Nightmare specialist Cleave (Trust No One, 2015, etc.) puts a new spin on the old horror chestnut that transplants a dead killer’s organs into an innocent victim. Make that several new spins.
Life hasn’t been kind to Joshua Logan. Blind from birth, he’s never seen so much as a shape or color. He’s never met his father, who died before he was born, or his mother, who died soon thereafter. And now his foster father, DI Mitchell Logan, has died as well, dropped from a high floor on a construction site by Simon Bower, the sex killer he was after, moments before Bower was shot himself by Logan’s partner, DI Ben Kirk. The only silver lining in all this pain is that Logan arranged for pioneering ophthalmologist Toni Coleman to transplant his eyes to Joshua, who can suddenly see the world in all its glory. At least out of his left eye, anyway; his right eye presents a consistently darker and more unfocused view. Neither Joshua nor anyone else knows that’s because a careless orderly confused the dead police officer’s donor eyes with those of his killer, and now Joshua has ended up with one eye from each donor. For quite a while, the cellular memory he’s inherited from both his foster father and a seriously disturbed murderer seems the least of his problems, for he’s bullied at his new school and stalked by fired deliveryman Vincent Archer, Bower’s partner in crime, who’s determined to avenge his best friend by making Ben Kirk’s life hell, killing everyone close to him—a list on which Joshua figures prominently. But a further series of plot twists shows that the greatest danger comes from somewhere else and brings Joshua’s nerve-wracking double dose of cellular memory back to center stage.
Starting with a macabre setup, Cleave keeps upping the stakes till any scrap of plausibility is left far behind and only an increasingly effective series of hair-raising thrills remains.