Double Blind

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

David Snow is yet another casualty of alcohol, but he’s determined not to remain a victim. Thus, DOUBLE BLIND finds him struggling with temptation and the manifold frustrations of practicing psychiatry at a state-supported facility in order to regain his license.

Suddenly, David’s otherwise tormented existence is interrupted by a group of patients who represent a definite challenge. Although they demonstrate the classic symptoms of schizophrenia, they are also HIV-positive. David is not certain whether AIDS dementia is taking a new and even more tragic turn, or if he is witness to a new medical phenomena—a schizophrenia epidemic. Intrigued by the possibilities, and possessed of no small amount of free time, he speculates concerning the likelihood of either eventuality.

In the course of his investigation, David becomes acutely aware that his life is bereft of any attachment to the opposite sex. Fortunately, the source of this discovery, Jennifer Kovach, is not unresponsive to the awkward advances of a recently divorced alcoholic. Unfortunately, the relationship is rather badly timed. David is warned by persons unknown to abandon his project. When he continues his investigation, he and Jennifer are raped. Moreover, Jennifer is suddenly diagnosed as schizophrenic, and David realizes that he is also losing touch with reality.

David Dawson provides the reader with an interesting premise, and speaks with considerable authority. Nevertheless, Robin Cook remains the master of the genre.