by Trevor Shane

Dutton, $25.95, 375 pages

Joseph is a soldier in the war – a secret war that has been going on for hundreds of years and has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths. Joseph – driven by a desire for revenge for the death of his family – works as an assassin, and is generally content with his life until the day he starts asking questions about the war. Dissatisfied with the answers, he finds refuge with his girlfriend Maria. Unfortunately, their relationship breaks the rules and they are forced to run and fight for their lives.

Children of Paranoia is the first novel of author Trevor Shane and the first in a planned trilogy. The author successfully creates a foreboding environment in which anyone could be working for the enemy. Joseph goes through his life wondering if the next stranger he sees will try to kill him. The character of Maria is a nice counterpart to this as she holds the disbelief and horror of the reader as she is introduced to Joseph’s world. The plot overall is not surprising and lags a bit in parts, but this is overall a fun read and a nice debut novel.

Reviewed by Barbara Cothern