BRAIN DAMAGE by Herbert Burkholz


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 Burkholz's mind-reading government employees (The Sensitives, 1987; Strange Bedfellows, 1988) return as the nation's only defense against the murderous plan of a ruthless and dead CIA chief. Relax. They don't work for the IRS. The Sensitives are the one-in-a-million aberrants born with the ability to read the minds of ordinary citizens. Unsuited to life in the mainstream, these curious creatures are happiest living together on a federal farm in Virginia, chatting silently with each other and performing the odd federal task for which they are the only possible solution. The odd task this time is to put a stop to a rogue operation set in motion by the dying Deputy Director of Operations at the CIA. Uncancelable orders have gone out to four unidentified assassins to do four horrible and seemingly unrelated deeds, including rape, arson, and murder on the high seas. The Sensitives know who the victims are and when the crimes are to be committed, but they can identify the assassins only by hanging around their targets to pick up the evil intentions when they come within range. Range is about 200 feet. Uncomfortably close. As minds are picked, the Sensitives find that the crimes all have something to do with a college campus love- triangle back in the Sixties. It sounds hokey and science-fictional. It's not. Burkholz never uses the ESP device as magic or ex-machina. The mind-reading is there to provide either surprise or exceptionally interesting insight and amusement. Which it does.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-689-12009-5
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1992


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