LENGTH: 40-60 k
EDITOR: Sandy Vekasy
COVER DESIGNER: Karri Klawiter
PUBLISHED BY: Createspace & KDP
Buckle your seatbelts, folks, because Blind Evil is a fast, twisted ride. The novel begins with a crime scene which our protagonist, Detective Grayson, is investigating. A couple, recently back from their honeymoon, has been murdered in their home and the bodies are clearly arranged in an intentional, ritualistic manner. It quickly becomes clear Grayson suspects his close friend, a psychiatrist named David Vincent, although he has no real evidence to prove it.
The story quickly escalates, and all too soon Grayson and his wife are in danger of the same fate as the hapless honeymoon couple. However, Grayson gives Vincent the benefit of the doubt time and time again, unable to come to terms with the fact that his good friend is fit to rival Hannibal Lecter. Vincent is, indeed, a dangerous killer, but he is not portrayed as a soulless villain. The author, Eric Praschan, does a good job of delving into the psychology behind the deranged psychiatrist, and leaves his readers with plenty to think about.
Despite the riveting plot and the intriguing psychological elements, the trouble with Blind Evil is on par with a low-budget horror movie; the one that has you standing up and yelling at the screen, “don't do that!” Time after time, Grayson and his wife are lured into escalating dangerous situations by their good friend the serial killer, even though they know his true intentions. This technique might be excusable when your protagonists are portrayed as easy victims, but Grayson and his wife are portrayed as extremely smart, calculated individuals - the sort who don't fall for simple tricks. Grayson is a detective, after all, and supposedly he’s a good one. I found myself unable to come to terms with the contradiction of his character, as he fails to recognize the danger of his situation again and again. That said, the portrayal of Vincent is chilling indeed, and the psychological aspect of the book has limitless potential.
Fans of horror and thrillers, especially psychological thrillers, and anyone who likes a book that raises their pulse will not be disappointed! Eric Praschan is a seamless wordsmith, and he never lets up on the pace. However, if you’re the type that needs solid character development, look elsewhere. I found the protagonists to be somewhat unbelievable.
3.5 stars: a well-conceived plot with characters that fall short of their potential.
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Amy R. Biddle, co-founder and editor at Underground Book Reviews, was raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains and has since made a living on the great blue sea. Find out more at www.amyrbiddle.com or check out her book, The Atheist's Prayer.