Graduate student Zack Kashion, the hero of Braver's entertaining medical thriller, is trying to finish his dissertation at Northeastern University, but he keeps getting sidetracked by his gambling habit and resulting debts. Then he hits his head in a bad bike accident on a Boston street. On awaking in the hospital from a 12-week coma, atheist Zack finds he has become an object of intense interest by religious fanatics after being secretly filmed muttering in ancient Aramaic, a language he doesn't know. After leaving the hospital, he signs up as a paid volunteer for a private scientific study that's putting subjects into near-death comas and recording their brainwaves for activity in an attempt to prove that there is indeed life after death. To complicate matters, a paid assassin is killing scientists involved in the experiment. A surfeit of religious discussion may put off some readers, but in general Braver (Skin Deep) shows himself an adept practitioner of this subgenre. (June)
“A wonderfully frightening and insightful tale.” Ray Bradbury
“Braver's books will thrill you, scare you, and compel you to read to the very last sentence. With Tunnel Vision he does it all again. One of the best thriller writers in America today!” Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author
“A tantalizing premise, stylish prose, sharply etched characters, and tension that ratchets up degree by degree.” Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author
“Fascinating and scary, Tunnel Vision goes one step beyond, between life and death.” David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author
“Braver gives readers plenty to think about in his engaging new book.” Booklist
“One of the Best Books of the Summer” WGBH Radio (PBS)
“[An] entertaining medical thriller. . . that shows [Braver is] an adept practitioner of this subgenre.” Publishers Weekly
“A disquieting glimpse at science's efforts to prove there is indeed life after death. . . [A] scary, well-crafted read.” Kirkus Reviews
Braver (Flashback) returns to his tried-and-true formula—religious zealotry, exotic drugs, and medical experimentation on unwitting patients. Because he recovered from a coma, Zack Kashian is recruited for research on Near Death Experiences even as a hit man is killing off the research team. Braver is going through the motions here, picking up and dropping plots and asking readers to care about a bunch of flat characters. Only for die-hard fans.
From Braver, a novelist unafraid to amp up the creepiness, a disquieting glimpse at science's efforts to prove there is indeed life after death.
Zack Kashian, a grad student with a gambling problem, should have been wearing his helmet when he crashed his bicycle, catching the wheel on a pothole in the darkened street. Weeks later, with his mother by his bedside and Zack's doctors pessimistic that the young man will ever come out of his coma, Zack's future looks like it will be a series of nursing homes coupled with around-the-clock care. Then Zack starts talking, but what he says confounds everyone who hears him; Zack recites the Lord's Prayer in Aramaic, the original language used by Jesus. Only problem is, Zack doesn't speak Aramaic, has never studied it and isn't particularly religious. That doesn't matter to the throng hoping for a faith healing that flocks to see him after a video of the incident is posted on YouTube. Frightened, Zack's mother has her son moved to another room and placed under guard to avoid the crowds. One day, without warning, her patience pays off and Zack awakens, shaky and uncertain, but on the road to recovery. Meanwhile, a disturbing number of homeless individuals have been found dead, mostly as a result of suicide. In each case, toxicology reports reveal the presence of a deadly toxin found in the puffer fish. How do these incidents relate to the experiments in which Zack has become involved? Zack soon learns he must trust one of the team members or run the risk of never resolving the greatest sorrow of his young life. Braver, who specializes in fiction that pushes the reader closer and closer to things that go bump in the night, succeeds with a scary, well-crafted read, although at times the story gets lost in rivers of scientific explanation.
An original story that may not be everyone's cup of tea. It's at times a disturbing and difficult read, but the well-paced final segment will please adrenaline junkies.