Murders are common. Serial murders are less common. Serial murders committed in two different countries at exactly the same time, in exactly the same way, are unheard of - until now.
In Toronto, Inspector Raid McTavish stares at the body of a young woman carefully posed in a bed of purple iris, her throat slashed, almost beheaded, her hands placed to cover her empty eye sockets. He knows this is not a random murder, but the first of more to come. What he doesn't know is that 2,000 miles away in Tucson, Arizona, Sergeant Gary Ronstadt is viewing an identical crime scene. Months later, McTavish and Ronstadt meet at a seminar on telepathy between identical twins, where they are shocked to discover that not only are they investigating identical murders, but their lives are intimately linked by a number of inexplicable similarities and coincidences.
While working together to unravel the clues purposely left by the killers, the detectives realize they have but five days to find the killers before they strike again, only this time the killings will be much closer to home.
If you like fiction and the discussion around telepathy, this book will be worth your time and money.
I am fascinated by the subject of telepathy and the evolution of the senses as the human brain continues to evolve. Accordingly, this book had me interested before the first world was spoken. In my opinion, the author developed the story well, using an interesting range of both good and unlikeable characters. Dr. Fleishman went on to mix together a little high level science, suspense, cultural tidbits and a fast moving plot - a recipe for a good book in my library.
Please know that this is the author's first book - and it's published in both traditional and Audible formats. As with many Audible versions of a book, a performer can add to or detract from a book. In this case, the performer's interpretation of one of the more interesting characters was rather harsh to my ear. Otherwise, Orenstein captured a range of genders, ages and accents rather well. All in all, the performance was solid.
As an avid listener and holder of over 2900 Audible titles, I believe this book to be somewhere between 4 and 5 stars. Realistically, I may have pumped this book up by half a star because of the subject matter. Conversely, a reader/listener might drop it a star if the subject matter is unappealing; however, if so, why get it in the first place. I noticed an extremely small number of many readers poorly rated this book - as did one listener. Don't let them put you off - some people are just that way. If you like books of this genre, you won't be disappointed.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to The Gemini Factor the most enjoyable?
The narrator made each character clearly defined, and his acting was in perfect sync with the book. I liked learning interesting facts about twins and examples of twin communication.
What about Michael Karl Orenstein’s performance did you like?
The acting drove the story forward, and the characters were all clearly defined, making it easy to fall into the story and know who was speaking when.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Here is another case of a field expert who has come across an interesting phenomenon, and is able to make a mystery story out of it. His writing is good, much much better than Robin Cook's. In the afterword, he explains how some of the medical premises of the story are, in fact, documented, although not completely understood by scientists. This is all interesting, yet despite documented cases, some of the things that happen still seem implausible. Maybe we're just not ready to go there yet.
I found it hard to keep the people straight, and still can't organize the original baby switching in my mind. The surnames of two of the main families were improbably similar, and I couldn't help thinking, "they're named the same as that stupid dragon Eragon." There seemed to be a lot of gratuitous coincidences, but I think he's saying these are not coincidences after all. The key to solving the mystery lay in the Latino cop's pronunciation of "hecho," which the narrator produced as "aay-show" which completely threw me off the scent since that's not how I pronounce it. Not sure whose Spanish is flawed here.
This was an engaging story, with lots of esoteric information such as the seeming telepathic communication between twins, the game of Yugioh, and the see-no-evil, hear-no-evil monkeys. It's interesting enough, and well-written but I wouldn't read it again. I would, however, be interested in seeing what Dr. Fleishman comes up with in a next book!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Being a Gemini myself, the title alone was intriguing. However, the more I read the book the more engrossed I became in the concept of twin telepathy. Actual facts from documented studies coupled with the details of the plot make for an incredible journey into the plausible existence of such traits in identical twins. Towards the end, when everything begins to unravel, I actually had to go back and listen to the last 2 1/2 hours again just to make sure I hadn't missed anything. It was that intense and that good. What almost seem to be too much detail becomes not quite enough and leaves you wanting more; which in my opinion is always the mark of an excellent writer. If you like twist and turns and OMG moments, you will love this book.
Any additional comments?
I really enjoyed this thriller. The author is a wonderful writer and the story line is unique. It was fun to read a book that not everyone has written.
There is so little we know about the brain and this book took us to another level that although seems unlikely--it is plausible. You have to be willing to think outside the box to fully appreciate it. Hey, that silly Chistopher Columbus thought the world was round. Imagine that! I think someday mankind will have a much better understanding of the mind and what the brain can do. Dr. Fleishman did an excellent job of developing a thriller with this unusual subject matter. If there was any negative for me it was dealing with all the medical terms. At the same time, I learned a lot.
The narrator, Michael Orenstein, did a great job with all the different voices and pronouncing the medical terms.
I would recommend this to anyone who likes medical suspense novels.
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
As an audiobook it is a good read. I don't think I would have invested the time and energy into actually reading this book as it becomes obvious that much of the intrigue is pure chance and not actually based on some compelling twist.
The author is quite a good writer. His vocabulary is notable and his previous training as a physician is well represented with excellent medical details throughout the book. His thought process and development of the story are easily followed. The issue, as noted above, was the only drawback. I felt overall, however, that the story left me wanting.
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
The ending was not well thought out.
How could the performance have been better?
I felt that the Canadian based portion of the dialogue and accents were not always up to snuff. The subtleties of our accent should not confused with our friends from Wisconsin across the border.
Was The Gemini Factor worth the listening time?
Yes, better than having to read it.
Book starts off with interesting premise but obviously writer had no clue where to go from there. I would have rated it 0 if that was available.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful