Advance Review for Great Minds Think Aloud
The Devil in Silver: A Novel by Victor LaValle
“Big Man” Pepper finds himself transported to a psychiatric unit when he defends himself against three interfering men he didn’t recognize as police; he was simply trying to back his friend’s ex-husband away from her. Now he is on seventy-two-hour involuntary commitment, quizzed about his mental status and his life, with no access to an attorney nor any other rights usually accorded if a suspect is taken into police custody. Since he is in a mental unit, none of that applies. But this is not an ordinary mental unit: something else lives there, something that isn’t the inmates-nor the staff-nor the social workers, psychiatrists, psychologist. Something that makes animal sounds, adjusts television volume and channels, and might just be invisible-and dangerous.
“The Devil in Silver” is a well-written, smooth-reading, novel with immediate suspension of disbelief; trust in the universe of the novel is readily available, including even the weird goings-on at New Hyde Psychiatric Unit (where no one would voluntarily wish to check in, especially on Northwest Corridor Four!). Author Victor La Valle wields a subtle and deft touch with his characterizations, and all are delightfully done. I must admit to having a special soft spot, though, for Pepper-he’s so likable, so understandable, and his moral integrity just shines through. He certainly doesn’t deserve the troubles to which he’s subjected.
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