by David Rosenfelt
Review by Joseph B. Hoyos
Minotaur Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781250055316
Date: 05 January 2016 List Price $25.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /
David Rosenfelt is the best-selling author of the beloved Andy Carpenter series. Blackout is one of his standalone novels and is his most unique one to date. It has an extremely unusual hero. Doug Brock must solve a crime with no memory of what he has done for the past ten years. He resembles a modern day Rip Van Winkle. His neurosurgeon, Dr. James Carmody, cannot guarantee he will ever regain his memory. It is extremely terrifying when you think about Doug's ailment. It is almost like being blind. Unable to remember and recognize his enemies, he won't be able to take proper action when they approach him.
Blackout has an extremely evil antagonist, Nicholas Bennett. He is one of New Jersey's last surviving mobsters. This is due to his ingenious business acumen and his ability to make witnesses recant their testimonies or die. If you work for Bennett and you are suspected of betraying him, you will die a horrible death. Before Doug was stricken with amnesia, he tried indicting Bennett but failed. Bennett retaliated in a drive by shooting that spared Doug but killed someone he loved. Thus the reader is given the reason for Doug's obsession with bringing the filthy mobster to justice.
Doug is a type of loose cannon who always resents authority. He butts heads with his superiors, purposely disobeying them in order to pursue Bennett. Ladies find him attractive. They appear to fawn after him. He has dated many. Too bad he can't remember them. He mentally kicks himself for having been a jerk towards his beautiful, charming ex-fiancée, Jessie "Jess" Allen, who is a type of cyber cop; she can hack into computers and websites. Jess is trying very hard to forgive Doug for terminating their engagement.
The author has a witty sense of humor, which is reflected in many of his characters. I laughed out loud on several occasions. Both Doug and his humongous partner, Nate Alvarez, can be smart-alecks. I loved it when they are questioning a belligerent, uncooperative slumlord:
"I'm getting a little tired of your mouth," Nate said. "How many teeth did you have when the day started?"A Muslim terrorist, Ahmat Gharsi, is in league with Nicholas Bennett. Together, they plot to murder thousands of innocent civilians in Manhattan. David Rosenfelt's fast-paced thriller, Blackout, is rife with shocking violence, tender romance, witty humor, unique characters, dark secrets, and deadly betrayal. A short novel with many chapters (some of which have nail-biting cliffhangers), Blackout is a quick and easy read that is perfect for traveling. I highly recommend it for mystery lovers who don't have much spare time. Unless I suffer a debilitating blackout, I will be eagerly awaiting Rosenfelt’s next novel.