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2012 Favorites #7 Placebo

Title:  Placebo
Author:  Steven James                                                                                                                   
Pages:  406
Year:  2012
Publisher:   Revell
                What do quantum physics, a set of twins, and a pharmaceutical company have in common?  Well, you’ll have to read this riveting novel to find out.  This is the beginning of a new series for author Steven James.  The lead character is Jevin Banks, and the genre is contemporary fiction.
                Jevin Banks is an illusionist, who has had his own TV show in the past.  He no longer performs his act as he now suffers from claustrophobia and grief from the loss of his wife and two young sons.  The story takes place 13 months after the tragedy.  His job now is documentaries that debunk televangelists and other hucksters.  He and his assistant, Charlene, have embarked on an assignment to uncover how a research institute has gotten test results showing that two people in a close relationship can cause a physiologic in one another.  In separate rooms, one person thinks positive loving thoughts about the other person when their shown on a video screen.  The person being shown doesn’t know when the other person will be watching, but is in a relaxed state.  The one being watched has a change in respirations, heartbeat, and skin temperature due to the positive thoughts of the watcher!  Is this for real?  Has the institute deceived everyone?  If so, how?  That is what Jevin aims to find out.
                During the course of his investigation, he uncovers a much more serious threat than hucksters cheating people out of money and their beliefs.  He and Charlene are in for an adrenaline-pumping adventure that includes arson, murder, plots against the government, and much more.  He enlists the help of a couple of other members of his staff that have become his friends.  They help him gather information and help him plan on how to take down the conspirators.
                Jevin also begins to process his feelings regarding the deaths of his family.  He has spent the last 13 months hating himself, feeling at fault in their deaths.  He has been living without hope.  Charlene shows him what hope is and his need for it in his life.  She tells him about Jesus and the resurrection.  We can see the beginnings of his faith taking root.  Also, he realizes that Charlene means more to him than an assistant.  He knows it is time to move on with life, not to forget his family as that isn’t possible, but to live and not just exist.  He also has the door opened to a possible reconciliation with his father.
                Steven James has given readers another thrilling novel.  He puts his masters in storytelling to excellent use!   This novel is very entertaining and impossible to put down.  You will not want to miss reading this one.  His books know only one speed—full throttle.  Enjoy!
                My rating is 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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