Very occasionally you pick up a book and from the very first page you know you are reading something quite special.
"A Powerful and fascinating foray into the future of science and its unforeseen consequences"
"Toxic Minds is a thrilling emotional drama."
"There's a special place in hell for women who
don't help each other" - Madeleine Albright
The damage is done Alexa Sommer had it all - then came meltdown, and divorce as she is forced out of her job. Desperately, she tries to reconnect with her family and rebuild her life in a new job. But her work is controversial, and her enemies plan to stop her by any means. Alexa's new colleagues have a compelling reason to want her sacked. Gavin Shawlens is a colleague, and he is all Alexa has on her side as a perfect storm of dreadful nightmares bear down on her.
More often than not, thrillers aren’t really that ‘thrilling’. It isn’t the easiest of genres in which to shine and it’s one in which it is hard to avoid clichés, but occasionally a series comes along which really gets you on the edge of your seat. Toxic Minds certainly falls into this category and next to having a powerful plot with imaginative unexpected twists and turns, it stands out for Bickerstaff’s ability to get readers emotionally invested in his characters. The ones you know you should like and even the ones you don’t! He does this by creating extreme scenarios along with flesh and blood characters who, when inserted into extreme situations, act determinedly but with just enough ambiguity to keep his readers questioning events. It wouldn’t be disingenuous to say that Bickerstaff stays within genre conventions but he does so without ever becoming predictable. He’s not afraid to get into the fractured psyches of his main players and this time around it allows him to introduce a strong element of ethical and social commentary. On this level, Alex Sommer is particularly well nuanced and proves an inspired foil for Bickerstaff’s series lead in Gavin Shawlens.
Another powerful addition to a series which genre junkies will love, Toxic Minds is Bickerstaff at his best and is recommended without reservation.
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