10 January 2012

Thoughts on Double Blind

Apologies in advance, but this is likely to end up as pure gushing! But this book (and the author) so deserve(s) it!

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.

Or anybody, either.

Except for Ethan.

And Sam.

And Old Man Mitch.
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:
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.

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.
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.

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?


  1. Those two sound like some extremely broody poker players.

    I have a mental block when it comes to poker. People have explained it to me numerable times, but I still have no idea what a full house versus a flush is. And I've won every poker game I've ever played. :P

  2. Broody? Yes. There is a lot of getting inside the characters' heads in this book. (But I love that.) And these guys? Break my heart.

    You have a mental block when it comes to poker and yet you've still won every game you've played? WOW! I...am useless at card games. All of them :)

  3. I reread Angel of 13th Street - that one definitely speaks to me. The PsyCop series always speaks to me. :)

    The books that speak to me are books that I know I'll be able to read again and again and enjoy every time.

  4. The books that speak to me are books that I know I'll be able to read again and again and enjoy every time.

    *nods* And (if I may be so bold :) for me books that speak to me are those that teach me something about myself every time I read them.

    Angel on 13th Street? That so rings a bell and I'm wondering why it's not on my TBR list... Good?

  5. Angel of 13th Street by Eden Winters is VERY, VERY good. When I reread it a few days ago, Heidi Cullinan commented on its goodness on one of my status updates. :)

  6. *reads summary*

    *adds book to wish list*

    You are sooooo bad for my TBR list! Thank you! *hugs*

  7. What Chris said.

    Back in November I reread Nora Roberts' Bride Quartet, and found something in each of them that resonated with me at a very bad moment in my life.

    I don't know when I'll be able to read them again, though.

  8. azteclady - that's a series I have yet to read. I hope the books also gave you some hope for the future? The quotes I listed? Read them out to the unnamed expert today and WOW...they resonated more than I thought. *hugs*

    CHris - LOL!

  9. This sounds really great and definitely needs to go on the wishlist.

    As for stories that speak to me, it depends on what I am looking for. I read everything from Romance and Erotic Fiction to Science Fiction to Young Adult.

    One series I read as a YA and just had to find when I was an adult was by Ellen Emerson White. The President's Daughter, White House Autumn, and Long Live the Queen were the three I read and they were out of print for years. She re-released updated versions in 2007, though, adding Long May She Reign. Every time I have picked them up, I am blown away by the main characters strength in her frailties!

    If we are talking erotic fiction, they I would have to say the latest one that has spoken to me is Behind Iron Lace by Mercy Celeste.

  10. I really enjoyed this book.

    The Winters' book that Chris mentioned is one of my favorites.

  11. Eliwrites - it's great how books can speak to you across genres ;) And it's soooo satisfying to find those out-of-print books! FYI - this is m/m just in case you didn't know :)

    Eyre - me too. IDK. Heidi Cullinan writes such good, challenging books :) And The Angel at 13th Street is so on my TBR list :)