Placebo by Steven James is a very good thriller that’s worth your attention. I recently completed the book and was impressed by many elements of the story. I found Jevin Banks to be an extremely likable protagonist who matured as the story progressed, and the supporting cast was equally memorable. James’ ability to jump between characters, even those who aren’t in the same room during a scene, impressed me. Character hopping can be a hard thing to pull off without disorienting the reader, but James handled it extremely well; and by doing so, he ratcheted up the suspense during tense moments and sustained a brisk pace throughout the novel. The plot itself was an interesting one that despite being sometimes bogged down by moments of expository scientific dialogue, made me think critically about the pros and cons of the pharmaceutical industry. And being from Philadelphia, I loved that a good portion of the novel was set in the City of Brotherly Love. It seems every book and movie takes place in New York City, so whenever someone wants to shake things up and pick a different locale, I’m all for it. Overall, Placebo was a highly enjoyable read that I blew through in just a few days, and I highly recommend it.
Stay tuned for my interview with Steven James, as well as my review of his upcoming novel Singularity, the second book in the Jevin Banks series.
While covertly investigating a controversial neurological research program, exposé filmmaker Jevin Banks is drawn into a far-reaching conspiracy involving one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical firms. After giving up his career as an escape artist and illusionist in the wake of his wife and sons’ tragic death, Jevin is seeking not only answers about the questionable mind-to-mind communication program, but also answers to why his family suffered as they did.