PUBLICATION DATE: OCTOBER 15, 2012
t took me a few days to begin reading Double Blind by Brandilyn Collins. I questioned myself. Did I really want to read it? Lisa Newberry, the main character, is a deeply depressed twenty-nine-year-old who is mourning several losses and the aftermath of personal trauma. A widow, she feels God had turned His back on her. It really sounded depressing and she sounded like a hopeless character.
It was immediately obvious that the author had done intense research for this psychological thriller. It is not at all what I expected and the science fiction quality flowed right along smoothly. Lisa had submitted to a series of applications and interviews for a chance to take part in a medical trial. She aches for this last chance to be normal again. She wants to have a tiny chip implanted in her brain that the staff of Cognoscenti promises will emit electrical pulses to rid her of the debilitating depression.
After the surgery, things go wild. As the author weaves an increasingly intricate story the book became more fascinating and hard to put down. Lisa gets much more than she bargains for after the brain chip is stitched in place and she recovers from anesthesia. Symptoms (including a few that are repeated too many times for my liking) are totally unexpected and intriguing. The Empowerment Chip takes her to a place no human would chose to go. This book easily crosses over into chilling horror fiction which is a favorite of mine. Brandilyn Collins had a great idea and pulled it off quite well. This is the first time I’ve read one of her books. It won’t be the last.
isa Newberry was drowning in a sea of depression. Following three miscarriages, the death of her husband, and a brutal attack—all within a three year period—Lisa is no longer able to live her life in peace. After struggling for so long, she believes she’s found a solution to her problem when she is accepted into a clinical trial for a cutting-edge medical device that offers hope to those suffering from depression and anxiety. Deciding the Empowerment Chip is her best opportunity to return to a normal life, Lisa has this tiny device implanted in her brain and through electronic impulses it should help her to control her feelings of helplessness. However, something goes drastically wrong and the chip she receives implants into her brain what appears to be memories of a brutal murder. But is she really seeing someone else’s memories or are these panic attacks? Unable to convince the chip’s manufacturer of the defect, Lisa is left to unravel the mysteries of not only how she obtained these memories, but who they belong to. In a fast-paced, extremely easy to read novel, Double Blind is an intriguing book which explores the dangers of medical advancements in the wrong hands.
Double Blind is one of those books where I intended to read just a few pages and before I knew it I had read a lot of pages. This story is so easy to read—fast-paced and intriguing with a strong mystery/suspense element. I routinely found myself completely lost in the story working hard to figure out the disturbing situation Lisa found herself in.
However, this is one of the few times in which the first-person perspective didn’t completely work for me—especially towards the end. As the story reaches its climax I wanted to see the events from the outside rather than from Lisa’s perspective. There were points in which her perspective became a distraction and pulled me from the story. I normally very much enjoy the insider view provided by the first person perspective, but it didn’t always work for me this time around.
As expected, Brandilyn Collins includes a cast of strong female characters. Even Lisa, who is vulnerable and hurting, is still extremely capable of holding her ground. I love the mix of individual personalities that Collins includes and enjoyed watching the various relationships develop and mesh together.
Double Blind offers an extremely intriguing storyline which is quite difficult to unravel. The presentation is such that the reader is never certain where everyone stands. The story is very streamline and contains little to no fluff, so there are few red herrings to chase. However, even without rabbit trails, the book maintains its mystery.
The post-climax stumbles just a bit though. I am not completely satisfied with the ending. While the revelation of what and why things happened is well-fleshed out, I couldn’t completely accept it. Given the complexity of the situation, the explanation felt too simple.
Overall I very much enjoyed Double Blind. It offers long-time readers of Collin’s work the same seat-belt suspense we’ve come to expect with strong leading female characters and an excellent mystery. The technology presented is quite interesting and is provided in a manner that does not slow the pace of the story. A word of caution though, before picking up Double Blind, make sure all the chores are done and there are no urgent appointments—it’s an easy book to get lost in and difficult to put down.