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Dennis Dorgan
The Narcissism of Small Differences: A Noir Detective Novel
The Narcissism of Small Differences is my debut novel. It is a fast-paced police procedural that grew out of my interest in politics, history, law enforcement, Russian criminal gangs, dark matter, Ojibwe culture, the subconscious mind, dreams, psychopaths, the many forms of narcissism, and the City of St. Paul’s criminal-friendly past.These all came together in a dream several years ago that led me to write this book. I had several purposes in writing this off-center novel. First, I wanted it to be entertaining. If readers don't laugh, or at lest smile, every few pages or so, I will have failed. But I also wanted to appeal to the reader's intellect. While the book is certainly about The Narcissism of Small Differences, it also deals with theories about the multiverse, ideas regarding memory and the sense of self, as well as an exploration of psychopathy v. the "normal" mind. Finally I wanted to bust open the genre of mystery-thriller-detective fiction. My sense is that the genre has become formulaic, predictable and tired. It needs a hard kick in the groin and I hope this novel delivered it.
Bookview Review

Dorgan debuts with this richly detailed, intricately plotted, and expertly-paced police procedural, featuring the endearing Conor Delaney. As the head of Delphi Investigations and Research, Conor has enough on his plate dealing with white-collar frauds such as money laundering and corporate delinquencies. 

When a brutal killing, involving a member of the police force, comes to Delaney’s attention, he has no problem jumping in. But soon, a series of similar ritual killings send chaos in the city. Delaney must depend on his decades-old investigation skills and spiritual guidance if he wants to solve the case. Readers will be particularly enthralled by the genuine emotions evoked in the course of Delaney’s quiet conversations with Cody.

 His connection with Mackey and Grandmother Raven is endearing. The tension is enhanced by Dorgan's unique take on the otherworldly and spirituality. Close escapes and the increasing suspense as Delaney dig deeper into the killings make this an exhilarating read.

 Fluid prose and vivid descriptions entice, and the tense finale, paced at breakneck speed, will have readers flipping pages fast. With plenty of grit and human drama along the way, this taut police procedural will appeal to any fan of tightly constructed, seasoned mysteries. This is crime drama at its best.

Literary Titan

The Narcissism of Small Differences


Posted by Literary Titan

The Narcissism of Small Differences is a riveting detective story with some quirks that make it truly unique and an absolute page-turner. The concept of a serial killer on the loose and ties to the mob is not new, but the author manages to offer new twists and turns that make the narrative fascinating and well-worth a read. Conor Delaney specializes in reading people, partially due to a mysterious spiritual connection from his youth. He is called in to help with a peculiar case of serial killings by the police but the aims of this vicious killer are unknown. Filled with witty one-liners and jokes, The Narcissism of Small Differences is like no other murder mystery.

The Narcissism of Small Differences, in addition to being well-written and detailed, has a lot of neat aspects that make it a one-of-a-kind book. The spiritual and mythological elements blend well with the more procedural aspects to create a new sort of mystery. The book itself opens with an insight into Conor’s past and his uncanny ability to understand human behavior. The reader will experience the thrilling process of toxicology reports and crime scene analysis, but the mere surface facts are not enough to solve the mystery. The interjections from Conor’s brother or subconscious and inclusion of different types of belief systems adds to the sense of ethereal forces working in the background. The author does a fantastic job of keeping the reader constantly guessing and questioning who will be hurt next and who is the killer.

In addition to its eccentric and fascinating blend of both the natural and supernatural, The Narcissism of Small Differences has compelling characters and parts of its plot that mirror real life, making the narrative truly three-dimensional. All of the characters have their strengths and lovable flaws that make them more life-like and intriguing. For example, Conor’s unique abilities are countered by a charming awkwardness that makes him more relatable and realistic. The book also lightly addresses some of the common issues that society faces as they relate to the crimes such as the relationship between race and law enforcement or the cultural genocide of First Nations peoples. One thing I did notice in the book was the somewhat inconsistent capitalization of nicknames throughout, but this does not hinder the reader’s enjoyment of the novel.

The Narcissism of Small Differences is a thrilling mystery novel that will be enjoyed by anyone who likes realistic crime novels with fascinating characters in the trenches of a puzzling mystery.

Pages: 279 | ASIN: B09D2DZSG5

the Prairies Book Review

Clever, eloquent, and emotionally revealing… An absolute stunner.

Insanity and evil permeate Dorgan’s outstanding debut, featuring Conor Delaney, the head of Delphi Investigations and Research, who finds himself entangled in a serial killing investigation. Delaney is content working in the background, but when a series of brutal killings rock the city, he has no option but to step in and take on the investigation. As he painstakingly unravels a tangled web of hidden betrayals and deceit, shocking secrets come to surface, threatening to shatter the peace of the city. Dorgan’s plot is an intricately woven, dense web of human afflictions, old hurts, enduring friendships, and deadly betrayals, but the book’s strength lies in his portrayal of his large cast of diverse characters, particularly Delaney, a rather enigmatic figure, nostalgic for his yesterday, who has managed to come out unscarred off his traumatic past. His sharp intellect assisted by his spiritual connections and insights into human nature make him an unforgettable hero. Dorgan is an expert when it comes to hiding clues in plain sight and does an outstanding job of making readers invested in the story. The almost unbearable level of tension throughout keeps the pages flying by. The reveal of the killer’s identity will come as a genuine gut-punch. Along the way, Dorgan strips bare the universal human concerns of trauma, identity, madness, and individual struggles. Readers will look forward to seeing more of Delaney in what one hopes will be a long series. Fans of sophisticated, gritty crime thrillers will want to take a look. Dorgan is an author to watch.