My Soul to Take

Steven Spruill, Author
Steven Spruill, Author St. Martin's Press $22 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-09879-7
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
An intriguing concept--a microchip inserted in the brain to cure blindness that also allows certain recipients to see the future--falls short of its potential in this poorly paced, digressive thriller. Suzannah Lord saw her career as a neurosurgeon destroyed when she resisted the sexual advances of the microchip's inventor, Roland Lancaster. Several years later, she discovers the chip does a lot more than cure blindness when she meets painter Andrew Dugan, one of the first to receive the implant, who is now desperately troubled by visions. Suzannah begins an investigation that results in a series of confrontations with an old classmate named Archer Montross, himself a chip recipient and now member of a rogue band of CIA operatives who see its side-effects as the ultimate espionage tool. Buried in the repetitive plot, which wanders aimlessly from one near-escape to another, are some interesting questions about the effects of knowing the future on individual sanity and creativity. Dugan, for example, loses his desire to paint when he can ``see'' the finished work before he even picks up a brush. Overall, unfortunately, this is a disappointing effort from the author of Before I Wake . First serial to Good Housekeeping. (Feb.)