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Double Blind

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Double Blind by Brandilyn Collins

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

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"A psychological thriller with abnormal twists and turns, Double Blind, is full of mind games and terrifying chaos."

Recently widowed and still reeling from a near-fatal attack, twenty-nine-year-old Lisa Newberry can barely survive day in and day out. An opportunity to participate in a medical trial for a tiny brain chip that emits electrical pulses to heal severe depression offers a glimmer of hope.

When she receives her letter of acceptance for the Cognoscenti trial, Lisa is cautiously filled with both enlightening encouragement and consuming fear. She has nothing to lose. In a double-blind experiment, neither the individuals nor the researchers know who belongs to the control group and who belongs to the experimental group. Can she relinquish control and become vulnerable to brain surgery? What if she receives only the placebo?

The whirlwind of paranoia gives way to confusion and conspiracy. A continual twisting of her present day reality forced by vivid nightmares of a murder pushes Lisa to the brink. What she is experiencing appears to be much more than post-operation residue.

Her less-than-supportive mom flies in from Denver to find out what’s going on with her daughter. The redemptive element of the storyline is played out well in their relationship.

It is intriguing to witness how Lisa and her mom also piece together the puzzle of Lisa’s debilitating vision. Lisa’s relationship with her best friend, Sherry, takes a backseat, which was disappointing. I wanted more development or refinement with them.

Lisa’s internal conflict is the storyline in the beginning while the “David versus Goliath” perspective becomes the headliner to keep the reader turning the pages. Intensity grows at every crossroad and with each decision.

Brandliyn always pens solid, believable characters. It is not difficult to empathize with her protagonist and other members of the supporting cast. Collins research into the maze of the memory chip world is thorough and well-detailed.

A psychological thriller with abnormal twists and turns, Double Blind, is full of mind games and terrifying chaos. The climatic, unpredictable conclusion bordered on the insane. You’re left wondering . . . who would have known? Be prepared for intrigue and the unexpected!

Dale Lewis now mans the front desk at the EFCA (The Evangelical Free Church of America) National Office in Minneapolis, MN. He was the graphic designer/pre-press production artist for over twelve years before being asked to step into this new role. Prior to that, he was the publications manager at his alma mater, Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN in the public relations office as well as the adviser to the college’s yearbook. He's a director/actor/writer for the Hope Church (Oakdale, MN) adult drama worship team and was the senior editor of the church newsletter. He's also written two collections of poetry, “Whispers of Assurance” and “On Life: Constant Communion Without Ceasing” as well as a devotional entitled “Eternal Education.” He and his family live in Oakdale, Minnesota.