The Blinds

Adam Sternbergh, Edgar Award nominee for the futuristic noir Shovel Ready, shows with The Blinds that he's also adept at writing a modern sci-fi western.

Calvin Cooper is the sheriff of an off-the-grid Texas town formally named Caesura, but the residents call it the Blinds. Everyone there has had their memory entirely or partially erased, because they either committed violent crimes or witnessed one and needed to be disappeared. The catch: they don't know which they are.

Life in the Blinds has been peaceful for eight years, until two shooting deaths occur within a couple of months. How is this possible when Sheriff Cooper is supposedly the only one with a gun? As he investigates, he encounters other disturbing incidents, harbingers of something wicked coming, threatening to destroy the town and everyone in it.

Though the town's nickname is a riff on how the residents, without their memories, are like the blind leading the blind, Sternbergh guides readers through his strange, riveting landscape with a sure hand. His descriptions are insightful and clever: "He's amassed an impressive collection of frowns over the years, to go with his extensive arsenal of shrugs." There's a sense of dread and unpredictability throughout--how can readers know what the residents will do when the characters themselves don't? Humor pops up in deadly scenes, and tenderness appears in the middle of chaos. Sternbergh explores philosophy, human nature, morality and redemption, giving readers an experience that will open their eyes as well as their hearts. --Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, blogger at Pop Culture Nerd

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