Auditory Viewpoint: Lillian R. Melendez
What we often take fore granted just might save our lives. Within this world there are many people who invade our privacy, learn about our lives and seek ways to inflate their financial wealth at the expense of others. Seeing, touching, smelling, tasting and hearing provide many windows on the world and when one sense is impaired or taken away we need to rely on the rest in order to complete simple tasks, overcome difficult situations and learn how to cope with the stresses brought upon us by situations beyond our control. Auditory Viewpoint, by author Lillian R. Melendez brings to light just what happens when talk show host Gloria Rank’s sister becomes the target for a murderer. Rising to fame as the host of a radio show Gloria uses her intelligence and four senses not only in her work but also in every day situations. Gloria is blind but manages to see things as clearly as a sighted person. When her sister Anna’s identity is stolen, her life in danger it is Gloria who comes to her aid and instructs her on how to employ her other senses to see, hear, smell, taste and touch the world around her more vividly and clearly. As the host of a well-received radio show her last guest was I.T. security analyst Benjamin Taylor whose help Gloria enlists to find the person who hacked into her sister’s bank account, stole her identity and who is still tracking her whereabouts. Reporting what happened to the police finds FBI Agent Sanchez at her door hoping to find the culprit and leading the investigation. Placing her in a safe place he thought that she would be out of harms way but events transpire, Anna’s safety is compromised sending her to Gloria’s home and leading the sisters on a race against time to stop a killer and hopefully stay alive. Finding a dead body in front of her apartment door just the beginning.
Using credit cards to make online purchases is a definite risk. With the help of Benjamin Taylor the two sisters hope to find some clues to who the hacker is and how this person or persons can be stopped. But, first Gloria takes readers and Anna to the park, train station, mall and other places to teach everyone how to hone in on your other senses and see the world through Gloria’s eyes.
Readers will come front and center with a ring of people whose job it is to create false ads, promotional sales flyers and phony catalogues replicating the originals hoping to snag buyers into using their credit cards online, take their revenue and hack into more than just that one account. Frightening to say the least and definitely makes you rethink buying online. However, from personal experience although the author states the theft should be reported to the police the victim needs to report it to the three credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and Trans Union besides stopping all of their cards to be on the safe side and even calling Social Security to put a fraud alert on their social security number. I even went as far as making sure that someone had to call me before issuing me a new card making sure that I was the one who ordered it.
The simplest of conversations some might find innocent or not understand raises a red flag when Anna overhears someone at the mall where she is testing her sense of taste, speaking on his cell about a USB drive with important information. Just where this leads you won’t believe as this one single conversation sends Anna, Gloria and Benjamin through the streets of New York City to the Thanksgiving Day parade, to the subway on different lines and into many different malls and stores hoping to find the hackers sent to commit one use crime that would do more than just hack into people’s accounts. When one of the hackers is taken into custody and released and what happens at police headquarters will stun readers. Computers crashing, an I.T. man on site so why did they need the help of a hacker to fix what someone else set into motion. As Anna and Gloria risk it all and try to stay clear of the police and FBI more bodies are found and the mastermind behind the hacking comes face to face with Gloria but you won’t believe what happens next. Finding their way across town, hearing bits of conversations, enlisting the help of the police they manage to get the hackers but not everything is that simple and one sister loses her way, another gets kidnapped and the truth behind the entire scheme comes to light. Just who hacked into Anna’s private life and why? Who was the real target? When the past comes trickling into the present the startling twist at the end will surprise readers.
Keys can be annoying when jingled in your face or someone just plays with them. But, when keys trigger a behavior causing hearing things that are not there the disease is called auditory hallucination and the person inflicted with this illness believes that they hear sounds that sound like an actual or real sound but are not really there. Just who cannot handle the sound of keys and other noises? Who wants to rid the world of Gloria and why? Will Anna and the police are able to stop what this person has in mind and started? Auditory Viewpoint: What do you hear? Who gets the final word? Use your senses, taste, and touch, hearing, sight and smell to guide you through the investigation as Gloria and Anna work together to bring down a killer and stop what one person has started. Technology: Protect yourself by being careful where you do online, when you purchase online and be vigilant about your account and your personal information. As the hackers relate in this novel beware of emails with links and nothing else. Auditory Viewpoint: Identity theft, loyalty, friendship, trust and forgiveness are just some of what the author brings to light. Interesting book and I wonder if the author is going to bring Gloria back again.
Remember that a disability does not mean you cannot soar and succeed in life. Gloria sets a fine example of what happens when your are persistent, hardworking, diligent, caring and creative not allowing anything to get in her way. Gloria who is blind teaches her sister and others how to embrace their other senses to see the world through clearer eyes.
Fran Lewis: reviewer
This book gets four stars.