Sunday, November 8, 2009

Julie's Review: The Rasner Effect

Summary: Rick Rasner escaped death in a New York City bridge explosion - but he couldn't escape becoming an unwitting participant in a top secret military experiment. When the Duke Organization, a group of ruthless killers, set off a violent explosion, they wiped out Rick Rasner's life as he knew it. Many years later, as he still struggled to remember any shred of his former existence, he put a new life together - as a therapist in the Brookhill Children's Psychiatric Residence, a facility for troubled urban teens. Brookhill's policies, set by head director Katherine Miller, seemed brutal and oppressive. She bullied the therapists too - Rick's meek personality left him incapable of handling her attacks. He developed an unexplainable bond with fifteen-year-old patient Clara Blue - something about her conflicted, volatile personality struck a cord deep inside his psyche. Rick wanted to help her and the other patients, yet met with non-stop opposition from the staff. The Duke Organization resurfaced, searching for Rick Rasner. When they found him at the Brookhill facility a bloody hostage situation ensued. The lives of both Rick and Clara were about to change - but for the better or worse? Disgraced mercenary Jake Scarberry was forced out of the witness protection program and back into action - after the Duke Organization. An unpredictable chain of events result between Jake, Rick, and the Duke Organization - and Clara Blue. This complex psychological suspense/thriller will leave you questioning exactly who to root for in a battle of good versus evil.

Review: Have you ever read a book where it haunts you? I don't mean in a supernatural way but in a very real "this can happen way"? Well that's The Rasner Effect by Mark Rosendorf. This book gave me nightmares and made me think about how we view and treat children with psychological disorders. I understand that some should be locked up but they should still be treated like humans. I don't ever think that violence is the answer but I do believe in defending yourself, but sometimes there are fine lines.

While Rick Rasner is the main character in the book, it is 15 year old Clara Blue that intrigues me. She's a classic case of Nature vs. Nurture. Brookhill Psychiatric Hospital is an god awful place and the director, is a nasy woman.

This book is an edge of your seat book. You wonder what is going to happen and you know it's not going to be good.

There is just one part that I'm not sure it would be as quick as what it happened but as in most fiction, you do need to suspend belief at times to keep the story moving. And the end is a bit disturbing as well but plausible, unfortunately.

This book is part Girl, Interrupted and Conspiracy Theory and even throws in home grown terrorists/mercenaries.

I really don't want to say too much because it'll blow the plot. So if you are looking for a fast paced, edge of your seat, intriguing book The Rasner Effect should be put on your list.

Final Take: 4/5


stacybuckeye November 9, 2009 at 12:29 AM  

I love thrillers that can scare you. I'll have to look for this one.

Amy November 11, 2009 at 3:01 PM  

This book sounds riveting and disturbing. I really enjoy thrillers especially psychological ones and the subject matter here is so important, too. I've often wondered what the places where children with difficult mental problems and other people live are like.

Thank you for a fantastic review, Julie. I just added this book to my TBR list.

Mark Rosendorf November 12, 2009 at 1:40 PM  

I would like to thank Julie from Girls Just Reading for both the review and the interview, I hope to submit the sequel for review in a few months. I would also like to thank everyone who read both the review and interview.

Amy, I just wanted to say: don't take the Brookhill residence as depicted in The Rasner Effect as an example of how all residential treatment centers for disturbed children are run. As with anything, there's good places and there are bad places all of which are supposed to do the same job but are seldom alike. Brookhill is an example of the worst a residential can get. Brookhill does have threads of realism, unfortunately, but there are some good ones out there as well.

Thanks again,

Mark Rosendorf
author of The Rasner Effect

Julie November 12, 2009 at 2:52 PM  

Mark - Thanks for stopping by! We'll look for the sequel in 2010!

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