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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 

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What listeners say about Blackout

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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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Excellent book

Excellent story as well as characters. I am certain I will read the story again.

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Refreshingly original!

Oh, this was a really enjoyable to read and definitely original. Having read many psychological thrillers, I expected asking the lines of a mental disorder but that was not the case here well, entirely. Really glad I picked this title to read!

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Can't even finish this one

Maybe this is for some, but for lack of a better term, the wokness is something I can't get past. "Toxic masculinity" among other references isn't what I enjoy.

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eh.

Weak story and performance improves as the book goes along. I can't imagine why the hell would you Have a recovering alcoholic as your lead character. She's boring oh but she gets what she wants at the end of the story. eh..

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The book that made you feel like you were there

Great. Very suspenseful and kept you interested. So I referred you didn't WA t to stop listening g

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Great storyline tainted with WOKENESS

Great psychological thriller idea and clearly well researched. The toxic masculinity, white privilege, rape culture, women as victims, throw in a lesbian relationship, BLM, and Michael Obama (no typo)... oh, so tiring and completely unnecessary to prop up the story line. Well written and intriguing but the author needs to reign in her sucursal justice BS - just because you can doesn't really should. No big surprise that the author is an academic who doesn't live in the real world.

Note to author - you are clearly talented. Continue with the stories! Just ditch the indignant female oppression that is not what the MSM and social justice warriors try to convince us it is.

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soapbox

Unfortunately, this novel is essentially an anti-alcohol soapbox trying to pass as a sci fi thriller.

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  • D.
  • 07-31-22

Terrible but Enjoyable!

I enjoyed this book way more than I thought I was going to, considering how many issuess it has, but I was honestly hooked from about the 30% mark, straight on through to the (terrible!) ending.

The biggest problem this book has is that its premise is completely preposterous. I mean the *entire* premise makes little sense. Characters rely on giant gaping holes in logic to deliver plot points and keep the story moving. And we won't mention the unacceptable distance you'll need to suspend your disbelief to stick with this plot.

The Characters are fun though. Maris, the lead, is a hot mess and her family are extremely loveable. There's an unreliable antiheroine, a handy gang of helpful heroines to keep the book glued together, and some very boring villains. (I forgive Flanagan for the boring villian; he steals interesting ideas at least.)

Anyway, as preposterous as the concept was, I was on the edge of my seat. Maris is, after all, having blackouts for *no* reason. That is freaky. And dangerous. And she's a recovering alcoholic, which causes all kinds of conflict for her in the story, but most importantly, obfuscates the source of her terrifying new condition.

I had to know what the heck was going on, I had no problem finishing this terrible little weirdo of a book. I do, in fact recommend this one. Trigger warnings below.

Rating 4 stars
Finished July 2022
Recommended for thriller fans
Trigger warning, alcohol, excessive alcohol consumption, SA

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Groan

This is a terrible book. I think the main character is supposed to be a strong woman, but I found her lies, duplicity, and venomous man-hating to be stupid and tiresome. Why does she never confide in her saintlike husband? And let’s not forget the misogynist professor dabbling in mind control in order to send women back to the Dark Ages. Too much, too much, 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.