Tuesday, September 25, 2018

And then you were gone by R. J. Jacobs

I had a hard time reading this book.  When I thought about it, I realized that I didn't sympathize with the main character.  Although well-written, the characterization of the principals in this book made me wince.  I'm afraid I can't recommend it. 

The main character is a psychologist who is bipolar and somewhat needy.  She has a boyfriend who works in  medical research on influenza, an important, potentially devastating pathogen.   She awakens on a boat after she spends the night on the water with her boyfriend, and he is gone.  Disappeared into thin air.  Interesting, right?  The police are suspicious of her, but let her go; later her life falls apart after the loss of her boyfriend and a DUI accident, which gets her arrested; she loses her job and almost loses her license.  Later she is contacted by a coworker of her boyfriend who claims he was murdered because he uncovered a conspiracy in the lab to weaponize the influenza virus.  This coworker is then murdered and again she is suspected by the police. 

The bipolar psychologist drinks too much and has poor judgement as she stumbles from one event in the case to another.  I found it almost painful to read what she does next, digging a deeper and deeper hole for herself.  Since I couldn't identify with the main character, couldn't identify with her struggles, and couldn't sympathize with her problems, I was left cold by the story.  There may be fans of this style of writing but I am not one of them.  Not recommended. 2/5 stars.  Read this and other reviews of upcoming books at bookgeist.blogspot.com.

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