BLIND TRAVELER DOWN A DARK RIVER
BY ROBERT P. BENNETT

Review by Andrea Maloney


Douglas Abledan is a blind man of the future living in a world filled with earthquakes and whole areas of the country as we know it are gone. He uses a GPS unit to get about in New York City where he lives. One day going about his normal routine his GPS device fails him and suddenly what he “sees” is something happening in a different part of New York City. He finds himself on a street where a drive by shooting is taking place. Then just as suddenly as it happened his device corrects itself and he is back where he is supposed to be.

He goes on about his business assuming it was just a malfunction and nothing more. But the next day he reads about the drive by shooting death of John Haggarty the CEO of Unimat Corporation, a company that has developed a revolutionary new product that will replace steel and also help buildings to withstand the force of an earthquake.

Abledan goes to the police but they don’t believe him. As far as they are concerned it was a drive by shooting and nothing more. But Abledan believes it was not a random shooting based on what he saw thru his GPS unit so he sets out on his own to uncover the truth about Haggarty’s death. The more he looks into it the more he is convinced that it was not a random death. For Unimat had many enemies including an environmental group that blames technology for the increase in earthquakes and feels the new building material will release hazardous gasses plus the steel unions who are afraid Unimat’s new product will cause steel workers to lose many of their jobs. But by digging into the business of Unimat, Abledan may just find himself in a deadly race to outwit a ruthless killer.

Blind Traveler Down a Dark River had all the makings of a brilliant story but unfortunately the writing at times was wooden and the dialogue very stiff and clunky. I was constantly pulled out of the story by dialogue that just was too clunky and writing that just didn’t ring true.

The characters didn’t have depth, most of them were pretty unbelievable and unlikable. Including Haggarty, the workaholic CEO with the beautiful alcoholic wife, Eddie, the not so educated but likeable hot dog vendor with the sick wife and the psychotic lesbian assassin who loves to kill. Abledan was more developed than most of the other characters but he wasn’t very likeable. He always seemed to think he was better than everybody including the police whom he felt were just a bunch of bumbling incompetents.

Considering it was a story of the future I never really felt as if it took place in the future. There wasn’t enough descriptive detail to really give you a sense of what the New York City of the future was like.

Despite this I would really like to see a more developed and better edited sequal to this story with the character of Abledan. The premise of a blind sleuth investigating criminal doings in the future is one I think would make a great story if the writing was improved upon, the characters better developed and the dialogue more believable.


ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Andrea Maloney is a stay at home mom and jewelry designer who loves to read. Her favorite books are mysteries, suspense and thrillers. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two daughters and one large cat.


Return to Fall 2006 Table of Contents

© 2006 SPINETINGLER Magazine - All rights reserved
FEATURED BOOKS

Baby Love
If It Bleeds
Behind You!
No Help For The Dying
A Kind of Puritan
A Thankless Child
A Certain Malice