Psycho Thriller :: The Syndrom (aka Trance State) by John Case (2000)

Posted By: isp4
Dr. Jeff Duran suffers from severe panic attacks when he ventures too far outside his home office. At times, he remembers phrases of a foreign language he has never learned. And there are curious memories he cannot explain—of distinct smells, music, the spray of ocean sailing. But no sooner do these sensations and images begin to surface than they disappear.
Then, after a patient commits suicide, Duran’s life spirals out of control. The victim’s half-sister, Adrienne Cope, blames Duran for filling her sister’s head with “recovered” memories of horrific childhood abuse. But Adrienne soon discovers some shocking facts about him—facts that even he is unaware of.” “The stakes are raised when unknown assassins burst into Duran’s office and bloodshed ensues. But who is their target: Adrienne or Duran? Running for their very lives, forced to trust each other, they must now work together to unlock the reason why one or both of them is marked for death. For beneath the intrigue lies a dark conspiracy that stretches halfway around the world—and a sinister plot that could change the course of history.

Psycho Thriller | John Case | “The Syndrome” | 2000 | .doc.rar | 350 KB

Publishers Weekly

The always intriguing Case (The Genesis Code; The First Horseman) poses another troubling question for the ages in his latest biospeculative thriller. Just what happened to the U.S. government’s secret mind-control experiments of the 1960s? In this diverting fictional juggernaut, a shadowy private enterprise, the Prudhomme Clinic, took over where the government left off. It is now kidnapping people, wiping their memories clean and turning them into assassins who target international leaders whom the Prudhomme believes are destabilizing world order. The whole operation, however, is jeopardized when one recreated human, Jeff Duran, manages to break the spell and start questioning who he is, and more importantly, who he was before a computer chip was implanted in his brain. He teams up in his quest with Adrienne Cope, a Washington, D.C., lawyer who has been baffled by the suicide of her sister, who, unbeknownst to Adrienne, was one of the Prudhomme’s most skilled killers. Soon after the two begin poking around, they find their lives are in peril. They begin a frantic search for information, dodging attempts on their lives and making one bone-chilling discovery after another. They ultimately find themselves rushing off to Switzerland not only to confront the Prudhomme’s leader, but to save the life of Nelson Mandela, who has been targeted for assassination. Explanations of the history and techniques of mind-control experiments as well as the psychology of amnesia add a realistic overlay to what otherwise might have been a fairly formulaic thriller. Case, revealed here for the first time to be the husband-and-wife writing team of Jim and Carolyn Hougan of Virginia, shows the sort of sure-handed storytelling that made their first two books such hot sellers. National ad campaign; author appearances in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.
(May 1) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Library Journal

In this psych-tech thriller, clinical psychologist Jeff Duran confronts unknown killers and identity thieves after one of his patients commits suicide. His patient’s attorney-sister, Adrienne, suspicious of the suicide’s circumstances and Duran’s credibility as a psychologist, hires a private detective to investigate. The PI’s murder and attempts on Jeff’s and Adrienne’s lives unite them against a conspiracy involving brain implants and political crimes. Dick Hill’s engrossing reading is marred by undertones that become inaudible in an automobile and inconsistency in Adrienne’s voice. Still, recommended where The X-Files is popular.
Sandy Glover, West Linn P.L., OR Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews

Husband-and-wife writing team Jim and Carolyn Hougan have done good work under the Case pseudonym (The First Horseman, 1998, etc.), but they stumble here with an overlong thriller about brain implants and other mind-boggling developments. Lew McBride is about to have his head handed to him with a certain little something added. It’s called a “neurophonic prosthesis,” and, in effect, it renders him lame-brained, the robotized tool of a collection of mysterious bad guys. There he was, a brilliant young psychological researcher (handsome, too) in Zurich to confer with the directors of the Prudhomme Clinic about his grant—and the next thing you know evil people have him strapped to a chair and are hovering over him with needles and other sharp things, preparing his face for “degloving.” (Don’t ask.) When he wakes he’s no longer Lew McBride, nor is he in Zurich. He’s now Dr. Jeff Duran, a clinical psychologist in New York with only two patients—both, as it turns out, fellow automatons. So what’s it all about? Mind control, yes, but to what end? With the aid of the equally brilliant (beautiful, too) Adrienne Cope, Lew/Jeff begins the painfully slow process of reclaiming his identity and unraveling the fiendish conspiracy that he’s an unwilling part of. In the process, he learns about a secret government licensed-to-kill program, rooted in WWII counterintelligence that had as its targets such heinous types as Hitler and Mussolini. He also learns about the Jericho Project, an updated version of Assassinations R Us, but with targets dear to the hearts of hate-mongering bigots. Fistfights, gun-fights, and disappearing corpses offer only patches of excitement before the trail finallyleads back to Zurich for the obligatory slam-bang finish and lover’s clinch. Strip off the biomedical razzle-dazzle, and what’s left is old-hat megalomaniac melodrama.