Blind Spots by Thomas Mullen
Publication Date: April 4th 2023 by Minotaur Books & Macmillan Audio
Audiobook Length: 10hrs 23min
Narrator: Gary Tiedemann
Mark Owens lives in a futuristic world where the world’s population went blind in the span of 75 days, a nightmarish situation that is now the new norm. Science came up with a way to see through “vidders” a mechanical appendage that interacts with our brains to let humans “see” again, but that wasn’t before the world suffered so much turmoil.
Mark Owens has been a cop/detective before and after the event that nearly ended the world and he’s had to live with the memories of policing through the darkness and chaos before sight was “restored”. Now, there’s a new threat when a murder witness claims that her colleague was murdered by a dark spot, a void in the vision of the vidders. Mark and his partner have serious doubts over the validity of her story, but when Mark witnesses the phenomenon with his own “eyes” he starts a dangerous investigation. His teammates and partner doubt his sanity, but Mark knows what he saw.
On the personal side of things, Mark is still reeling from his wife’s suicide two years earlier while navigating a romantic entanglement with a newer officer, Amira. She feels his grief and regret, and wonders if they have a future. Amira also becomes embroiled in the investigation and isn’t quite sure who to believe.
Blind Spots was part science fiction/end-of-the-world-scenario, part mystery with just a little bit of romance. It was an original concept, one that was easy to picture and settle into even with all the futuristic elements. Having the whole world succumb to blindless within the span of 75 days was an unsettling prospect, but not one that felt totally out of the realm of possibility after the pandemic we’ve lived through. I was rooting for Mark as he searched for the truth as he battled the doubt and suspicion.
It was an engrossing mystery, one that kept me guessing. It all comes together in a satisfying conclusion, but it left me thinking of the real-life possibilities. The what ifs…
I alternately listened to and read an e-copy and can recommend either version. Gary Tiedemann is a new-to-me-narrator and I thought he did a wonderful job performing all characters, male and female. A definite recommend! I listened at my usual 1.5x normal speed.
A riveting crime novel with a speculative edge about the ways our perceptions of reality can be manipulated.
Seven years ago, everyone in the world went blind in a matter of months. Technology helped people adjust to the new normal, creating a device that approximates vision, downloading visual data directly to people’s brains. But what happens when someone finds a way to hack it and change what people see?
Homicide detective Mark Owens has been on the force since before The Blinding. When a scientist is murdered, and the only witness insists the killer was blacked out of her vision, Owens doesn’t believe her―until a similar murder happens in front of him. With suspects ranging from tech billionaires to anti-modernity cultists―and with the bodies piling up―Owens must conduct an investigation in which he can’t even trust his own eyes.
Thomas Mullen, the acclaimed author of Darktown and The Last Town on Earth , delivers an unputdownable crime novel about one man's search for truth in a world of surveillance and disinformation that’s all too recognizable.
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