he learns to manipulate the future for his own purposes. He satisfies his dreams of wealth, a beautiful woman, and power. However, his single-minded manipulations result in enslavement as he falls victim to the lure of predicting the future. His relationship with his girlfriend Monica deteriorates and he becomes obsessed with subverting the death he's dreamed repeatedly. Only one element ties the dreams of death together -- a man named Paul Fontana, a younger, attractive man, and a complete stranger. Mason lures Paul into his dream research with promises of wealth. However, Mason didn't realize the added danger posed by bringing Paul into his home. The younger man is immediately captivated by Monica and becomes determined to win her away from the professor. As tension builds, Christopher Bonn Jonnes creates fascinating philosophical and ethical quandaries. Yet this is not a boring cerebral treatise, but a fast paced thriller with deep psychological ramifications. WAKE UP DEAD is an unnerving page-turner guaranteed to keep the reader guessing until the last moment. Highly recommended. -- Senior Editor from

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Reader Reviews for "Wake Up Dead"

Reviewed by Christopher Jonnes 12/12/2001
Absolutely top-notch. Actually fun to read. Bring on the movie.

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