Trust Your Eyes
by Linwood Barclay
Review by Verna Suit
NAL Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451237903
Date: 04 September 2012 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Thomas Kilbride is a schizophrenic who is obsessed with maps. He has found a computer program that explores streets all over the world and pans them for a 360-degree view. Now he spends nearly every waking minute at his computer screen studying and memorizing the world. In this way, one day he comes across the image of a murder in progress. When Ray Kilbride humors his brother by going into New York City to check out the alleged crime scene, he sets in motion events that cause his brother and himself to come to the attention of the killers, with disastrous consequences.
Half of Trust Your Eyes focuses on Ray Kilbride and his dilemma over how best to look after his brother now that both their parents have died. One of Thomas's delusions is that he is working for the CIA and his liaison with them is former president Bill Clinton. Ray tries to bring Thomas back to reality by giving him chores and getting him out of his room. But in the process he starts to wonder whether his reclusive brother may actually be dangerous. The book is a thoughtful treatment of living with and being responsible for the mentally ill. Thomas Kilbride is likely to remind readers of the troubled, loner son who suddenly murdered 20 schoolchildren in Newtown, Connecticut.
The other half of the book focuses on a Machiavellian political operative and the measures he is willing to go to in the cause of advancing the career of a promising New York attorney general. This second story thread involves a bar waitress who tries her hand at blackmail and a hit woman's muddled efforts to 'take care of the problem'.
Trust Your Eyes is a rich mix of family relationships, light romance, grisly crime, dark humor, and caper comedy. The serious subject of mental illness is dealt with in an engrossing narrative that is balanced by an equally absorbing and humorous story of political intrigue and murder. This is an action-packed book that will keep you up reading late at night with characters who will stay with you for a long time.