William D. Colella
Another book review, but this time more than just a story, this book is an education all by itself – LOVED IT!
On the heels of a breakup with her fiance, pharmacology graduate student Candice Lamont discovers an ancient process to reveal hidden truths and facilitate the sharing of human memories, a process that utilizes remnant traces of fossilized medicinal flora found only in select areas of the southwestern desert. The visions she’s had as a result reveal things about her former fiance, a prior boyfriend named Justin, and her best friend, Brenda, who is a journalist working the political beat for a newspaper in Los Angeles. Candice sets out to acquire more evidence about the process of revealing hidden truths, a journey which takes her to the northern reaches of the Sonoran Desert and a small town built near a mysterious fossil excavation site. Candice soon learns more than she ever wanted to know about her friend, former lovers, corporate corruption, and the unsettling changes she must make in her own life to grow and succeed.
In a town that doesn’t exist on the GPS, where all communication to the rest of the country is monitored and controlled, a scientific research facility works on techniques to read the memories of others, without their permission, under the guise of helping psychologically damaged individuals. Linking the worlds of paleontology and pharmacology with psychology , this story is, at times, heavy on terminology, but it is so well described that you can follow the plot effortlessly. Admittedly, you can learn a thing or two here, but the overwhelming desire is to work out the mystery that is causing all of the inhabitants to fall sick.
There are some long paragraphs in this story, and the level of detail is incredible, leaving the reader breathless in more ways than one. The characters are well-defined and believable. Although at the outset it is sometimes difficult to empathize with the characters, as the story develops so do their personalities. The style of writing is very effective, lurching from witty to sad and frequently to threatening and tense. The pace picks up speed in the second half and left me racing to the end.
I totally enjoyed this book, the revelation of what was actually happening in this town was a slow-burner, the author drip-feeds several hints to cause doubt and confusion. When the truth is made known, the reality is all too believable, and therefore scary. A good tale, when the bad guys get a taste of their own evil brand of medicine, yet it still leaves me with a sense of foreboding that somewhere in the world, these thought-readings skills are being developed, for all of the wrong reasons.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves psychological mysteries. But you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?