Review of Trance State, a novel by John Case
I am reviewing the paperback version of the novel.
Published by Arrow Books in 2002, ISBN 9780099416487, 538 pages, cover price £6.99.
Genre: - Thriller.
The novel is set in America and Europe.
The Institute of Global Studies in Zurich appears to be the sort of philanthropic organisation that Lew McBride, a brilliant young American scientist, wants to work with. As he becomes further involved with the Institute, in 1996, he finds his life takes a horrific turn.
Moving forward to 2000, in Washington, Adrienne Cope's sister Nikki has died. Adrienne found her sister electrocuted in her bath. The Police suspect suicide, but Adrienne is not so sure. She has had a strange relationship with Nikki over the years and at one time did not see or hear from her for several years.
Nikki had been a reclusive kind of person, living her life quietly, alone but for her pet dog. Apart from visits to her psychiatrist, Jeff Duran, Nikki saw few people. She did not work, yet always seemed to have money.
Adrienne and Nikki had been brought up in care, living with foster parents who treated them well. Nikki however, was convinced her childhood had been blighted by abuse of the worst possible kind, Satanic sexual abuse. She told her psychiatrist of an older sister who had been brutally raped and murdered by the children's Satan worshipping foster father.
Nikki Cope had also tried to get Adrienne to speak about her experiences at the hands of the evil cult, but Adrienne had no recollection of any such events and her denial caused friction between the sisters. Nor did Adrienne have any knowledge of another sister and as eldest sister Nikki had been born when their mother was barely 15, it seemed unlikely to say the least.
After Nikki's death, Adrienne began the difficult task of dealing with her sister's affairs. To her horror she finds nothing is what it seems and in desperation she hires a private detective to help her. The detective discovers that not only is Jeff Duran not a psychiatrist, he did not attend the colleges and schools he credits with his education. Mysteriously, Jeff Duran is a nobody, literally, he does not appear on any government records, he has no traceable history and the only Jeff Duran born on the date the psychiatrist gives as his day of birth, died in infancy.
As Adrienne and Edward Bonilla, the detective, delve deeper into the mystery surrounding Nikki Cope and Jeff Duran, they open up a can of worms that is deadly, dangerous and downright shocking.
**My Thoughts and Conclusion**
I have read a couple of novels by this author and on the whole found them to be very good. I like the author's writing style and his way of producing a thrilling story with crisp, snappy dialogue and believable characters.
This novel is a real page turner. The plot is an intricate one and as with any good thriller, there are many twists and turns along the way. The storyline is a fast paced, exciting one, with a gripping plot, an interesting take on the subject matter and a very well-drawn cast of characters.
I particularly liked the tenacious Adrienne Cope. I felt the author had really taken this character to the brink of insanity and back again as she endeavoured to uncover her older sister's secrets. As a trainee lawyer, her instincts for assessing a person's character were brought into play and dismissed again, as she discovered that no one was what they seemed and as a result, she found herself fleeing for her life.
The outcome was one that was pretty much a foregone conclusion once three quarters of the novel had been read, but even so, it still had the power to shock. There was no gratuitous violence in this book, but it was hinted at, and the reader is left in no doubt as to what was happening. In my opinion this is all to the author's credit, it would have been all too easy to write this book as a full blown horror story or blood fest!
I think the word 'enjoyable' is possibly not the correct one to describe my reading experience of Trance State. I found it absorbing, I found it thought provoking and in a way, enthralling.
I had been considering trying hypnosis to help me give up smoking prior to reading this novel; I've now had second thoughts! A cryptic statement? Yes it is, but I have no intention of spoiling this novel for others, so if you want to know what I mean, you'll have to read the book!
My thanks for reading this review.
© brittle1906 April 2013
**UPDATE** I recently re-read this novel and have to say it was just as good second time around!
N.B. My review can be found on other sites under the same user name.