Adam Southward


"Trance’ is a thriller that worms its way in to your brain."


His victims are powerless. He is in control. This is his revenge—and he’s only just begun.

Three university scientists are found dead in a gruesome murder-suicide, and the only suspect in the case, Victor Lazar, is quickly captured. When the spate of violent suicides follows him to prison he is moved to solitary confinement, reserved for the highest-risk inmates. And then his assigned psychologist inexplicably takes his own life.

Alex Madison, a former forensic psychologist turned private therapist, is brought in to interview Victor. He suspects that Victor is controlling his victims, somehow coaxing them into a suggestive trance. It seems like science fiction, but as Alex digs deeper he uncovers a frightening reality of secret research and cruel experimentation—and the perpetrators are closer to home than he could ever have imagined.

Too late, Alex learns the true extent of what Victor is capable of—and who he’s after. With everything he holds dear at risk, can Alex take control of a dangerous mind—before it takes control of him?

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Southward’s debut is gripping, merging the thriller genre with sci-fi, but does it really? The interesting premise of ‘Trance’ may not be totally within the realms of fantasy. The possibility of taking over another’s mind has long been documented. Dark parts of some governments have been known to try and make it a reality (although they strenuously deny this), so is the power of mind control totally fiction? It does make you wonder. Southward has taken this premise and delivers a thriller that puts his readers in a trance, especially myself, Southward’s story filling my brain whenever I had to put the book down! Victor Lazar is a wonderfully bizarre nemesis, but as the story develops I began to realise that despite his despicable acts (and here Southward can be quite graphic), Victor is as much a victim as those he kills. To tell you more would spoil the story, so I will leave it to you to find out for yourself. Alex Madison is a man who has made big mistakes in his personal and professional life. He is quite selfish and emotionally distant and you can see why when Southward introduces you to Madison’s parents. Not exactly an example of the perfect family unit. Southward comments in his Q&A that Madison has a long road before him to redemption (if he makes it). Madison as the damaged anti-hero is a nice change to the normal macho protagonist and makes him more interesting. I will be very interested to see what situations Southward puts Madison in. ‘Trance’ is a thriller that worms its way in to your brain. Victor Lazar is a brilliant damaged criminal and one who may even make his presence felt in future novels. The tagline for ‘Trance’ is ‘You Can’t Fight It. You Have No Control’. You will well agree when reading ‘Trance’ as it will propel you to the end before you even realise you were under Southward’s spell! A strong start to an intriguing series.

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