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Wednesday 20 March 2013

Brainrush by Richard Bard

This is an outstanding novel by Richard Bard. It’s one of those books that make you wish you could read five times faster than you can to be able to keep up with the action! It’s edge-of-your-seat quality. I do have one ‘but’, however. It failed, regrettably, on the editorial side (at least as far as the edition I was given to read). There were tense and POV lapses (e.g. a ‘my’ in the third person narrative), punctuation issues, and whilst the effort to bring authenticity in the form of foreign dialogue is applaudable, it really has to be correct to carry it off. Italian and French phrases were incorrect. 

Nonetheless, I cannot fault the book in any other area: Jake Bronson is coming to terms with his terminal illness (cancer). An earthquake hits the hospital where he is undergoing an MRI scan. Rather extraordinarily, he finds, thereafter, he has almost inhuman mental powers. When he unwittingly exhibits these mental powers during an altercation in a bar, press coverage makes him an overnight sensation. A scientist in Venice (Luciano Battista) is interested…very interested…Jake might be the key to the success of his heinous experiments. From that moment on, Jake’s life explodes (almost literally) and finds himself resisting violent thugs, saving the life of a beautiful young woman and disadvantaged children, and ultimately the discoverer of something which could devastate the lives of every single living being.

This is a story that draws you in from the outset; there’s a wonderful cast of characters. There’s an unbreakable bond between Jake and his loyal friends who help him in his quest and the evil mad scientist with his crew of vile thugs provide a sharp contrast. A beautiful young and special woman bridges the gap along with the heart-tugging stories behind the autistic children fed to Battista for his experiments. Each page is turned breathlessly to the next, as the reader races from the US to Venice to Afghanistan. No sooner do you think it’s all over, then there’s another explosive situation.

The most impressive quality of this book is the authenticity behind not only the emotions of a man with only a few months to live, but the imagery of the scenes. The detail is exceptional. This is an author who really knows what he’s talking about. 

Outstanding and very, very enjoyable thriller. I do hope that this and the sequel, if there is one, are better proofread, however. I do so hate it when superb books are let down in this way.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to review it.

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