Blind Spots: Patrick Garry
Facades and outward, superficial appearances or illusions that someone wants others to think when looking at them like the public, friends or even family pretending to be someone they are not. Within this complex novel the author takes us deep inside the lives, minds, fears, hopes and desires of four characters whose lives intertwine in a way that most will never suspect and explain why there are so many areas where we cannot see, where we have a tendency to ignore something in front of us because it is difficult or yields something unpleasant or a small area at the back of the eye that is not sensitive to light causing many to have in all three cases Blind Spots to the world, realities and life. What happens when faced with a murder so heinous that the police look for anyone to arrest just to make sure that the public thinks and knows they are doing their job? What happens when politics wins, the system breaks down and someone has to pay for the death of a mother and three young children at the hand of a 12-year-old child given a gun by an unknown source?
When a 12-year-old child has a fight with a friend, picks up a gun and kills him and his whole family the community that it happens is out for blood and wants someone to pay for the crime. Detective Gunther Mulvaney has arrested Milo Krantz for the crime. The police are making arrests in scores hoping the alleviate the public of their fear but Milo Krantz is their prime suspect as he is a rent collector for a slumlord who often threatens, beats and harasses tenants who owe back rent. Arresting him is one thing but believing his story that he gave the child the gun is another as something about his confession haunts him even as his wife who has taken a interest in his cases and has created extensive journals to help focus on the evidence and tell him how to proceed, he feels something is off and he won’t stop until he finds out if Milo has decided to take the fall for someone else but why? Questions asked and answered and Milo spends time in jail and confesses to the murder and will not defend himself in court. You see it in the news, your hear it all the time when a suspect is caught how often is anyone else sought? The police departments are often more apt to stop searching for anyone else that might have committed the crime in order to say justice is done rather than finding out the truth.
The setting is a rundown area in Minneapolis and Milo is not the most popular person on the block as his job is to get money from delinquent tenants and taking a hard line is the only way to collect. But, Gunther seems to feel that there is something about Milo that he cannot put his finger on and as the case comes to court and we meet Judge Donna Davis the playing field changes, the characters voices are heard as we get to know the judge, her controlling and powerful husband and someone from her past that just might connect to the present as the author flashes back to a night that changed the Donna’s life forever. On the outside she appears austere, astute and hard but on the inside she is afraid, controlled and fearful as her world begins to unravel, we learn more about her relationship with her husband and the reasons why this case might haunt her in her sleep and every waking hour as she takes a closer look at Milo, requests the tape from his confession and realizes something that would change it all.
As Donna begins to do some detective work on her own, Gunther is determined to learn more before Milo is sent to prison for a crime he knows he did not commit as he puts the pieces together and learns about the connection to Donna. Some friendships are difficult to explain and Donna’s memories about meeting someone in the hospital that took care of her and pretended to be someone else comes front and center as Milo shares his thoughts and Donna’s own memories come through. But, the court case seems like a foreign substance that needs to be eradicated and destroyed as she prolongs the hearings, finds excuses to delay them and then cracks down on the lawyers. Intertwining the past and the present within the same pages of many of the chapters keeps readers focused and on the alert for evidence that might even change their perception or perspective about each of the characters. Steven seems bent on his causes, creating justice for everyone and of course manipulating Donna into his way of thinking getting aggressive when she does not comply. Donna remembers the man from her hospital room who took care of her and helped her deal with her blindness yet now she wants to block it all out for fear that the truth will destroy her. Milo relates the truth to Gunther but will he reveal the real murderer? Just who gave the child the gun that started this chain of events where four lives spiraled out of control and no one knows where the final spoke in the chain will fall. It’s a story about power, success, material wealth and someone who just wanted to be accepted for who and what he is as Milo tells readers and Gunther about playing in the band, having a saxophone that he needs to pay for and that Donna comes to his rescue in order to have him not lose it and play in the major band concert.
As Donna remembers her time with Milo/AKA Frank Farrell in the hospital, how he was her eyes and helped to explain the world, helped her eat and focus on more than her blindness a relationship was created but did she imagine him as it comes back to the present and she relates it all to her husband who puts his own spin on the events as the court resumes, the verdict is in and the end result you just won’t see coming as the author creates his own special blind spots that readers won’t see coming. An ending that leaves questions unanswered about Milo and who was the real murderer and Donna and why she was so distracted during the trial, the purpose her husband really had for her and the influence he had to get her the judgeship she coveted so much. But, Donna lived in her own fantasy world for so long and throughout the novel she flashes back to her stay in the hospital, her time with Milo and the reasons for not wanting to continue on with the case in the present. As Milo makes Gunther promise to keep his secret and not ruin his memories the end result makes you wonder why? An intricately woven plot with many broken threads that finally weave themselves into perfect patchwork quilt as the author allows each character to confess to his/her own defeats, fears and hopes as Donna Davis wishes she could turn back the clock, Steven wants the past to disappear, Milo just wants to remember and keep his memories and Gunther tries to come to grips with the present. What is the fate of all four? When you look past the blind spots and you finally see clearly you won’t believe what you will learn.
One novel that keeps you riveted to the printed page and wondering what is next for our Detective as the ending makes you wonder what the future holds for Gunter. Donna Davis, Milo Kruntz, Gunther and Steven Davis: Four people living a world they created within their own minds and illusion living within their own Blind Spot.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ Magazine