Thursday, January 9, 2014

Review: The Cure by Douglas E. Richards

Release Date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Forge Books
Source: Publisher
Author Links: Facebook | Goodreads

Psychopaths cause untold misery. If you found the cure for this condition, just how far would you go to use it?
Erin Palmer had a devastating encounter with a psychopath as a child. Now a grad student and scientist, she’s devoting her life to studying these monsters. When her research catches the attention of Hugh Raborn, a brilliant neuroscientist who claims to have isolated the genes responsible for psychopathic behavior, Erin realizes it may be possible to reverse the condition, restoring souls to psychopaths. But to do so, she’ll not only have to operate outside the law, but violate her most cherished ethical principles.

As Erin becomes further involved with Raborn, she begins to suspect that he harbors dark secrets. Is he working for the good of society? Or is he intent on bringing humanity to its knees?

Hunted by powerful, shadowy forces, Erin teams up with another mysterious man, Kyle Hansen, to uncover the truth. The pair find themselves pawns in a global conspiracy—one capable of destroying everything Erin holds dear and forever altering the course of human history . . .

There are aliens in this story.
Now, it may seem like I've just given away a huge plot spoiler and potentially ruined the story. Hmmm
Maybe I have, but I don't think so. 
And here's why:
Do you think readers who like stories about aliens are going to look twice at this book after reading the blurb? No. No, they will not. It's obviously a psychological thriller. And do you think fans of thrillers are going to be pleased when halfway through an interesting book about psychopaths, they get hit upside the head with some weird alien conspiracy? Um, no. I'm thinking...pissed will be a better word to describe the reaction from that camp. So, yeah. There are aliens in this story.

Now that we've got that out of the way, there were a lot of things that I liked about The CureFirst was just the amount of information that the author gathered on psychopaths. It was really interesting, and it had me giving everyone I know the fisheye for weeks.
Apparently, I'm totally surrounded!
Evidently, I'm not the only one who thinks this kind of thing is interesting, because when I started talking about the book to other people they all had the same reaction. It seems that the universal response is that we would all like to be able to instantly recognize the dangerous schemers and scammers in the world. And that is precisely what the main character sets out to do. Turns out, psychopathic personalities aren't just different from the rest of us in the moral sense. They're actually hardwired differently from birth. Erin thinks that she can isolate those differences in their brainwaves, and create an early warning device that people can use to protect themselves.
I'm thinking that would make a neat app for your cell phone!

Ok, here's another warning for the reader. That 'devastating encounter' from Erin's childhood that's mentioned in the blurb? *shudder* 
Before starting this one, I looked up a few reviews on it, and several of them mentioned that the book starts off with a graphic scene that is not for the squeamish. 
Normally I don't read books with serial killers, graphic torture, etc., and I don't watch movies with stuff like that either. So, no. I've never seen any of the Saw flicks.
It's not my bag, baby... 
But I figured that since I knew about it going in, I'd be ok.
And I was. Sort of. It was still hard to read, because I'm so not cool with kids in a potential rape and torture scene. And maybe I threw up in my mouth a little bit before it was over. 
I just...well, that's not a spoiler I mind letting people in on, because some of us need to mentally prep for stuff like that.
I'm not bashing the scene, because it definitely could have been a lot worse. I'm just a wuss. And it wasn't just some gratuitous thing thrown in there for the shock value. Without it, you wouldn't really get why Erin is the way she is and does the things she does.

There's a romance between Erin and Kyle, but it felt sort of forced and fake. Plus, the entire time I kept thinking he was probably a serial killer or something. 
Which probably had a lot to do with the subject matter of the book, and not how he was portrayed.
Then again, I don't read a lot of books like this, so maybe that's how romances are normally written in this genre.

If you're in the market for an alien thriller with an interesting look at psychopaths thrown in, I think you'll like this one.


Priya said...

The aliens make it sound like my kind of book: so spoiler or not, thanks! The idea of a cure for psychopaths is brilliant, if it's written in enough details, I guess. I'm going to go find this book!


Whew! I was worried about that! Thanks for saying it was a positive point.

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