His Victims Are Powerless He Is In Control This Is His Revenge And He S Only Just Begun.Three University Scientists Are Found Dead In A Gruesome Murder Suicide, And The Only Suspect In The Case, Victor Lazar, Is Quickly Captured When The Spate Of Violent Suicides Follows Him To Prison He Is Moved To Solitary Confinement, Reserved For The Highest Risk Inmates And Then His Assigned Psychologist Inexplicably Takes His Own Life.Alex Madison, A Former Forensic Psychologist Turned Private Therapist, Is Brought In To Interview Victor He Suspects That Victor Is Controlling His Victims, Somehow Coaxing Them Into A Suggestive Trance It Seems Like Science Fiction, But As Alex Digs Deeper He Uncovers A Frightening Reality Of Secret Research And Cruel Experimentation And The Perpetrators Are Closer To Home Than He Could Ever Have Imagined.Too Late, Alex Learns The True Extent Of What Victor Is Capable Of And Who He S After With Everything He Holds Dear At Risk, Can Alex Take Control Of A Dangerous Mind Before It Takes Control Of Him Abandoned at about 80 pages A great premise and lots of potential but I couldn t get past the clunky and rather flat prose. It is possible to be intrigued with a story but also be disenchanted with the arrogance of the main character, and such was the case here Alex Madison is a philandering jerk, who seems to be aimless and without any sense of purpose He s a miserable soul, and while I didn t like him at all, I still had to see how things would get resolved While I was somewhat caught off guard with a twist of one of the characters near the end of the story, I found most of the plot predictable I didn t feel like the author explained the chemistry between a couple of the characters very well at all, and so I didn t buy into their relationship at all This was just an OK read for me, nothing spectacular. Despite a promising start this novel slowly devolves into a bad episode of the X files A celebrated clinical psychologist, Alex, takes on the rare forensic case He is to examine a strange Romanian prisoner who was found at the scene of a brutal murder suicide Seems like a lot of people kill themselves when this prisoner is around But Alex has all the usual baggage., a divorced wife he still loves, a precocious brat, plenty of angst and guilt which he assuages with an addiction to Xanax The case unfolds predictably with this supposedly brilliant man doing incredibly stupid things I was disappointed with this book the prose is flat and Alex is a bore The confinement of the prisoner is definitely not believable. at most he was a witness and the immigration hold was just a sham and a weak one at that The plot was one I ve seen and enjoyed on the X Files among others There was potential but it was quickly lost A slog to read through, pass. Finished reading July 4th 2019 We understand so much, yet so little Delving into people s minds is an immature science, even for those of us who have studied it for years A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Thomas Mercer in exchange for an honest review Thank you view spoiler I admit it was hook, line and sinker when I saw the cover of Trance and read the blurb The promise of a dangerous character with the ability to control minds sounded absolutely fantastic, and there was no way I was going to be able to resist reading it It might have been that I had set my expectations too high, because unfortunately I can t say I was convinced by the story itself and I ended up having mixed thoughts I still think the premise of this story is absolutely engrossing and probably the strongest aspect of this book The suspect of this story, Victor Lazar, is a fascinatingly disturbing character his mental ability makes this story step on the border of science fiction and paranormal activity and without doubt gives Trance a unique touch As a result, it is hard to place Trance into a single genre and box, and instead we have an interesting mix of elements and storylines It was especially fascinating to read about Victor s past and everything that happened in Romania It might not be all that credible, but if you keep your mind open and don t mind a sci fi feel, you will find it to be an intriguing angle.Now we arrive at one of the problems I had with Trance the main character Alex Madison On its own, I could really appreciate the psychology angle of this story Instead of focusing on the crime and detective elements, Trance is about trying to understand Victor Lazam and using psychology to analyze what goes on in his mind The thing is Alex basically is a spineless and despicable person a pathetic whiner who is addicted to Xanax and an adulterer at that I found the characters in general to be unlikeable, but my aversion to Alex made it very hard to keep invested in the story or care about what happened to them Victor, disturbing as he was, at least made for an interesting character Alex not so much I also found part of the plot and character development to be rather unbelievable and this lack of credibility kind of put a damper on things Things were too conveniently connected and the transition between different scenes and chapters wasn t always all that fluid I also struggled with the abrupt ending, and found the final scenes to be rather lacking I still think the premise of Trance is simply captivating and the genre fluidity gave the story an unique touch, but sadly I ended up having mixed thoughts about the execution hide spoiler Psychological crime fiction with horror science fantasy elements 3.5 Stars The premise is original with a well thought out serial murderer storyline that includes a villain that terrifies a flawed, Xanax addicted protagonist and horror born of science fantasy The atmosphere is appropriately dark and sometimes desperate As a whole, the writing is good, but I had difficulties with the flash backs forwards, which were often awkwardly executed None of the characters were particularly likable, so I followed the creepy but often pitiable POV of Victor Lazar, the villain who suffered horrific abuse as a child Victor survived his brutal life in an orphanage and became a formidable murderer Less interesting but necessary to the story the soul revealing POV of psychologist Alex Madison, the protagonist whose middle upper class childhood ticked all the boxes for psychological scars Long, angsty passages about Alex s thoughts and feelings about the three women in his life highlight the fact that Alex was a relationship car crash I expected deeper background on Alex Madison s father and his part in the science underlying the storyline The female characters are less developed, but IMHO had the author taken time to layer Sophie and Natalia s characters, the story especially the denouement might have been powerful Trigger warnings Beginning on page one, there are graphic descriptions of people dying being killed The killing bloodletting has a creepy, voyeuristic feel, especially from the killer s POV There are also graphic descriptions of child abuse psychological and physical because child abuse and murders propel the plot and adds credibility to the science behind the premise.If you enjoy reading psychological fiction, please consider my review with a tablespoon of salt I prefer mysteries police procedurals and speculative fiction Trance was my choice for Kindle s June First Reads. Maybe it s a good story Maybe not What s for certain is the writing sucks Example Alex slipped on his suit Being as the suit in question is not a boiler suit, how the heck did he SLIP it on Too many good stories written by competent writers out there to waste time with this. Agonizing..I seriously struggled to finish reading this book after several chapters into the story I was hooked on the storyline, too curious to learn how it ended to stop what turned into an agonizing journey Maybe part of the problem was that it was so well written that the descriptions were too detailed The main vehicle used to carry the story along were the thoughts of a very damaged and completely self obsessed main character I really didn t warm to any of the characters but this guy was a whining loser and his thoughts were boring after the first few chapters.I felt trapped on a hamster wheel of self pittying rumination Good plot idea, technically well executed but using a character who was too flawed to care about. A SIMPLE MAN S REVIEW Bleh The story promises some sort of supernatural thriller , but since the author explains the mysterious skill pretty early on, the supernatural element quickly vanishes And for the thriller part The story is quite predictable and you ll have it all figured out WAY before the end The idea behind the mysterious skill of the antagonist is pretty interesting It sort of takes what we already know about psychology and pushes it to an eleven or thirteen, but you d have to read the book to get that joke There s a few Derren Brown shows out there that give you some insight into what is possible that s the scary part of this whole book Unfortunately, the protagonist is a complete ass Why would anyone want to read another book with him as the main character He s selfish and annoying, but not in a redeemable way It s actually hard to not actively root against him This book had a few interesting parts but was mostly about a guy trying to kill other people while the police try to stop him The twists are obvious and the climax cliche Boring Skip it I don t often review books, but this one struck me differently I only got about 75 pages in before I had to stop reading it The female characters were written in such a limited, shallow way that was almost offensive The author failed to give even the assistant depth by instead relying on sexist notions to describe her and her interactions with others I thought the premise of the book was pretty interesting, but the way the book played out was disheartening. Scary Stuff This book really frightened me, to the point that I had to take breaks from reading Both the thought of the way the orphans were treated, and the darkness that was Victor, appalled me I look forward to reading in this series, but first, I need a break I think I will read something light and silly now.