SCHISM by Brett Dent


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Troubled psychic Adam Hutchens joins Hillview Research Institute to find answers and avoid jail, but he soon finds himself in danger when he discovers that the project isn’t exactly as advertised.

When Hutchens accidentally kills his grandmother in a psychic fit, he becomes a research subject at the Hillview Research Institute. There, Dr. William Creighton heads a project that seeks to combine psychiatry and science to help those with dormant psychic abilities understand and control their powers. It turns out that Hutchens is capable of “remote viewing”; i.e., he’s able to leave his body and see into other rooms and places. Assigned to psychiatrist Dr. Gina Lindsay’s study group, Hutchens begins to untangle the psychological issues of his past that are impinging on both his powers and his happiness. Hutchens also undergoes lab tests with Dr. Craig Mueller, honing his abilities. As the patient settles in, he finds that he isn’t alone; his study group is made up of a number of other psychics, all dealing with their own issues. Among them are Annie, a clairvoyant, and Kevin, a mind controller. It’s not all group therapy and smiles though; rigorous tests in the lab and interpersonal issues make for a stressful working environment for everybody, not to mention that Creighton and Mueller seem to have their own agendas. The doctors are working to accomplish “transference,” giving psychic abilities to nonpsychics. The applications are endless, and as far as Creighton and Mueller are concerned, those ends justify all means. Debut author Dent has penned a psychic thriller that’s difficult to put down thanks to its intensity and its quick pacing. Though the moral ramifications of the issues at hand are only lightly sketched, the cast never slows down as the good and the bad race to accomplish their goals, neither side quite certain of the capabilities of the other. In turns intriguing, disturbing and exhilarating, this is a solid debut from an author who seems, like Hutchens, to be able to see things a little differently.

An original thriller that really gets in your head.

Pub Date: Jan. 25th, 2014
Page count: 287pp
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2014


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