There is nothing light-hearted about this book. Joe is pulled down into a spiral which takes him ever deeper into the pit of vicious addictions to drugs and alcohol which he is increasingly in denial about. He loses everything which used to be important to him but is in a place which he refuses to see how out of control he is. His only concern is taking the edge off and getting back to a place where he doesn't have to think or preferably can't think. Adam Dickson has done a really good job in showing how addiction can ruin the life of the person with it and the people around them too. Although it would be easy to judge Joe for his excesses, one can't help feeling empathy for this character and hoping that he is the 1 in 8 who will make it, not least for his children's sake. I think Adam Dickson has profiled Joe's personality very well and, as someone with an interest in psychology, it felt like I was reading the case study of a real person rather than a character in a novel. Nicely researched!
I am a big fan of Adam Dickson's writing. His plots are realistic, the detail meticulous and sometimes quite graphic. The subject of addiction is obviously well-researched and we are with Jo all the way as he slides ever deeper into an addict's hell. Just when you think he actually has a hope of getting his life back on track, he lets himself down - together with all those who have supported him - and it happens again and again. If you're looking for a happy ever after ending, this book is probably not for you, but if you're looking for an excellent read with a hopeful ending, you will love 'Drowning By Numbers.'
This is Adams second novel and there is definite improvements on the first, with flow and characterisations. The plot surrounding Joe, a now failed musician, and his spiralling descent into a drug and alcohol fueled hell sounds unpleasant but there is a lot of hope in the story and you find yourself willing Joe on to cleaup his act and refind himself and his family. I read this book following a very heavy historical novel and found it a much needed relief. Quick and easy to read, the book flows well and you want to keep reading and the chapters go past. My only negaitve i suppose was that i was waiting for a twist, potentially around the memory loss he suffered but nothing came. The ending though was good and gave you hope that he would survive but i felt there as something missing, twist wise. What that twist would be though i do not know. I would recommend this book as a realistic read where you care about the characters.