A Dream within a Dream – Mike Nappa and Melissa Kosci

Dream within a Dream by Mike Nappa, Melissa Kosci
Also by this author: Welcome to BibleWorld: Explore All 66 Books of the Bible
Series: Coffey & Hill #3
Published by Revell on June 2, 2020
Genres: Fiction, Suspense
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Trudi Coffey only realizes that she hasn't seen Samuel Hill in weeks when the FBI shows up asking questions about him. After a strange encounter with an armed man demanding her help and an attack by a member of the Boston mob looking for someone named Dream, Trudi manages to find Samuel--or rather, he finds her. He's made some pretty powerful enemies, but right now his full attention is on protecting Dream from the mob. Because Dream has something they want--the map to the location of artwork stolen from the Gardener Museum during the infamous 1990 heist.

With danger closing in from all sides, Trudi and Samuel will have to call on all of their allies to keep Dream safe and discover the identity of the people who have been hunting down Samuel. The real questions are whom can they trust? And who will make it out of this thing alive?

I don’t often give five-star reviews, but A Dream within a Dream by Mike Nappa and Melissa Kosci gets one of my first of the year. And that’s saying a lot, because this particular novel was my sixty-ninth book of 2020. I’ve maybe given 10 five-star reviews. Call me a harsh critic, perhaps, but I have high expectations. You want five stars, you have to earn them from me.  Nappa and Kosci did not disappoint, and I was sad when I turned the final page. I was left wanting more, but in a good way!

A Dream within a Dream was my first book by these particular authors. While it was completely fine as a standalone novel, I wish I had read the two beforehand. I would’ve had better context for the relationship between two of the main characters: Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill. Life is simple for Trudi until the FBI starts probing about her ex-husband’s whereabouts and about a man only referred to as “The Dream.”

Samuel—when he appears—reveals he’s been trying to protect Dream, because he might have the key to solving an massive art heist. With his help, they may be able to find works that have been missing from a museum for years. Mike Nappa and Melissa Kosci masterfully fill A Dream within a Dream with mystery, action, and humor. I loved every single page, and the tip-of-the-hat references to Edgar Allen Poe were written wonderfully.

The book reminded me of the 2004 Disney film, “National Treasure.” Adventurers, on a quest to find a prize that everyone thought was gone for good. Each character has his or her own quest inside of the treasure hunt, and each one grows along the journey. I loved how no one was perfect. Trudi, Samuel, Dream, and their allies—and not to mention enemies—all had personality flaws. But no one ever let those weaknesses hinder or restrict.

The creativity in A Dream within a Dream astounded me. Along with reading, I enjoy creative writing in my free time (what little there is of it). Mystery is one of those genres that I, as an author, wouldn’t touch with a twelve-foot pole. It is so challenging to do well; Nappa and Kosci blew me away. Normally, I’d break apart a book and say, “These are the things I would change.” But…I can’t do it with A Dream within a Dream. Perhaps the only thing I wish the authors revealed further is more of Dream’s story. I still have questions about him, but that’s more because I’m a nosy ninny. As both a reader and writer, I like to know characters’ full stories, and I don’t know Dream’s.

But oddly enough, I don’t have a problem with that in A Dream within a Dream. I don’t even think Dream himself can remember his whole story, so how can I expect him to reveal everything to me?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to request the other two books in the Coffey & Hill series from my library.