Cage of Bone by David Dvorkin

At a loose end, after being fired from his latest low paid job, Max Iverson goes to the cinema. A young man comes to sit behind him and suddenly Max is able to read his thoughts. Like a film playing before his eyes, he sees that this man is responsible for killing the young woman at a petrol station that he had read about earlier in the newspaper. Deeply disturbed, he knows he must pass this information on to the authorities, but obviously cannot divulge his identity or how he found out. He decides to contact the Deputy District Attorney, Grady Jacobs, instead of the police.

Over time, his ability to read other people’s thoughts grows stronger, and he is able to pass on a lot of useful information. He is given a job in Jacobs’ office, though not everyone there trusts him. Up to now he has managed to retain his anonymity, but when he comes to the attention of a shadowy criminal organisation his life is put in great danger.

The characters are well written and the plot, though far-fetched, is made to seem entirely plausible. The writer raises the question of whether this ability to read the minds of others is a blessing or a curse. Max also starts to wonder if he is the only one who can do this, or maybe there are others out there reading his thoughts. Max Iverson is an unusual hero, tortured by half-remembered nightmares of the night his mother died and he was born, but how is this possible? I really enjoyed this gripping but sinister thriller, and will look for more books by this writer. I chose to read Cage of Bone as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team.