Sam James has spent years carefully crafting her reputation as the best psychologist at Typhlos, Manhattan’s most challenging psychiatric institution. She boasts the highest success rates with the most disturbed patients, believing if she can’t save herself, she’ll save someone else. It’s this savior complex that serves her well in helping patients battle their inner demons, though it leads Sam down some dark paths and opens her eyes to her own mental turmoil.
When Richard, a mysterious patient no other therapist wants to treat, is admitted to Typhlos, Sam is determined to unlock his secrets and his psyche. What she can’t figure out is why does Richard appear to be so completely normal in a hospital filled with madness? And what, really, is he doing at the institution? As Sam gets pulled into Richard’s twisted past, she can’t help but analyze her own life, and what she discovers terrifies her. And so the mind games begin. But who is the savior and who is the saved?
Worldbuilding: I enjoyed the Manhattan setting and the Typhlos Psychiatric Center. I really liked the creepy and atmospheric description and mood of the place.
Characters: Samantha aka Sam is a psychiatrist and heavy drinker (alcoholic, in fact). She is a liar, a victim in an abusive relationship, and a cheat. I disliked her deeply for most of the novel and felt sorry for her at the same time – a very strange experience. Then I felt less sorry for her as the story went on, then again more, then again less – you get my point. I just about had enough with her self-centered, immature, narcissistic ass at one point, then I felt sorry for her again. My general state of mind was “Arrrrrrrgggh!!!”, lol. I think my reactions to her would have been different had I known she has a disorder from the get-go, but I didn’t so most of her symptoms came off as annoying personality traits. I’m sure that was part of the intention, and I get it, but while reading it got me close to dropping the read a few times; close, but not there.
Plot: Sam’s story is pretty slow-paced and tough to stomach emotionally. Her twisted sense of self and the resulting twisted life she leads was tough to take on. I had a sinking suspicion about Richard, and I was proven right, lol. I really liked the happy ending, tbh.
Writing: First person, present tense narrative, Sam’s POV. Her voice is somewhat bleak and sarcastic, and I actually liked it even when I disliked her as a person along the way.
Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb – good impulsive buy candidate for my twisty psychological suspenseful reading moods.
I recommend The Blind to fans of first person POVs about mental/personality disorders and stories about seeking redemption, plus angst galore. I warn you though, it’s not a walk in the park – the reading experience is emotionally challenging and creates a big hulking heap of tension in your thoughts and feels, so I say it’s a good fit for those tough enough to stomach that kind of thing. While I did stomach it and thought it was certainly a unique and interesting experience, I can’t say I’d want to go through it (or one similar) again.