I'm not sure why it took me so long to pick up Double Blind. In an way I'm glad I waited, because the amount of emotion Heidi Cullinan pours into her writing? Blows. Me. Away. For instance:
It wasn't tidy, this pain. There was no one person or place that caused it, no demon to exorcise it, not by a single name. There was just pain, all thirty-some years of it, piled on in flakes and dust and bricks on top of itself, for aches remembered and wounds forgotten, at least by source. They were just there, all the things that had hurt him, that he'd been too tough to let get through, the Great Fucking Wall of Randy didn't let any fucking shit get through, God fucking damn it.But it's not just the emotion. Double Blind follows Randy (who we met in Special Delivery) and Ethan. And the game of poker. Gambling, particularly poker, plays a very special role in this book, and the author uses it beautifully to demonstrate Randy & Ethan's growth...as individuals and as a couple. For instance:
Or anybody, either.
Except for Ethan.
And Old Man Mitch.
Like Carter he kept waiting for the big payout. Waiting for the moment things would go right. For the time when the wheel would come around to his number and give him what he deserved.I know nothing about poker, but I didn't need too. The game (at its simplest) is explained to the reader as it is to Ethan. For he, potentially like the reader is a novice. And as the game is explained more fully so the story progresses. The two main characters from Special Delivery, Sam & Mitch, make a welcome return. Bringing in two previously beloved characters can be risky - they can overwhelm the other characters and you are left with half a story. But that doesn't happen with Double Blind. Sam & Mitch's story (as individuals and as a couple) [although to be fair we get far less of Mitch than we do of Sam] was not yet complete, but they act as a catalyst in a way, for Randy and for Ethan.
Except sometimes the wheel didn't come around. Because the wheel wasn't about you. The wheel wasn't about anyone. It was just a damn wheel. It was like Randy said: you had to get the best of it.
You had to go and be your own wheel.
And what's even more amazing is how much this book spoke to me (see above quotes). As Randy & Ethan learned about themselves, so I learnt about me (and I love it when books do that). They are the true keepers.
So, what book has spoken to you recently?