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Blackout  By  cover art

Blackout

By: Erin Flanagan
Narrated by: Vivienne Leheny
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Publisher's Summary

In this unforgettable psychological thriller, the dark is a terrifying mystery for a woman on the edge.

Seven hard-won months into her sobriety, sociology professor Maris Heilman has her first blackout. She chalks it up to exhaustion, though she fears that her husband and daughter will suspect she’s drinking again. Whatever their cause, the glitches start becoming more frequent. Sometimes minutes, sometimes longer, but always leaving Maris with the same disorienting question: Where have I been?

Then another blackout lands Maris in the ER, where she makes an alarming discovery. A network of women is battling the same inexplicable malady. Is it a bizarre coincidence or something more sinister? What do all the women have in common besides missing time? Or is it who they have in common?

In a desperate search for answers, Maris has no idea what’s coming next—just the escalating paranoia that her memories may be beyond her control, and that everything she knows could disappear in the blink of an eye.

©2022 Erin Flanagan (P)2022 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"Flanagan keeps the reader guessing to the surprising climax. She remains a writer to watch.”Publishers Weekly

“Intense and creepy, Blackout is a slow-burn thriller that explores the intersection of cutting-edge technology and the Me Too movement. You won’t be able to put Blackout down until you find out how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together!”—Aggie Blum Thompson, author of I Don’t Forgive You 

What listeners say about Blackout

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    3 out of 5 stars
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A recovering alcoholic experiencing blackouts

Before her life disappeared she was outrunning blackouts. For Maris the desire to drink is a daily battle. She’s been sober for eight months, yet her husband and daughter still don’t trust her. She’s all too familiar with alcohol induced blackouts. Many times in her youth she drank to the point of memory loss, but this isn’t the same. These blackouts are happening while she’s sober. This leads her to believe that maybe all those years of drinking have caused long term memory loss.

Maris’s husband Noel is a doctor. He works the graveyard shift so they pass each other in the night. Maris is a professor waiting for the promotion she deserves and her tenure. She writes articles on rape culture and masculinity. Her most recent article was about Dylan Carter a guy sentenced for raping a girl. He went to jail, but was released early. This uproar has caused friction within her department.
Then there’s Hollis Grant a man who is on the university’s committee that has it out for Maris.
An interesting concept that just didn’t launch. Blackout is about the empowerment of women. While I appreciated the information regarding this subject matter I was hoping for a different type of story. It’s a lot to take in. It started off strong until Erin revealed the reasons behind the blackouts.
This was my first read by Erin Flanagan. Blackout is slated a psychological thriller. In my opinion, this book read as an informative assignment given by a teacher. I wasn’t thrilled by the execution. I found the content complex and educational.
I’m in the middle of the road on Blackout. Erin controlled the direction of the story. She obviously did her research and for that I’m grateful. It tied together well. Erin gave my mind something to ponder. For me this doesn’t fit in with my idea of a psychological thriller. All the elements are there to label it a thriller, but I wasn’t thrilled. It wasn’t dark or suspenseful. However, there was substance abuse and an unreliable narrator in the story lending itself to the psychological category.

Narrator:
Vivienne LeHeny is the solo female performer of Blackout. My new favorite norm is owning both the ebook and audiobook of the same book that way I can sit back and follow along to performance. Vivienne is not a new to me voice actor. I listened to her perform Last Girl Ghosted by Lisa Unger. She’s no stranger to the thriller category.
I listened using the audible app at 2X the speed. Listening at a faster speed help build up those intense moments. This was an unabridged audiobook allowing readers to follow along.

1 person found this helpful

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A Page Turner

Loved it! The author's writing was superb. The candor of the main character reminded me of Christine Baranski on "The Good Fight." Each character's personality was exceptionally executed by the narrator's voice. She fluidly moved through this thriller leaving you breathless for the next chapter. The premise of the story deals with the centuries old terroristic issues and male views of females and women of color in higher education in the sciences but with a more diabolical twist. Not to spoil the story but the author pulls in what happens at college fraternity parties mixed with old money and a good lawyer. The main character Maris is fighting for her life to prove that the blackouts she is experiencing is not due to her drinking again. She has been sober for several months but how can you prove that to those you've hurt in the past? This is something more that is not just happening to her but other females as well. I highly recommend this page turner!

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Too repetitive

The narrator was good. The story, well I could not identify with the main character, a recovering alcoholic. I think perhaps a reader who has struggled with substance abuse might be more understanding of the repetition of explaining over and over and over the craving for alcohol and the preoccupation with it, but it drove me nuts. In my opinion, the actual premise of this book was buried by the desire for a drink that was over explained by the author.

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Nail biter until the end

This book was intense and a nail biter until the end. I couldn't stop until the end. I enjoyed this thriller!

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Ok story

The story was OK it definitely kept my attention. I was thinking the ending would be a little better. The main character was a little annoying with her secret keeping and not being honest to her husband. Overall great read.

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A little too woke for my taste

You make like this book if you regularly use terms toxic masculinity. It contains lots of feminist ideas that I don't get behind. The story could be good if I hadn't been feeling my eyes regularly at all the talk of gender equality and blah, blah, blah.

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great performancr

interesting story. I think the effort to make it fit into WOKE distracted continuity

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enjoyed it

surprised I really liked the book. because of the comments I started out thinking I wasn't going to like it. it was fast paced and I truly enjoyed it.

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disliked from the start

listened to this book for a book club . if not for the book club. I would not have continued after 10 pages.
The protagonist hated men and droned on about the rape mentality of men. There were instances in the book of a woman trying to set up a guy for rape. The main character did not have the emotional bandwidth to understand or accept punishment and change of heart...

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Interesting

What a very interesting (almost) thriller. Forward thinking neuroscience meets sociology with a fat wallet mad doctor on the loose…that’s all I can say without divulging too much!

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  • Clairerio
  • 07-15-22

Absolute drivel

Not any part of this book was enjoyable, from the extremely irritating American accent to the weird and silly storyline.
The main character is so sickly sweet and unlikable, the daughter and husband don't have any real part to play.
The main story concerning the blackouts has so many leaps into the next stage you feel like you've blacked out and missed part of the story.
The overall story is not 'terrifying' it's laughable.