“For years he had trekked over the globe, passing everywhere under a new identity, as if at the demarcation lines on maps that signaled the boundaries of towns or provinces or countries he shed one skin and donned another. He had tried on entire pasts, entire histories, wearing them as loosely as borrowed shirts.”
(In the Chameleon’s Shadow, Fluid Stone Press, 2014)
Aaron Lugner is a chameleon. A skillful con-artist hidden in plain sight, he creates camouflage by wearing his attractiveness like a kind of cloak and blends within the visions those around him desire, preying upon their vulnerabilities. He is despicable, yet why then, like the women he romances, do we like him?
When reminders from his past return Aaron to the US, he meets Myriam, a beautiful Amerasian, one of the “dust of life” orphaned by the Vietnam War. Desiring to change and convinced he is in love, Aaron vows never to lie to her. Away from Myriam, his lies begin to take on lives of their own. With her, his split selves threaten to collide.
Molly Martin, writing for The Compulsive Reader: “Happy to recommend In the Chameleon’s Shadow for those who enjoy a good fiction filled with good writing, convincing, likable characters and enough twist and puzzlement to keep the reader turning the page.”
In the Chameleon’s Shadow was awarded a gold medallion award by B.R.A.G. Medallion.
Read the opening three chapters of In the Chameleon’s Shadow for free.
A Campaign of Deceit
“Aaron Lugner is a brilliantly conceived character: striking, sinister in his deceit yet disturbingly charming. Through Aaron, Hummel helps us recognize that deceit is omnipresent—in our obsession with how we are viewed by others and perhaps even in our base belief systems. Most notably, Hummel’s choice of protagonist helps us see how guilty we may all be when it comes to self-deceit. At times you’ll find yourself rooting for the ‘bad guy’ in this engaging web of lies.”
— Nora Rengula, author of We Lie in Shadows
In the Chameleon’s Shadow blends a retrospective vision of America’s post-Vietnam experience (and won’t we forever be a post-Vietnam nation?) with its long-standing commercialized, brand-ized, we-can-become-anything-we-want-to-be masquerade. Bravo to Hummel for making us stop, like oglers at a traffic accident, to glimpse what we must uncomfortably admit we wish to see.”
— Amy T. Real, author of Moon Pies and Other Blasphemies
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