The Placebo Effect
David Rotenberg
Touchstone 2012

Mystery fans eventually become jaded with most of the stuff out there. From time to time however they find a new author with a new way of telling a story and they can’t wait to tell everybody. I am telling everybody: The Placebo Effect by David Rotenberg is the real dope and a mystery you will forever recommend to friends and family.

David Rotenberg brings something totally new to the mystery table with The Placebo Effect. Not only is Decker Roberts a very original and interesting character but the premise behind the character, the plot itself, and even the writing are fresh. The cool thing is this is the first in a series so there’s something to look forward to.

Decker Roberts has a gift for spotting if someone is telling the truth. This is a gift beyond the Lie To Me TV stuff. His gift is a mental / physical talent. There are other people like him with other talents. They are called synaesthete (someone who perceives one sensory experience with a different sense such as associating colors and music) and play secondary roles in this story.

The NSA wants to get its hands on Decker Roberts so he can tell them which terrorist is telling the truth. A pharmaceutical giant wants to eliminate Roberts because he might discover the truth about its new product. These are just a couple of the many plots Rotenberg adroitly … balances … in this mystery novel.

The Placebo Effect by David Rotenberg moves very quickly but the reader never gets the feeling he or the story is being rushed. Nor does a reader get the feeling the many surprises and twists and turns are forced or artificial.

One particularly intriguing and disturbing plot line has to do with the number of placebo pills a drug company can include in a prescription to cut down costs while keeping the drug effective.

David Rotenberg also places bits and pieces of information for the series but at the end of The Placebo Effect you do not feel like this particular story is incomplete.