Release Date: November 18, 2013
Jai Jai Leland has tracked Zeb Marlowe to ask for his help is finding the reason that veterans of the Lullaby Room, a top secret CIA brainwashing experiment, are dying. The official cause of death for Jai Jai’s husband is suicide, but she knows that can’t be the case. What they discover is bigger than could have ever been expected. Will they risk their lives to save the world?
The author, Ruth Harris, gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.
Set in the 70s, there is a definite undertone of camp that is completely appropriate for the era running through the novel. In the opening scenes in which Zeb and Jai Jai meet again, there is a near sexploitation dance. Jai Jai is a woman using her wiles in a man’s world. You’ve seen her in books and on film, but Jai Jai has an edge. Unlike her literary contemporaries, she is a woman that uses and yet is disconnected from her sexuality. As this character develops within the novel, she morphs from an attractive blow-up doll who travels with men who will enhance her visual impact on a room to a woman in charge and the progression is fascinating to witness. To the reader it’s clear that she’s been that in-charge woman all along who manipulates everyone around her and compels us to read to find what she’ll do next.
There is a definite slant toward the female character in [easyazon-link asin=”B007SGFODW” locale=”us”]BRAINWASHED, Killer Thrillers Series, Book #1[/easyazon-link]. Senator Chessie Tillmon is also a sassy and smart female who is determined and driven. She is described as “…a patriot, a politician and a mother, didn’t get where she was by sitting on her butt doing nothing” (page 86). We don’t know at that point what the married team of writers has in store for this character, but you know it will be big.
Chessie, Jai Jai and Zeb are certainly not the only characters. There’s a large cast of characters that can be, at times, awkward to keep straight. Victor Ressid is a great baddie. He’s the doctor who operated the brainwashing experiment and who truly feels as though he was doing good work. His “good run” runs like a river through the plot of the novel touching every character as it goes by. As a reader I focused on the plotlines as they came together and soon found that getting lost was simply no longer an option. [easyazon-link asin=”B007SGFODW” locale=”us”]BRAINWASHED, Killer Thrillers Series, Book #1[/easyazon-link] started slow, but once the story got going, it was the kind that simply was one big moment to one big moment, and truly hard to put down. [easyazon-link asin=”B007SGFODW” locale=”us”]BRAINWASHED, Killer Thrillers Series, Book #1[/easyazon-link] is a thriller in the strictest sense of the word.
It was fun to read a novel written by a married team. Michael and Ruth Harris have delivered a well-written and well-edited thriller masterpiece. It is not without its flaws, but a savvy reader will find those flaws inconsequential and enjoy the wonderful and expertly constructed roller coaster ride that is [easyazon-link asin=”B007SGFODW” locale=”us”]BRAINWASHED, Killer Thrillers Series, Book #1[/easyazon-link].
Read and excerpt and buy Brainwashed: Killer Thriller Series – Part 1 by Ruth Harris and Michael Harris on:
To read my review of [easyazon-link asin=”B007YUZYMS” locale=”us”]ZURI: A Love Story[/easyazon-link] by Ruth Harris, click here. For more information about Ruth Harris and her work visit her blog. You can connect with her on GoodReads, Pinterest and Twitter @RuthHarrisBooks.