“A woman in pieces must put herself back together before she loses everything she's worked for and everyone she cares about. Samantha James, 37, is one of the best psychologists on staff at Typhlos Psychiatric Center in Manhattan, and she's determined to keep it that way. She genuinely cares about her patients and revels in the recognition she gets from her boss, Rachel. Her co-worker and best friend, David, provides an emotional oasis for her at work, one that is sorely lacking outside of it. Underneath her can-do demeanor is another Sam entirely, one spiraling in a haze of alcohol, casual sex, and physical abuse at the hands of her awful boyfriend, Lucas. If only she could "fix" him they'd be the perfect couple. When new patient Richard McHugh (who spent 20 years in prison) comes to Typhlos, no one wants to take him on, but after one psychologist's man-to-man approach fails—Richard refuses to answer any questions—he becomes Sam's problem, and she's determined to make it work. Richard is an enigma, not answering her questions, coming to her office carrying a pile of old newspapers. When Sam makes an egregious mistake that only Richard witnesses, he makes her an offer she can't refuse: he'll tell her his secrets if she'll share hers, and he'll seal it with vodka—but if she refuses, he'll expose her drinking problem. And boy does Sam have some secrets to tell. Brady's entertaining debut is told in the wry voice of Sam, who uses black humor to hide an undercurrent of pain. There is a twist, of course, and readers will most likely have it figured out well before the end, but the journey (and the eye-opening, compassionate look at institutional life) is just as important as the destination, and for all her foibles, Sam is an irresistible diversion even if she can't seem to get out of her own way and be herself. A satisfying, darkly funny tale of redemption.”
"Psychologist Samantha “Sam” James, the heroine of Brady’s complex, intricately plotted debut, is the golden girl at Manhattan’s Typhlos Psychiatric Center, respected and admired by her boss and peers. In her personal life, however, she’s miserable, and drinking heavily. When a new patient, Richard McHugh, shows up at the center, he first sits in silence with one of the other therapists, then asks to see Sam. All Sam knows is that Richard once murdered someone and spent more than half his life in prison. In subsequent sessions with Richard, Sam struggles to figure out this enigmatic man—whose reason for coming to the facility remains unclear. One side benefit of trying to treat Richard is that Sam begins to see her own life more clearly. On the other hand, she starts behaving inappropriately with other patients and making mistakes at work, some leading to disastrous results. This psychological thriller grabs the reader and doesn’t let go until the truth about Richard’s past is finally revealed."
“An intriguing debut from a New York-based psychotherapist writing about a world she knows extremely well. Her protagonist, Samantha James, is an American psychiatrist whose personal life is a mess - she drinks far too much - but whose professional life caring for the mentally disturbed is beyond reproach.... Enter Richard, a patient with a daunting mental history, who usually refuses even to speak to the therapist assigned to him. Undeterred, Sam takes on the case - only to find that Richard seems to her to be almost completely sane. He may act obsessively from time to time, but there is no madness she can identify. What is the secret? Is Richard hiding his true nature so cleverly that even she cannot detect it? This is the question that sustains a gripping story to its fascinating conclusion.” ”
"As a practising psychotherapist and mental health counsellor in New York, A.F. Brady has played her fair share of mind games. So expect to be bowled over by her mesmerising debut novel… a gripping journey into the psyche of a disturbed woman as her life and her career threaten to implode in spectacular manner. And when the case study is a psychiatrist struggling to keep her own sanity as she becomes immersed in the twisted life of one of her most baffling and unsettling patients, the outcome becomes dangerously – and excitingly – unpredictable.The Blind is a stunning debut, posing questions about the fine line between sanity and madness, whilst delivering an addictive psychological thriller, packed with tension, mystery and an insider’s close-up on the world of mental illness. But most impressive is A.F. Brady’s powerful, compassionate and moving portrayal of Sam, an unstable, mixed-up, messed-up woman fighting her own demons… a doctor who must learn to heal herself if she is to heal others. Sam’s painful battle – both for herself and the reader – through darkness, despair, self-destruction and self-deception is the highlight of this remarkable novel. Add on an entertaining layer of black humour and a startling twist in the tail and the entertainment value is simply unmissable."
“Sly, dark and completely enthralling. The Blind is a knockout debut” -Kimberly Belle best-selling author of Three Days Missing and The Marriage Lie
“A propulsive, compelling debut. You won’t soon forget this gripping psychological read” – AJ Banner best-selling author of The Good Neighbor and The Twilight Wife
“Smart, raw and intense, this is a nail-biting debut” -Anna Snoekstra author of Only Daughter
"Sometimes stark and often startling, The Blind asks important questions about the arbitrary lines we draw between the sane and "crazy" members of our society. Along the way, this quick-paced debut novel pulls its reader into a web of deceit, recrimination, and ultimately, redemption." - Miranda Beverly-Whitmore, bestselling author of Bittersweet
"A page-turner that had me holding my breath until the last page." - Catherine McKenzie, bestselling author of Hidden
“Beyond brilliant” -Free-Lance Star
“A suspenseful look at our weaknesses and ability to forgive” -Booklist
"Taut and intelligent." - Prima
"Utterly addictive." - Lisa Hall
Library Journal, Starred Review:
"Sam James, a psychologist workingat a Manhattan psychiatric institution,has been assigned a difficult patient named Richard. Apparently, Richard has spent considerable time in prison, and he suffers from some kind of mental illness, but he doesn’t answer questions so no one can figure him out. Unfortunately, Richard is just one of the hurdles in Sam’s life that daily excursions to the local bar seem to relieve. Plus she’s got a gorgeous boyfriend who wants to move in together. What could be more perfect? But as she continues to hide the truth with careful makeup and a few nips here and there, things beg into unravel at an alarming rate. Desperate to hold on to her relationship and also prove her brilliance at work by cracking the guarded Richard, Sam starts taking risks that could backfire in the worst way.
VERDICT Brady’s fast-paced, riveting psychological chiller will wow suspense and thriller lovers alike. Brilliant character study and superior writing make this an outstanding debut."