elf: Red & blue faces (Face Off)
[personal profile] elf posting in [community profile] sps
I took a chance on this a while back, and am very glad I did. I think it was on sale at the time; I have trouble believing I'd pay $3 for a book entirely outside of my normal genre choices. (Yeah, it's not much, but there are plenty of $3 books *in* my genre range that I'm not buying yet.)

From the description at Smashwords: Argus Ward is a former U.S. Secret Service agent who runs a protection agency catering to the rich and famous. His best-kept secret--which he shares with lawyers and doctors and even psychiatrists--is his status as a high-functioning paranoid schizophrenic. One day, with little warning, he turns psychotic for the first time in twenty years. He lands in a secure psychiatric facility, charged with the murder of his most famous client, high tech industry billionaire John Helms, the wealthiest man in America.

Also notes: Best Mystery Novel, Red Adept Annual Indie Awards 2010. Which is why I was willing to try it; I'm intrigued by anything focusing on non-neurotypical characters, and if it won an award, the writing must at least be decent.

The writing's better than decent, and the juxtaposition of growing insanity and piecing together clues is intense. Argus, the protagonist, has to sort out which "facts" are trustworthy and which are delusions, which speculations are reasonable and which are chemically-induced paranoia. (Non-chemically induced paranoia? Getting access to his meds, which he knows he needs, is part of the storyline.)

The author has more books on Amazon (and maybe other places) but not at Smashwords, which is sad for me, because I'd love to try his other works.

Crack-Up by Eric Christopherson Smashwords Link; Kindle link; Barnes & Noble link; Kobo link.


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