The Blinds by Adam Sternbergh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Caesura, Texas, is a sleepy town where no one remembers their past, witnesses and criminals living out a unique form of witness protection. When Sheriff Calvin Cooper suddenly has a murder to deal with, he has his work cut out for him. Who could the killer be if he's the only one that's supposed to have a gun and half the town could be murderers?
Quite a few people on my friends list enjoyed the hell out of this one. Since I'm a cheap ass, I saved up Amazon rewards points and bought it that way. And those people who enjoyed it were right.
The Blinds reminded me of Pines more than anything else, although, like Pines, I had to think it had some of The Prisoner in its lineage.
The Blinds is the nickname for the town and the files containing the true identities of the people dwelling there. Fueled and funded by a mysterious project, people coming to The Blinds have parts of their memories blanked and everyone goes about their lives without telephone or internet, blissfully unaware of whether their next door neighbor is a killer or a snitch. Things go well for about eight years, until the killing starts...
Hard-boiled with a slight sf edge would be the best way to describe it. Other than memories being tampered with, it's a straight up crime book. Calvin Cooper pieces things together as best he can, trying to hold the town together despite a murderer in their midst, town between being a lazy loser and actually wanting to do the right thing.
The Blinds was a gripping read, with twist after twist. I read the first two hundred pages in a long sitting. The rest of the book was read in agonizing lunch hour snippets. Things quickly get out of hand once the killing starts and I wasn't sure the town would be there at the end.
The core concept is an intriguing one, a town where anyone can get a fresh start and be part of a community. The book also raises some questions about identity. Ultimately, your past will more often than not catch up with you and bite you on the taint.
I really don't have any complaints with The Blinds. At times, I felt like it was written with my tastes in mind. Four out of five stars.
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