Publication Date: February 2018 from Faber (available Now on Kindle)
Source: Review Copy
Imagine a place populated by criminals – people plucked from their lives, with their memories altered, who’ve been granted new identities and a second chance. Welcome to The Blinds, a dusty town in rural Texas populated by misfits who don’t know if they’ve perpetrated a crime or just witnessed one. All they do know is that they opted into the programme and that if they try to leave, they will end up dead.
For eight years, Sheriff Calvin Cooper has kept an uneasy peace – but after a suicide and a murder in quick succession, the town’s residents revolt. Cooper has his own secrets to protect, so when his new deputy starts digging, he needs to keep one step ahead of her – and the mysterious outsiders who threaten to tear the whole place down. The more he learns, the more the hard truth is revealed: The Blinds is no sleepy hideaway, it’s simmering with violence and deception, heartbreak and betrayal, and it’s fit to burst.
Having been a HUGE fan of both Shovel Ready and Near Enemy from this author to say I was very happy to see “The Blinds” land on the doormat would be putting it mildly. Turns out, although this is very different, I loved it just as much, cleverly imaginative with some top notch divisive characters and a real western vibe about it that I adored.
The Blinds is a town like no other. Part prison, although you can leave if you wish and part social experiment, it houses ex criminals (or possibly witnesses) who have no idea what crime they may have committed. Having had a partial or full memory wipe prior to arriving they all live in sort of a little social bubble, a community both divided and united, cut off completely from the outside world. Into this we come, just after a suicide and a murder – destroying the uneasy peace and creating all kinds of questions for Sheriff Calvin Cooper..
This is a rocking good read, providing both mystery and a hugely thought provoking central theme. Nobody in this story is exactly who they appear to be, nothing is exactly as it looks and as each new day unfolds new events and new revelations abound. It is an addictive and intelligently woven tale which is also utterly gripping. I was riveted by the idea’s entertained here, got emotionally involved with all the characters and was actually bereft when I finished it and had to leave them all.
The characters pop, the setting is claustrophobic yet wide reaching and the writing is, as before with Adam Sternbergh, unique in style and strong in substance – beautifully immersing the reader into the moment. I loved it. I’m a fan. I also couldn’t help but think what a binge worthy Netflix show this would make. If only wishing made it so…