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The Syndrome : A Thriller

Case, John

860 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0345433084 / ISBN 13: 9780345433084
Published by Ballantine Books, 2001
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Garys Books (Apache Junction, AZ, U.S.A.)

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0345433084 First edition, First printing. Not inscribed clipped or otherwise marked. Shipped in a box. Complete # line 10987654321. F/F. Bookseller Inventory # ABE-7603565105

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Syndrome : A Thriller

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: 1st Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

A promising research fellow for a venerable think tank in Zurich has just filed his last report, as he is forced into a grisly experiment. . . . A seductive young woman travels to Florida and, from her hotel room window, coolly sharpshoots an old man in a wheelchair as he basks in the late afternoon sun. . . . A psychologist who helps patients confront and dispel past trauma through hypnosis battles his own silent demons. . . .  In The Syndrome, John Case combines these intriguing elements into a pulse-pounding, mind-twisting new thriller.

Dr. Jeff Duran suffers from severe panic attacks when he ventures too far outside his home office. At times, he remembers phrases of a foreign language he has never learned. And there are curious memories he cannot explain of distinct smells, music, the spray of ocean sailing. But no sooner do these senses and images begin to surface than they disappear.

Then, after a patient commits suicide, Duran's life spirals out of control. The victim's half-sister, Adrienne Cope, blames Duran for filling her sister's head with "recovered" memories of horrific childhood abuse. But Adrienne soon discovers some shocking facts about him--facts that even he is unaware of.

The stakes are raised when unknown assassins burst into Duran's office and bloodshed ensues. But who is their target: Adrienne or Duran? Running for their very lives, forced to trust each other, they must now work together to unlock the reason why one or both of them is marked for death. For beneath the intrigue lies a dark conspiracy that stretches halfway around the world-- and a sinister plot that could change the course of history.

A relentlessly paced thriller in which nothing is what it seems, no one can be trusted, and nothing is secure--especially one's own memories.  The Syndrome is a chillingly, brilliantly conceived novel from a proven master of suspense.

Review:

What if you weren't who you thought you were, and behind the screen of false memories that convinced you of your identity was another, even more terrifying set of equally false memories, so awful that if anyone or anything made it past the first, artificially induced "firewall," you'd kill yourself rather than live with the horror of what you thought you'd done? That's the intriguing, if somewhat muddled, setup for John Case's (The Genesis Code) new thriller, which starts with the disappearance of Lew McBride, a young research psychologist, and the suicide of a beautiful but troubled young woman soon after she inexplicably guns down an old man in a wheelchair.

Adrienne Cope blames her sister Nico's death on Jeff Duran, the psychologist who's been treating Nico for the after-effects of the satanic sexual abuse she supposedly suffered in childhood, abuse that Adrienne has reason to know is a complete fiction. When the detective Adrienne hires to investigate Duran turns up proof that he's an impostor, Duran himself is baffled; his belief in his own identity is so convincing that he passes a lie detector test without breaking a sweat. Someone has stolen his mind: is it the same shadowy cabal that stole Nico's, too? When he and Adrienne finally join forces, their first stop is a neurologist, whose tests reveal an anomaly in Duran's brain, an implant that leads them to a Swiss clinic where a ruthless scientist has taken up experiments in brainwashing and mind control that the CIA shut down decades ago. Or did it? Case mixes neuroscience and geopolitics in a Manchurian Candidate-like scenario that's scary enough to make you wonder whether you ought to trust your own memory, let alone anyone else's. Both Adrienne and Jeff are likable innocents, caught up in a terrifying web spun by a faceless man with a Messiah complex. His plan to destroy anyone who gets in his way is exciting enough to keep the narrative from bogging down in all the technical details Case uses to buttress his suitably scary plot. --Jane Adams

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