Dr. Jenna Ramey’s career as a forensic psychologist began in childhood, when she was the only one who recognized her mother as a sociopath. Jenna was a smart, observant child, but it was her synesthesia that propelled her to fame and saved her family’s life.
For Jenna, everything she experiences is associated with a color. It’s not always straightforward: red can mean anger, but it can also mean love or strength; one pastel blue shade means something different than another pastel blue shade. These color associations help her profile criminals and make connections that others can’t.
Her skills are put to the test when a recently-arrested mass shooter asks for her by name, and pulls her unwillingly into a dangerous game of his own devising. The shooter’s partner is still on the loose, and Jenna must find him before it’s too late. And the clock starts ticking faster when Jenna discovers that her mother may be the one behind it all.
A book featuring two sociopaths and the world’s coolest obscure medical condition? Sign me up!
Color Blind was so much fun to read. The author drops you into a continuing story (there’s so many references to Jenna’s childhood and mother that I had to make sure I hadn’t picked up the second in a series) with many threads, doling out clues to crimes past and present like a twisted Hansel and Gretel.
The synesthesia integration was the main reason I had this book on my TBR, and I think it was an excellent choice. I first read about the condition in college, and I’m still fascinated by the causes and results of getting two senses (hearing and sight, smell and hearing) mixed up in the brain. What would it be like to “taste” words, or associate each letter and number with a color? Can a person with synesthesia use what some people would consider a party trick to see patterns that save time, money…even lives?
Colby Marshall’s novel is craftily written, and — my favorite — full of great and terrible characters that feel as real as you or me.
I didn’t love Jenna as much as I usually love strong female characters (like Thursday Next from Jasper Fforde’s novels), but I think it’s got more to do with the greatness of the novel’s other characters and aspects — Jenna’s a good character surrounded by so many other good things that there’s no more room at the top. I found myself rooting extra hard for Yancy, who is smart and loyal…and possible a future love interest? And of course Jenna’s mom is a raging sociopath, so scenes with her were both fun and terrifying.
I enjoyed Color Blind immensely, and am excited to get my hands on the sequel, Double Vision. The third in the series, Flash Point, releases in the US in October 2016.