Trust Your Eyes

trustyoureyesTrust Your Eyes
by Linwood Barclay
2012 / 512 pages
read by Ken Marks, Rich Holmes 14h 2m

Thomas Kilbride is what you might call an “odd duck” but he’s a bit more than that – he’s schizophrenic,  with an obsession and a talent for memorizing the details of maps.   The maps he really loves these days are the Earth maps of Google  – Whirl360 maps.  So he stays in his room and memorizes the street names and places of all the cities on earth – in preparation for the day when all the cyber-maps on Earth are destroyed by a virus or terrorist action or a  meteorite or something.  He’d like, in that event, to be useful to the CIA and provide new and accurate maps.

Then one day,  Thomas witnesses a murder – or he thinks it’s a murder – and it stirs memories and it stirs civic concerns.  How did that situation come to be?  The scene and characters change to a couple of roommates who lived in the room,  Alison Fitch and Morris Sawchuck who is a politician,  his wife – who is part lesbian,    his top political aide who has connections to gangsters,  and an Olympic gymnast turned hit-woman,  Nicole.   There are several more characters adding to the serious mess Thomas and Roy get into when Thomas finds evidence of a murder on Whirl360.

Thomas tells his brother, Roy who is staying in the house since their father died in a lawn-tractor accident.  Roy is an unemployed graphic artist – very concerned for his brother and somewhat overwhelmed with his problems.   But he meets a woman named Julie who provides some needed helpful relief.

Thomas tells his brother he works for the CIA.  He talks to ex-President Clinton.  He sends daily messages to the CIA, reporting on his progress.  He visits his psychiatrist.  Nobody believes him – of course.  But … what about that prologue murder?  What about his father’s death?

It’s been said that this is a rewrite of  Alfred Hitchcock’s Back Seat but I’ve not seen the movie (or I don’t remember it at all).   To me, for different reasons,  it’s in the category of Jonathan Letham’s Motherless Brooklyn where the police officer-protagonist has Tourette’s Syndrome.   The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time with its young autistic detective also comes to mind – as well as The Kitchen Daughter.

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