Forgive Me, Alex

A Gripping Psychological Thriller

Fiction - Thriller - General
318 Pages
Reviewed on 07/03/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I write fiction, long and short. My writings cross over many genres and focus on diverse subjects, ranging from the mysteries of the human mind, with its fragile psychological and emotional states, to the everyday joy and anguish of life on Earth. You can find out more about me at my website:

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lex Allen for Readers' Favorite

In his first novel, Forgive Me, Alex, Lane Diamond has initiated a crime/suspense thriller series with many of the qualities that put the likes of Lee Child and James Patterson on the bestseller lists. Protagonist Tony Hooper is characterized as a younger, more vulnerable, but equally determined cross between Child’s Jack Reacher and Patterson’s Alex Cross. Antagonist Mitchell Norton is ... think of the most psychologically imbalanced, brutally sadistic serial killer you’ve ever met in a book, and you’ll discover that Norton is far worse. When the demon in Norton’s head takes control and promises him a kingdom of pain, Norton decides that Tony’s girlfriend Diana should be his queen and then the blood flows. Tony is the first to suffer the loss of a loved one and this sets him on a determined hunt to find the killer.

Mr. Diamond unveils what are essentially two stories through the first-person narratives of Tony, Norton, and a couple of supporting characters. With consummate skill, Diamond bounces between the characters and events of two timelines, 1978 and 1995, and rolls them all into one neat package. A writing style fraught with potential pitfalls, but Diamond brings it off with perfection and apparent ease. While the first person point of view provides the reader full disclosure of that character, authors sometimes develop problems filling out the supporting cast. Not so for Mr. Diamond. When the story needed to be seen outside the perspectives of Tony or Norton, other characters take up the story with their own narratives. Characters like Frank, who advises, supports and renders a shoulder for Tony to lean on throughout the book. Then there’s FBI agent Linda; a mere blip on the radar screen in 1978, she provides vital professional and emotional support in 1995; or Master Ben Komura, of samurai ancestry, who trains Tony in martial arts. There’s more, much more, but I’ll leave it here for new readers to discover, savor, and pencil in the name Lane Diamond next to their current favorite authors.

The Kindle Book Review

Lane Diamond has succeeded in bringing to the surface the dark and horrifying mind of a psychotic serial killer, while at the same time bringing forth the desperate need for humanity and justice for the victims and their families.

Ashley Fontaine, Author

Psychological thrillers are my kind of books! Not only do I write them, but truly enjoy reading one that makes my skin crawl, my nerves skitter with fear and my heart thump a tad louder. This incredible novel by Lane Diamond handed me ALL of that, in spades! The ending is a perfect way to ease the reader down from the intense, page-gripping high that the author just yanked them through, leaving the option wide open for a sequel. Out of all the books I have read this year, this one just launched itself to #1 for me!

Raven Reviewer

Suck a rubber duck if you are not blown away by this dark psychological thriller. In a world where characters are as vital as in 'The Game of Thrones', the suspense had me on the edge of my seat and holding my breath for everyone involved. Neighboring Huntley, the setting is home to me, making this all the more twisted and real for me. If you love serial killers, red herrings, the thrill of the chase, and unpredictable endings, you are in for a treat. Methodically thorough, this book came together like a well-crafted puzzle. The word choice, though coarse, is meaningful and eloquent. The switching points of view and timelines were plot-driven, not pointless. The narrator made this story come alive. I loved all of the character voices. Well, I loved all of them except one. The author created such a vile creature in the serial killer that by the end of the book, I heard his voice and wanted to throw up. Authors should look to this as a great example of the use of an epilogue and cliffhanger. In short: mind blown.

Anne B. Chaconas

Diamond does in 'Forgive Me, Alex' what I wish more contemporary authors would do: He brings me right into the story, forcing me to identify with the characters. I didn't have a choice--I would feel Tony Hooper's wrath and need for revenge. I would wallow in Mitchell Norton's desperate inability to ward off his demons. I would cheer for Diana Gregorio's unbelievable ballsiness in the face of seemingly unbeatable odds. I would weep, shedding actual tears, for Alex Hooper's childhood.


Wowzer! Hold on tight. You're in for a doozy of a ride! ~ This thriller hooked me from the very beginning and I found it near impossible to put it aside. I carried my kindle with me everywhere I went and when snatches of time presented itself, I pulled out the Kindle and read. I needed to know what was going to happen next despite some of the gruesome and more uncomfortable parts of the story (inside the mind of a serial killer). I found the story engrossing and the style of writing quite crisp, clean, and forthright.

Renee Dillon

Yes, I'm going to read it a third time. ~ One sentence and I was hooked... Of the many books I've read over the past 39 years, few have warranted a second read. However, I was so bent on getting to the end of 'Forgive Me, Alex'--to find out if Tony received (or more accurately, sought out) the justice he so obviously deserved--that I had to go back and read it again to savor the masterful writing. You know what happened the second time around? I blew through it again, even knowing the ending.

Mark Schafer

Well worth a 5 star rating & more money than what I paid for it.~ Hooked from page one & it was quite a struggle to put this one done. If you want to read a book that will stick with you long after you finish it, you need to read this one. Everything was so well described I could almost visualize the scenes.


Excellent cerebral thriller. ~ 'Forgive Me, Alex' is a real page turner; it hooks you right from the first pages and doesn't let go. Tony Hooper, the protagonist, is a character that is incredibly developed; the emotions you will feel for him are gut-wrenching at times. The flawless execution of the different POV's, such as Hooper and the chilling antagonist, Mitchell Norton, really make the pace go. You climb inside the mind of the serial killer Norton, and though gruesome at times, the substance is much deeper than murder, and being in his mind is a terrifying experience; I hugged my loved ones often when reading it. The ending is satisfying as it sets up the sequel perfectly and I can't wait to read it! If you like a heart-pounding, emotional, scary thriller, you need to read this.

Tim C. Ward, Former Executive Producer f

This book is gruesome and emotional right out of the gate. The main character, Tony, goes through some monumental losses throughout the story. These aren’t the kind of losses that you can just blow off as insignificant because Lane’s writing makes you really care about these people and what’s going on. Lane excels in this area of sympathetic characters.

Can't Put It Down Reviews

Lane Diamond gets you into the head of the characters and you feel this bond with them, urging you to read faster to find out what happens next. You know you are reading a great book when you need to stop reading, but keep telling yourself just one more chapter, then one more leads to half the book.

Daydreaming Star

'Forgive Me, Alex' was an emotional, tense, powerful, brilliant roller-coaster that I will happily go on again, and again, and again. It was simply inspiring and clever and just really succeeded in being a great piece of entertainment.

Barry W. Metcalf, Author

Wow! What a roller-coaster ride! ~ Tony Hooper, the teenager with the weight of the world on his shoulders, is a well-drawn character, with just the right amount of flaws and doubts to make him believable, someone we can all relate to. Perhaps, had our lives been different--filled with the tragedies that afflicted Tony--we’d have turned out like him, shared his desire to rid the world of evil monsters like Mitchell Norton. Of course, few of us were trained by a man with a samurai heritage, so I doubt we would have succeeded.

Mitchell Norton, the serial killer, is also someone we can relate to. When one discovers the reason for his ‘madness’, one can be forgiven for harbouring a moment of compassion, but the moment is short-lived as Mitchell goes about his devilish business, tormenting and destroying the lives of all he touches.

I found this novel a compelling read, often turning pages--rather than engaging in my own writing--to discover what next atrocity Mitchell Norton might undertake, and hoping he was stopped before he could eliminate more victims.

Steve Doss

The characters were very believable and engrossing. The plot grabbed me from the first moment and I enjoyed following the many twists and turns along the way. If you like suspense and intrigue you will not put this down until you've reached the end!

Paula Perkins

Wow! I loved this book! ~ I downloaded this book on to my Kindle, but also received a signed copy from the author. I was already reading another book, but my Kindle needed charging, so I picked up Forgive Me, Alex to read while that process was taking place. I am so glad I did!! I could not put this book down.....well....I did have to occasionally, but I didn't want to! It was so well written, the characters were so real to me and the suspense kept me coming back. I would read it every little chance I had and would read previous pages just to refresh my mind. This book took me on a roller coaster range of emotions: tears, fear, excitement, and happiness.

Shah Wharton

Lane Diamond did a great job with this enthralling psychological thriller. I enjoyed the story and felt I knew the characters, joining them every step of the way - and when one of those characters is a sadistic serial killer with a penchant for torture, that can be pretty, ghoulish.

Fabulous! I couldn't put it down and still think of it now, weeks after I finished reading it. That's a rarity.

Total opposites, Tony Hooper and Mitchell Norton become staunch enemies as piece by piece, their entangled lives become clear. Both have their own demons and are become determined to blight one another's lives.

Mitchell Norton set in motion such agonies in lives throughout his small, quiet community, beginning, though never ending, with Tony Hooper. There is a real tension, movement toward decline and renewal, a need to ease the everlasting rage and purge the constant guilt, all of which seeped into me from every page.

Using a dual narrative and flipping between two periods of time, we look into the abyss, the eerie and torrential blackness of the sadist, the torturer, the deeply evil human, ruled by his own ego and a voice in his head he believes to be the Reaper himself. At the same time, we see into the heart of a simple boy, grown into a men in search of vengeance for untold agonies. A look into what darkness can do to the soul and how it manipulates the good, yet never totally shatters it.

Lane allows us to go on a search for and an examination of, humanity. He brings along a whole host of darkness to throw us off the scent, but we do get there, and it's so worth it.

Highly recommended.

Kathleen Kelly

I will just say that this book grabbed me right from the first page. I love suspense thrillers and when an author can pull the reader right into the story where you do not want to put the book down, that is for me a great read. There are characters that you love to love and those you love to hate. An emotional roller coaster of a ride right up to the last page.

Megan Morrison, Author

I took this book with me on a solo trip to the beach. Given I was by myself, I was hesitant to start it for fear that I'd have nightmares. It turned out that I only had one night to really be worried about them, because I started and finished the book in the same day. I literally could not get off the beach to stop reading it (and got quite sunburned as a result). I was worried about gore, but really, the parts that were gory were easy enough for me to sort of skim over in favor of getting to the juicy, unfolding, and intertwining story lines between Tony, the detective, Mitchell, the psychopathic serial killer, and the other agents that serve as both aides to Tony, as well as deterrents as he tries to serve Mitchell the ultimate justice himself. I'm usually not a fan of books that go back and forth between time periods, however in this case, I not only enjoyed the departures and re-entries, I found myself commending Lane Diamond for the places at which he chooses to do so. I'd think "Yep, he has me right where he wants me. I'm totally engrossed in this scene, but I'm remembering that there's another story unfolding in the past that's going to have an impact on this somehow." I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a great thriller with solid, unique characters and a complex, but well-paced plot.

Rich Vornholt

A friend recommended that I pick up this book, and boy was she right! This was definitely a good read. After a long day at work, I found myself escaping into the disturbing world of Tony Hooper. Who can blame him for the path he took in light of the tragedy he faced?

I think what struck me the most about the story, and what I really enjoyed, was the way Diamond explored the depths of the main characters, Tony Hooper and Mitchell Norton. It would be easy in this type of story to get caught up in the action. But correctly, I think, Diamond recognizes that the strength of the book lies in the characters, and he does an excellent job of helping the reader understand the inner workings of their minds.

That is not to say that the "action" scenes were not well done. In fact, I found myself drawn to the most disturbing scenes, which I think is a real compliment to the manner in which they were presented.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good escape. It would be a great read for the beach. I admit that I was left wanting to know more about Tony, Diana and Linda. Hopefully, a sequel is in the works!

K. Herbrand

This book kept me riveted! It is told through the eyes of both Tony Hooper and Mitchell Norton. It starts in 1995 as Mitchell is being released from prison and goes back and forth from that time frame to 1978, when all the tragedy occurs.

I loved the way that the author draws you in to the story right away, and then slowly dishes you out the details. You know the outcome, because Mitchell was in prison for 17 years - but you don't know everything that happens in 1978 and those are the details that you are spoon-fed through out the rest of the book.

At the same time you struggle along with Tony as he wades through his memories as well as what he has become because of Mitchell. Along with Linda, the FBI agent who cut her teeth on the Norton case, and has crossed paths with Tony over the years, you hope that he is able to overcome the wall he has put up to keep people from getting too close.

I thought this was a great thriller and am looking forward to reading more by this author.