Trust Me

Kyle Simpler BY

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Trust Me
Bruce Forman
Lost Coast Press

Practically everyone knows the old adage “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.” Chances are good, though, that this saying alone never prevented anyone from wishing. Such is the case with Sam Mann. Sam definitely has a lot going for him. Over the years, he’s attained a moderate degree of success as a jazz guitarist, which enables him to book fairly decent gigs. Something, however, seems to be missing; Sam just wants a little more. So when talent agent Jimm Dibbook approaches, promising (or better, guaranteeing) fame and fortune, Sam jumps at the opportunity, even though things don’t seem completely on the level. So begins Bruce Forman’s recently-published novel, Trust Me.

Forman, like his character, Sam, carved a niche for himself in the jazz world with his impressive guitar playing. He also teaches music and has written several instructional books, as well. Now with this impressive first novel, Forman proves that his creative abilities are not limited to the fretboard alone. He provides a compelling story that builds from the first page and never loses the reader’s attention.

Of course, a novel needs more than an interesting plot to make it really good. Forman obviously knows this. He creates believable characters and thought-provoking situations. Throughout the book, he also shows a definite skill for writing humor. Several scenes in Trust Me are downright hilarious. This well-crafted novel definitely delivers on many different levels.

Here we find Mann struggling with the prospects of fame. Even though Dibbook shows all the confidence in the world, Sam can’t help but have some apprehension. Of course confidence, in Jimm’s case, translates as “confidence man.” While the reader may have picked up on this, Sam can’t see anything except his predicted future.

Shortly after Mann begins working for Dibbook, Jimm comes up with an incredible scheme, win order to propel Sam’s career to the top. The plan simply calls for Sam to drop out of sight for a while and let Dibbook work his magic. Before this happens, though, Sam has an important gig he needs to make. Here he befriends Frank Krieger and Jennifer Holman, two people who change his life substantially. The greatest change, though, comes later when Sam begins his disappearing act.

He travels to the country to stay in a rustic trailer (at some expense), owned by a shaman, named Gray Elk. Here he finds few of the comforts of home. Initially, it seems like a waste of money. In actuality, though, it provides the catalyst for Sam’s spiritual journey. Along the way, he meets Hawk Feather, another shaman who has an almost other-worldly dog named Scout. Both help on Sam’s road to enlightenment. Eventually the whole concept of fame and fortune takes on much less importance.

Of course, fame and fortune remain nothing more than conceptual after he returns home. While Sam was on his journey, Dibbook was taking him for a ride. Now he begins a new quest, this time seeking revenge. Here, he reunites with Krieger and Jennifer. Like Gray Elk and Hawk Feather, they help bring him to a greater level of self-awareness. This solid and well-crafted work takes its readers along on Sam Mann’s journey. In the long run, though, they might find themselves reconsidering their own priorities.

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