The Placebo Effect

In compliance with FTC guidelines, I disclose that I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads!!!
( thanks Simon & Schuster Canada!)

The Placebo Effect
by David Rotenberg
Goodreads Summary:
Decker Roberts has the dangerous gift of detecting the truth (synaesthesia). But when his carefully compartmentalized life starts to fall apart he has to go on the run and figure out why he’s being targeted. There’s also a government agency hunting him down who seems to know everything about him and other people of “his kind.” How will Decker find out which truth was endangering his life? Who betrayed him and revealed all his secrets? Decker needs to find answers quickly, before knowing the truth turns from a gift into a deadly curse.

Well, let me start off by saying this is the first ARC of anything I have ever read so I was really excited to read it. This one will be published January 3rd FYI.

Our MC, Decker Roberts, has the unique ability to 'see' if someone is telling him the truth. Because of this unique gift, how he acquired it, and who else has acquired similar gifts, everyone is after him. This book had so many unique characters in it, a sneaky pharmaceutical company with a dirty head honcho, a hot national service agency agent keeping tabs on our MC, and a couple of crazy people. You know, the usual.

This book takes you through the events in Decker's ever complicated life as we follow him through it. However, we have pretty much no clue ( like Decker) what is going or happening until it happens. This made Rotenberg's book fairy fast paced as I was always wanting to know what was going to happen next. I did feel lost sometimes, but once the story started unravelling about 100 pages in, I really got into it.

Aside from a couple Dan Brown books, I have never read anything all that suspenseful and mysterious. Its definitely a lot different from appearing circuses, magic spells, and chicks who date werewolves, but to be honest, I really liked this change of pace, and enjoyed this one more than I thought I would.

My favourite parts were the little Canadian jokes thrown in to the dialogue and also the very brief mentioning of Vancouver Island as that's where I live. Its always fun to read about a place your familiar with and see what other people's (authors in this case) opinions of it are. For the record, I really don;t see many beat up old Volvo's driving around, but that part in the book made me chuckle!
3/5 for me. I DID like this one but it gets three for hyping me up and kind of fizzing out at the end.


  • Lan | December 2, 2011 at 3:30 AM

    Hooray for the home town shout out. Boo for the disappointing ending. The premise of this actually sounds really good, although I have to point out that synaesthesia doesn't really work thatw way. I like that the book is told from a male POV though. One of very few.