Thursday, February 4, 2010

Truth Catcher, Suspense Annotation

Truth Catcher by Anna Salter combines suspense, love, and relationships all focusing on a central character, Breeze Copen. Breeze narrates the majority of the book, and introduces herself as a synesthete – a person who sees colors when someone speaks. This condition is a central theme in the book, as it helps her determine the truth (hence the title.) Her condition also adds to the suspense of the story, since nobody but a few close friends know Breeze sees colors when people speak. There are two main story lines throughout the book, one of which is suspenseful. Breeze is a forensic psychologist who interviews and evaluates sex offenders to determine if they should be allowed to leave prison, or be civilly committed for treatment. The book begins with Breeze interviewing Daryl Collins, a “common criminal” whose prison sentence was increased after raping and beating a previous therapist. His argument for release is strong, as he is “born again” and has committed no other crimes while in prison. However, Breeze can see what others cannot see. The colors surrounding his voice tell her that he is lying. On paper, he passes all evaluations and should be released. It isn’t until Breeze notices a figure of a young girl among Daryl’s colors that she decides he is hiding something. The young girl she sees sticks in Breeze’s mind, and she does whatever she can to find out who that little girl is.

While Breeze is attempting to figure out how she can find the true story of the little girl and Daryl Collins, she is encountered with a life-changing moment. Breeze finds out that a long-lost childhood friend is in an abusive relationship. Through quite a twist of events, Breeze ends up with her friend’s thirteen-year-old daughter, Lily. The majority of the book is about Breeze balancing Lily and chasing the truth about Collins. Breeze’s life is endangered after Collin’s brother, “Trash,” finds out about a psychologist snooping around their past. Trash’s name fits him, and he is a dangerous criminal who has an ability to escape being tied to and caught for his crimes.

While there are elements of suspense in this book, I wouldn’t recommend it to someone looking for that “on the edge of your seat” feeling. When I read this book, I was more involved in the storyline of Breeze’s friend and Lily. Salter also focuses a lot of attention on Breeze’s relationship with her own mother. The end of the book focused more on this situation, and very quickly summed up the outcome of Daryl Collins and his brother. However, it is a fast-paced read, and the disbursement of suspenseful scenarios kept me turning the pages.

Truth Catcher by Anna Salter (ISBN: 1-933648-25-2)

Published by Pegasus Books LLC, 2006.

Suspense Fiction, 281 pages


SLIS Guy said...

Interesting story involving an interesting condition. I've watched stories about people who see numbers and other things as color, but I don't really understand how it works. Do you get any insight through this book, or is it just a factor?

Allison said...

She explained a bit of the condition in the beginning of the story. The character kept referring to it as "cross-wiring" of her brain. However, much of the mentioning of the condition is simply a factor, describing people through the colors of their voices.