October 9, 2011

The Empathy Effect by Bob Lock

The Empathy Effect is a science fiction fantasy novel.

Cooper Jones, a Swansea traffic warden, is an alcoholic who has a special ability, he is an empath.  He is almost able to read people's minds...almost!

Via the emotions of others, Cooper is able to "sense" what they are thinking and being able to easily read people, he never has a problem with bedtime companions.

On the day he gives Merc Man a traffic ticket, things begin to wrong.  As he is writing the ticket up, he senses fear coming from a little girl in a white van that drives past him.  When he learns of the little girl's kidnapping from a school field trip, Cooper believes Merc Man many know something about it and decides to "stake" his house out in order to gain concrete evidence of his guilt.

When Cooper gets arrested and finds out what is behind the true nature of Merc Man's mystery, he realizes he still has to find the little girl but what Cooper doesn't realize is that the people who kidnapped the child, are also out to set Cooper up.  The people behind the kidnapping are dangerous, psychotic and one of them has sworn revenge on Cooper for an event that occurred when he was a child.

When Cooper's best friend, Janet, is also kidnapped and Cooper has been framed for her disappearance, he begins to realize that there may be more happening here than he first suspected.  Time is running out and Cooper wonders if his empathic abilities will save him from the fate that is before him.

I thought this was an intelligent and well-written piece of literature.  I enjoyed the prose of the author and enjoyed reading about Cooper and his tale.  I thought Cooper was likeable, even with all his hang-ups and oftentimes, comical in the situations he finds himself involved with.

I liked how the story jumped from the present to the past, from one set of characters to the other.  Most times this doesn't work in a book but Bob Lock has done amazing with this and the flow is not disjointed as so often happens.

I loved the sarcastic wit that was part of Coopers character and how he interacted with others.  The tie-ins to all the stories was remarkably ascribed and absorbing to read.  I loved the back story of the antagonists, and the quirks that they have. 

I would give this book a four out of five stars, while I completely enjoyed the read, I found the reasons for the revenge to less than I had expected.  The idea fell flat with me and well, it just didn't work.  However, everything leading to that point and after, is very well thought out and executed.

Cooper Jones is an alcoholic with a super-power, he is an empath, almost able to read minds ... almost! He's also a Swansea traffic warden and doesn't have to read minds to know what people think of him. However, he had no idea how hated he was until he was bound to Mumbles Pier and left to drown.

** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by me..as I see it~!! **


  1. Hi Alena :)
    Many thanks for such a great review of TEE, much appreciated and so glad you enjoyed it.

    PS your hubby, Russ, looks very Cooper Jonesish in his cape :P