As anyone who has suffered from depression will tell you, it's a debilitating illness. It robs one of sleep, a healthy appetite and can even cause physical pain. Watch television for just a short amount of time and commercials for anti-depression medications will inevitably appear on the screen. Medications to help those that deal with depression and anxiety on a daily basis is a big business for pharmaceutical companies. A new suspense novel by Christian fiction author Brandilyn Collins explores the world of medical research and helping those with depression; however, "Double Blind" is just another of this author's books that will have readers on the edge of their seats.
For the last three years, it seems like Lisa Newberry has been cursed. She has suffered from numerous miscarriages, her husband was killed in a car crash and she nearly died when she was mugged. She can't seem to go on and will do almost anything to stop feeling the way she does. When she gets the opportunity to take part in a medical study that will implant a small microchip in her brain in an attempt to rid her of depression, she jumps at the chance. However, almost immediately after undergoing surgery to place the chip in her brain, she begins having dreams of a murder. Soon she is seeing visions of the murder even when she isn't sleeping and she is seeing the events take place through the murderer's eyes.
As in her medical suspense novel "Over the Edge," Collins makes sure to provide enough medical information to make the story interesting, but not so much that it overwhelms the reader. From the moment Lisa Newberry receives the brain chip implant to the moment the last page is turned, the story moves along at a fast pace. Most of the story takes place over a period of just three weeks, as the main character goes from severe depression to elation that she feels better to terror when she realizes someone has been murdered.
As she attempts to understand what is happening to her and convince the police that she isn't crazy, she is also dealing with a mother who she has never really gotten along with. The mother-daughter relationship of these two characters adds another element to the story that is interesting and realistic. At the same time, Lisa is trying to understand how God could allow all these things to happen to her. Lisa's thoughts and inner dialogue seem incredibly realistic; anyone who has ever felt that they can't hear God speaking to them, no matter how hard they try, will relate to this character on some level.
Collins is a Bay Area resident who has had her own serious medical issues in the past. When her novels use the San Francisco area as their setting and they have some medical aspect to them, they ring true. She may have not experienced exactly what the character is, but her vivid imagination and suspenseful storytelling style make each person in the book seem like someone who could live down the street. If realistic and suspenseful novels are what you enjoy reading, pick up "Double Blind" or any other book written by Brandilyn Collins.
The Examiner received a copy of "Double Blind" (B&H Books, Oct. 2012) from the publisher.