Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Book Review: Head Games by Kevin Baker

Jordan Patrick is an aspiring actor who is struggling to fund his way through University. When another drama student sows the seeds of doubt about his future career he decides he has to get a part time job. The perfect role for him falls into his lap when a psychology professor hires him to take part in an experiment. He is inserted into the life of the psychologist's patients with the aim of staging situations and modelling behaviours that will advance their therapy and help resolve their issues. The role becomes a complicated one when he starts to develop a relationship with patient Julie who has issues with men.

I thought the concept behind the book was brilliant, if rather sinister. Jordan seems to fall for the reasoning behind Foster's interventions without questioning his motives too closely. After all as an actor the work is hardly a stretch for him. However he gradually realises there is far more behind what he is involved in and uncovers all sorts of potentially criminal and ethically dubious behaviour. As events accelerate Jordan is unsure who he can trust. The story was built up gradually and carefully, to then pull the reader along to a rapid conclusion. I found the latter part of the book rattled through and I got a little confused as new characters were introduced, some of them going by real and assumed names. However a little re-reading clarified things and in a way it served to mirror Jordan's confusion as he tried to unpick what was real and what was a product of Foster's illusions.

Head GamesI did enjoy the ideas behind this book but found myself a little indifferent as to the fate of the characters. Maybe the fact the chapters are dated by how many days they occured before Jordan got shot or references that seemed to indicate the outcome of said shooting removed the element of suspense and concern that I might have built otherwise. Foster, as a control freak from the start, was never likely to be a character I could empathise with and along with Jordan I was unsure about what sort of person Julie was until the end.

This was good read, I didn't spot any typos which is always a plus but it was missing a certain something.

Format: Kindle , review copy
My Rating: 3*


Jessica L. Buike said...

Great review! I linked to it in my blog today:

TC said...

Thanks Jessica, so kind of you. Hope you're having a great start to the new year.