THE BABA YAGA by Leon Shure

The first book in the Myth-steries series, mysteries with a touch of the strange. A young doctor, Adam Karl, who has perceptual problems, and his “seeing eye woman,” Kayko Brasen, are asked by a Chicago Police Detective, Michael Dunne, to get testimony from an autistic child who is the only witness to his mother’s murder. Stalked, Dr Karl discovers frightening secrets about his own family.

Despite the damning with faint praise reviews obviously written by friends and/or family of the author, this was one of those odd books that make no sense, have only a tenuous hold on reality, but yet keeps you reading anyway.

The protagonist is a neurosurgeon just finishing his residency and beginning a practice.  BUT …. he is autistic, and has a condition called Prosopagnosia,  a neurological disorder characterized by the inability to recognize faces. Prosopagnosia is also known as face blindness or facial agnosia. However, this guy also cannot see other people’s facial reactions, such as smiling, etc, so his uncle hires a woman to go around with him and whisper in his ear what the people look like and their expressions. WTF?  Even in his medical practice?  He also tells us in his first person narrative that his own voice and face have no affect, he sounds like a robot.

He is extremely wealthy, but the huge estate where he lives seems to have only a butler type person, a housekeeper, and one cleaning person, and a driver.

The police contact him to see if he can make contact with a little autistic boy who witnessed his mother’s murder. Then the whole book goes on and on about all kinds of other stuff, and he doesn’t make contact with the little boy until almost the end, and it is a failure.  Meanwhile, there is a whole conspiracy thing about a drug being developed — a kind of controlled virus, his helper woman get kidnapped, and after a bunch of other totally unrealistic events is found and rescued, and after a dose of something to reverse the effects of the drug she was given, is suddenly just fine and dandy.

Every character is just absolutely over the top, and the ending is that the family business seems to be a world-wide crime syndicate or something, led by his elderly grandmother, Baba Yaga.

I mean, really.  Really.

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