FRAGMENTS by James F. David

FRAGMENTS

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Thriller writer David turns from dinosaurs dropped down into present-day Central Park (Footprints of Thunder, 1995) to a clutch of idiot savants bonded into one being. ``It's as if an intellect so great that we can't fathom it was shattered and fragments of that genius sprinkled among the population. What if we could reconstruct that great mind--that superconsciousness--how many tracks would it have?. . . What problems could a mind like that solve if we could knit it together once more?'' This is the question asked by Dr. Wesley Martin, whose team of brainwave specialists at a university research center tries to integrate the minds of five damaged individuals (each possessed of a great gift) into one mind called ``Frankie,'' short for Frankenstein. The savants include Daphne, a musical prodigy with an amazing calendar-counting ability; Gil, who's not considered retarded, as are the others, but is gifted with precognition and a preternatural ability to suggest thoughts in others; Luis, whose uncanny eidetic imagery grants him a photographic memory; Archie, who has an incredible skill for pattern recognition and can solve an immense jigsaw puzzle in minutes; and Yu Tran, who can calculate large numbers and solve word puzzles without thinking. The basic receiver of all these talents is Gil, who, unbeknownst to Dr. Martin, has already tried to kill three people by mind suggestion. Each of the savants begins to share parts of the others' abilities. Then a pastor is murdered, and the body of a dead girl is discovered. Other murders follow. Frankie becomes a remarkable ``integration,'' powerful, inscrutable, seemingly driven by some need for revenge. But against whom? And for what? The climax features a droll reversal of Hitchcock's famous shower scene from Psycho, this time with the guy in the shower and the girl with the knife. David makes large strides over his debut novel in bringing greater focus to his storytelling, and his savants have charms more easily warmed to than dinos.

Pub Date: July 11th, 1997
ISBN: 0-312-86313-6
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Forge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1997




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