Book Review: Blind Rage by Terri Persons

2241804Title: Blind Rage
Author: Terri Persons
Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Romance
Publisher: Doubleday Publishing
Publication Date: May 20th 2008
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A string of troubled young women committing suicide haunts the Twin Cities, and FBI Agent Bernadette Saint Clare has a hunch that these women didn’t die by their own hand…
Bernadette’s going to need some serious evidence to back up her theory, but her best lead is an uncooperative psychiatrist who treated one of the victims. When Saint Clare resorts to using her second sight to dig deep into the doctor’s past, she’ll discover dark secrets as complex as they are disturbing.
With a cast of characters including a partner who’s no longer among the living and a handsome boss who’s available, this is the most original psychological thriller you’re bound to read all year.

In Blind Rage, young girls are killing themselves. First by jumping from a bridge into the Missisippi River, then by drowning themselves in a bathtub. Everywhere she looks, detective Bernadette St. Clare sees a connection between these suicides and water. But are they truly suicides, or is something more sinister going on? With her second sight and her abilities to see ghosts, Bernadette St. Clare is the ideal person to solve this mystery. But the suspects are plenty, including a young psychiatrist and his brother. Can she find out who the real culprit is in time before someone else gets hurt? Solving this mystery means digging into the past, and not everyone is keen on her finding out their secrets…

I haven’t read the first one in this series, Blind Spot, but it appears to be unnecessary. I could follow the plot of this book well enough. First, we’re introduced to our main character, Bernadette St. Claire who’s a police officer and who sees ghosts. Awesome combination, but it does cause a lot of tension Bernadette probably doesn’t want. Bernadette has a strange relationship with her boss, Tony Garcia, the other main character. At times, there’s a lot of romantic tension between them, but sometimes they also push each other away in a cat and mouse game that reminded me of the relationship between Temperance Brennan and Seeley Booth in the TV Series Bones. I loved the underlying romantic tension and the developing relationship. It was very well done and believable. I also felt like I could relate to Bernadette from the start, although we have practically nothing in common. She’s a bit of a loner, hides her ability to see ghosts, and isn’t all that talkative, but she’s a great detective and willing to fight to find out the truth, which I admired a lot.

Apart from the intriguing characters, Blind Rage has a pretty straight-foward plot. Alleged suicides on college girls with mental problems turn out to be murders after all. It’s up to Bernatte and her boss to find out what’s happening, and most importantly, who’s behind it. While there are a handful of suspects, I was a bit disappointed I could pick out the culprit early on in the novel. The mystery and the reason why the murders happened is well thought-through and original. It may’ve been used before – isn’t every idea used at some point in some form or other? – but I haven’t read a lot of thrillers that focus on this particular event in the character’s history to explain why they turn out as a murderer. So while the concept behind it was definitely intriguing, the lack of complexity in solving the mystery was a disappointment. I hate it when I can pinpoint the culprit before the final pages, and unfortunately I knew early on in this book. Not enough suspects to choose from, and not enough twist and turns to keep me guessing.

I did enjoy the book though, and read it in one setting. Parts of it were dark and disturbing, and I think I loved those the most. To be able to take a quick look in how the antagonist is thinking was a revelation as well, as was the reason behind the killing. Bernadette St. Clare makes an intriguing main character, especially with her ability to see ghosts. The writing was solid and kept me turning the pages. I even lost track of time while reading and nearly missed my bus stop.

I recommend Blind Rage to all fans of thrillers and suspense novels. It may not be the best book out there, but it’s definitely a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. If I get the chance to, I’ll definitely read Blind Spot, another book by this author.

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