“Double Blind” by Iris and Roy Johansen is a heart-stopping story. This series has a very original premise and this novel, in particular, has a killer that is unique. Blind from birth, the main character, Kendra Michaels, regained her sight at the age of 20. Now she is able to use her extensively distinct senses and acute analytical skills to help the FBI thwart bad guys.
The Johansens created a classic detective “with powers of observation and deduction, seeing some things no one else could see. But we want to make sure Kendra does not have superpowers. She can see, hear, and smell things, which anyone else can if they were paying attention. What makes her special is how she trained herself to pay attention. There was a lot of time spent on making sure she was different; yet, maintains the classic detective traits. Like most blind people she grew up fine-tuning her other senses to compensate. Now that she has her sight, thanks to a rare, successful stem cell surgery, she is able to pick up sounds and smells that most others do not even pay attention to. She soaks up the world around her, including her sight.”
As with many of those who cannot see, Kendra enhanced her other senses to compensate. Although no longer blind, she still has a great power of deduction and incredible critical thinking abilities. The FBI has requested her on this case because of her capacity to quickly notice the smallest of details. Shrugging it off, she has been known to say that her powers were nothing any other person could deduce if they concentrated on listening, observing and watching.
This case literally came to her after a woman is found dead with an envelope having Kendra’s name on it. It contains a memory stick of a wedding video. What soon becomes apparent is that the wedding party has been targeted by a serial killer who strives to get the maximum number of victims by inflicting emotional and physical pain. Through the investigative process, Kendra and company realize that the killer is connected to a mercenary organization.
The supporting cast includes former FBI agent Adam Lynch, now a contractor who works by himself; Olivia, a friend of Kendra’s from childhood who became blind in an accident; Jessie, a private investigator after retiring from the army, and a group of FBI agents. Lynch is almost always at Kendra’s side and has her back. This new case brings Lynch and Kendra closer, but there is still the tug of war between them. Each are strong, smart, brave and honest; although in their private lives Kendra and her peers have many secrets.
The authors wrote Kendra “as complicated, brisk, cautious, loyal, and impatient. She has difficulty with those who she considers lazy in doing their job. She has a colorful history from those wild days after she was given her sight. Kendra always speaks her mind, especially with her FBI counterparts. Her counterpart, Lynch, is learning to work and play well with others through Kendra. He is very much his own man with a steely confidence. His hated nickname is ‘Puppetmaster,’ because one of his talents is having people bend to his will. He can be very persuasive, a master of manipulation.”
This mother/son collaboration make a great team, able to write edge-of-your-seat suspenseful stories with compelling characters. The twists in “Double Blind” can lead readers to be blind-sided so be forewarned.