The Blinds
A blistering thriller from the Edgar-nominated author of Shovel Ready—a speculative modern Western with elements of Cormac McCarthy, Jim Thompson, and the Coen brothers that is wickedly funny, razor-sharp, and totally engrossingImagine a place populated by criminals-people plucked from their lives, with their memories altered, who’ve been granted new identities and a second chance. Welcome to The Blinds, a dusty town in rural Texas populated by misfits who don’t know if they’ve perpetrated a crime, or just witnessed one. What’s clear to them is that if they leave, they will end up dead. For eight years, Sheriff Calvin Cooper has kept an uneasy peace—but after a suicide and a murder in quick succession, the town’s residents revolt. Cooper has his own secrets to protect, so when his new deputy starts digging, he needs to keep one step ahead of her—and the mysterious outsiders who threaten to tear the whole place down. The more he learns, the more the hard truth is revealed: The Blinds is no sleepy hideaway. It’s simmering with violence and deception, aching heartbreak and dark betrayals.

The Blinds Details

TitleThe Blinds
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 1st, 2017
PublisherEcco
ISBN0062661345
ISBN-139780062661340
Number of pages400 pages
Rating
GenreFiction, Thriller, Mystery, Mystery Thriller

The Blinds Review

  • karen
    February 22, 2017
    NOW AVAILABLE!!!Will I remember what I did?You won’t.But will I know that I’ve forgotten it?You will.So I’ll know I did something bad, but I won’t know what it was.You’ll know you made the decision to come to this place.“this place” is the town of caesura, known colloquially by its residents as "the blinds;" a gated community for memory-wiped criminals, a prison where you’re free to leave, but to which you can never return, fully aware that what waits for you on the other side of the gates most NOW AVAILABLE!!!Will I remember what I did?You won’t.But will I know that I’ve forgotten it?You will.So I’ll know I did something bad, but I won’t know what it was.You’ll know you made the decision to come to this place.“this place” is the town of caesura, known colloquially by its residents as "the blinds;" a gated community for memory-wiped criminals, a prison where you’re free to leave, but to which you can never return, fully aware that what waits for you on the other side of the gates most likely wants to kill you. i’ve read sternbergh’s Shovel Ready, but still - foolishly -haven’t gotten around to reading the sequel - Near Enemy, but this book here is an altogether different creature. Shovel Ready is great - it’s a noir/sci-fi mashup with a really staccato pacing and it’s a helluva ride, but this one shows he's got some serious writer-range. it’s a much more densely-plotted piece of psychological crime fiction, with deeper characterizations and a strikingly original premise that starts out strong and only gets stronger as it goes on.it revolves around an alternative form of witness protection; a system in place for eight years at the start of the novel, in which criminals and witnesses to crimes have chosen to have their memories selectively erased, and are relocated to a town in the middle of nowhere, texas, where, after providing the authorities with the information needed to put some very bad people away, these very bad people themselves are given new names and allowed to live out their days blissfully unaware of their own dark pasts, cut off from internet, phones, all contact with the outside world, and given a second chance to make a life for themselves among others all living under a policy of “don’t ask, don’t know, can’t tell,” not even knowing if they were the victim or the perpetrator of a terrible crime.what could possibly go wrong?the book covers a monday-friday timeframe, and oh, what a difference a week makes. it opens with the shock of a gunshot, but then recedes into a sort of dramatic anthropology, slowly acclimating the reader to the town’s history, its rules and inhabitants and its day-to-day routines, but as threats surface and secrets are revealed and the very foundation of the experiment is threatened, things start getting mighty intense, and once it hits that sweet spot of rapid-fire reveals and escalating violence, it just careens you through the story relentlessly and it is so, so electric.this is a very high four star - i love it like crazy and i have minor complaints only, which i’m a dick for even mentioning, considering how much fun i had reading this book, but i know that years from now, someone will post a comment on this review and it will help my self-memory-wiping brain remember more details if i write the whole spectrum of reactions. there’s a little dip in momentum, in what was presumably a calculated decision, but it bugged me as a reader, even though i appreciate the irony of its being itself a caesura: the unruh backstory, while interesting and necessary, was a little draggy, and was dropped right into the middle of a rising action-cliffhanger i was desperate to see resolved, and i was all tensely coiled through this backstory i would have been interested in, but ended up reading pretty distractedly, wanting to get back to the situation unfolding in the “now.”and there are a couple of things i didn’t buy, most notably (view spoiler)[regarding the public reading of the files by rigo and santayana. i understand perfectly how shocking it would have been for these people to learn the details of their pasts, but, as horrifying as they were, to be driven immediately to suicide by them seems a bit drastic, and the expectation by the agents that this would be their response seems an unlikely one to anticipate. it was a risky move, considering that these people, with latent muscle-memories of violence, would see this exposure as a threat and the ‘normal’ reaction would be ‘remove this threat by any means necessary.’which ultimately happened, but while one person driven to suicide might be acceptable human behavior, two seems like writerly indulgence for dramatic purposes where no additional drama was needed. (hide spoiler)]but that's all just quibble. this book is a wonderfully weird ride, and that action - phoar. cinematic and glorious. i could do with a sequel to this, and i promise i will read the sequel to that other one. deal?
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  • Jessica T.
    June 1, 2017
    So I finished this in 2 days... you may not think that's impressive but I also worked 2 doubles both of those days.. In other words I could not put this down. It wasn't a perfect novel but it was damn good... I can't wait to read more of his stuff.
  • Stephanie
    August 1, 2017
    Good Lord this book is addictive. I could not put it down and raced through it in a day. Fans of Blake Crouch's Wayward Pines trilogy will eat this one up. Fast paced, heart pounding, and absolutely fascinating. Best premise for a book I've seen in a long time. 4 stars.
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  • Book of the Month
    August 1, 2017
    Best WesternBy Judge Tyler CoatesI have to admit something: Several times in the last few months I’ve wanted to snap my laptop shut and throw it across a room. I have yelled at my television and deleted social media apps from my phone. And I’ve often thought, “It would be really nice to get away from everything, disconnect from the world, live a quiet life in the middle of nowhere, and forget about it all.”Reading The Blinds, however, snapped me out of it even as it provided a satisfying escape. Best WesternBy Judge Tyler CoatesI have to admit something: Several times in the last few months I’ve wanted to snap my laptop shut and throw it across a room. I have yelled at my television and deleted social media apps from my phone. And I’ve often thought, “It would be really nice to get away from everything, disconnect from the world, live a quiet life in the middle of nowhere, and forget about it all.”Reading The Blinds, however, snapped me out of it even as it provided a satisfying escape. The title refers to a remote, off the grid town in the middle of Texas—a place named Caesura, a small village the locals call “the Blinds.” No one is really a local, per se; everyone who lives in Caesura came there from someplace else, although their origins are unknown. Their identities have been swiped from their brains in a very Eternal Sunshine fashion—not because they were hoping to escape some sort of heartbreak, however, but because they are trying to escape violence in their past.The people who live in the Blinds have new identities and choose brand new names by combining the names of Hollywood actors and vice presidents: So for instance, Greta Fillmore runs the local bar, Spiro Mitchum keeps the store fully stocked, and Calvin Cooper patrols as town sheriff. The residents of Caesura are hiding from themselves, too—some are former criminals, while others (they hope) are innocents mixed up in bad business and in need of a new life and new identity—witness protection at its most extreme.This experimental sanctuary—not quite utopia or dystopia—starts to crack when one of the residents is discovered dead from an apparent suicide. Weeks later, another man ends up dead, and it’s up to Sheriff Cooper to keep the townspeople calm and to put the pieces of the puzzle together. With a twist at every turn, the peaceful community starts to reveal a troubling darkness hidden beneath its rocky, dusty surface. It’s not long before the town erupts into violent chaos, a staggering conclusion that comes at you as fast as a freight train.With The Blinds, Adam Sternbergh seamlessly mixes the western and thriller genres, crafting a tense and unsettling read that brings to mind Cormac McCarthy and the truly weird work of Shirley Jackson. But The Blinds isn’t just homage—Sternbergh is a master all his own. This cast of characters imprisoned by their forgotten identities is enough to make you appreciate knowing exactly who you are, and where. Even if the world around you can be maddening, at least it’s familiar.Read more at https://www.bookofthemonth.com/select...
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  • Lovely Loveday
    July 29, 2017
    The Blinds is a very addictive book that you will not want to put down. This book is so descriptive and detailed that you will fell as if you have known the characters for years. The town which is nicknamed The Blinds is a small town in the middle of Texas, an area in the middle of nowhere that is populated by people who have all had their minds wiped clean and given new identities. This town is an alternative to the normal witness protection with a lot of them being former criminals that have b The Blinds is a very addictive book that you will not want to put down. This book is so descriptive and detailed that you will fell as if you have known the characters for years. The town which is nicknamed The Blinds is a small town in the middle of Texas, an area in the middle of nowhere that is populated by people who have all had their minds wiped clean and given new identities. This town is an alternative to the normal witness protection with a lot of them being former criminals that have been given a second chance. The town was safe from the outside world until two murders take place. The story really picks up after the murders with fast paced action and suspense. You will doubt yourself trying to figure out who done it until the very end and it turns out that everything is not as it seems. I highly recommend this book.
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  • Lou
    August 2, 2017
    So your in a program to readjust to life, things have been very rocky you want to forget, you have been handed a golden ticket to a way out ,the real fix you have been advised by some new official guy from the bureau. The train leaves for Caesura the towns official name sounds like a caesar salad, strange name, in more ways than one your told its your best option and so with that little push you jump on board. The brochure reads"Will I remember what I did? You won’t. But will I know that I’ve fo So your in a program to readjust to life, things have been very rocky you want to forget, you have been handed a golden ticket to a way out ,the real fix you have been advised by some new official guy from the bureau. The train leaves for Caesura the towns official name sounds like a caesar salad, strange name, in more ways than one your told its your best option and so with that little push you jump on board. The brochure reads"Will I remember what I did? You won’t. But will I know that I’ve forgotten it? You will. So I’ll know I did something bad, but I won’t know what it was. You’ll know you made the decision to come to this place.”(Excerpt)The journey is long this place is in apiece of land in Texas in the middle of nowhere, you really start being awed its behind a fourteen-foot fence.Once gone through the little introductions one guy, the Sheriff, you don’t think such a small place would need one, says(excerpts>)1. NO VISITORS 2. NO CONTACT 3. NO RETURN“There is, however, no Internet access,” he continues. “There are no personal phone calls in or out, and no personal mail. You will not be in contact with anyone from your past under any circumstances. Because, simply put, if we have access to the outside world, that means the outside world has access to us. Which is exactly what we are striving to avoid.”“Caesura is not just a new home but part of a holistic program designed to ensure both your security and your future well-being in a larger sense.”“Does anyone here know what Caesura means? The word itself?” No one answers. “Caesura,” he continues, “means a pause. A break. And that’s what this is. You have entered this program voluntarily. This was not only to secure your cooperation and testimony, it was to ensure your protection and provide you with a break in your lives, a pause, a new start, which you have chosen freely to undertake. We encourage you to approach life here in that spirit. Now, if there are no more—”This is the Blinds.” Cooper leaves those words to linger in the air as well. Then he points to his arm patch. “It may say ‘Caesura’ on the badges, but the Blinds is what everyone here calls it. Because we don’t see the outside world, and they don’t see us, not anymore. So this town’s continued existence—our survival—depends on shared principles, mutual interests, and trust, just like any community. Except in this community, when those principles are compromised, people get hurt. People die. Understood?”,Now that little minds eye mentions what the **** no internet what forsaken place really is this!The author has done a swell drop in contorting the daily lives of a few in this distant place called The Blinds/Caesura he has the stage set and slowly he lets you have a peak behind the scenes that stage curtain lifting until it all comes calling down and you get to understand why this is the place may be the best for the very complicated characters, a kind of pause, time out from suburbia. The writing clear and potent the scenes visceral and cinematic. I started thinking about some crime dramas like Fargo and True Detective where you have similar compelling and intricate plots and strange towns like movie and tv series Westworld.Review also @ http://more2read.com/review/blinds-adam-sternbergh/
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  • Kasey
    August 7, 2017
    Current Book of the Month Club selection. I will be starting this today!
  • Suzanne
    July 28, 2017
    Imagine a place where your past has been erased and nobody knows your name, not even you. In the 3rd least populated place in the U.S., in Texas, a dusty pseudo-community is filled with people who know they agreed to be there but don't know why. Money isn't needed, mail isn't delivered, no internet or phone service is offered. So everyone is safe from whatever sent them there until two separate men die with guns no one has. It poses an interesting dilemma for this closed community, whose members Imagine a place where your past has been erased and nobody knows your name, not even you. In the 3rd least populated place in the U.S., in Texas, a dusty pseudo-community is filled with people who know they agreed to be there but don't know why. Money isn't needed, mail isn't delivered, no internet or phone service is offered. So everyone is safe from whatever sent them there until two separate men die with guns no one has. It poses an interesting dilemma for this closed community, whose members have been told that once they leave they can never return. The set-up for this tale is complicated and the author takes his time revealing details, like bread crumbs on a long trail, it's worth following to get to the end. This could have taken place on another planet, or in another century, the details are well-scrubbed from the scenes. This is an alt western that resonates, a mystery for the law in this town to solve if the sheriff or his deputy get half a chance. It's well worth reading. I received my copy from the publisher through edelweiss.
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  • Danielle
    June 18, 2017
    The Blinds is the nickname for the small town in the middle of nowhere Texas populated by a group of people who have all had their minds wiped and given new identities. Some of them are former criminals given a second chance and others are witnesses to crimes that have chosen this as an alternative to normal witness protection. The understanding has always been that as long as they stay within the confines of The Blinds that they will be safe from the outside world, but now two murders have happ The Blinds is the nickname for the small town in the middle of nowhere Texas populated by a group of people who have all had their minds wiped and given new identities. Some of them are former criminals given a second chance and others are witnesses to crimes that have chosen this as an alternative to normal witness protection. The understanding has always been that as long as they stay within the confines of The Blinds that they will be safe from the outside world, but now two murders have happened in quick succession and something seems to be brewing. It turns out there may be more to The Blinds than it first seems. Really liked this book Adam Sternbergh has an excellent ability to create interesting fully formed worlds that are out of the ordinary. The story is really intriguing. I would definitely recommend this book.
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  • Sharon
    June 20, 2017
    In The Blinds, a sheriff with dark secrets, a toy badge, and no credentials investigates a murder that shouldn’t have been possible in a town that is full of suspects with no memory of who they were before they came to town. This terrific set-up leads to an intriguing mystery which gets wilder and more fast-paced with every unexpected development. With thanks to Ecco/HarperCollins, this ARC was obtained at BookExpo17 in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Katie
    August 7, 2017
    As soon as I read the summary of this book, I started reading it. The unbelievable and enticing premise made me really excited to start it. However, the story ended up being just ok. It was lackluster and slow. The characters were two dimensional and I felt no connection to them. Once the storyline was established (maybe a quarter of the way into it) it was very predictable.
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  • David
    August 3, 2017
    A town in Western Texas filled with people who have done or witnessed terrible things. Those terrible things erased from each person's memory. A kind of witness protection scheme on steroids. What could go wrong? Lots! Fast-paced, lots of twists and turns.
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  • Jay
    July 2, 2017
    I read this one for a future review in Mystery Scene, I'll update the review when I have a link for it.
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