Review

The Blind Mirror

by Christopher Pike



THE BLIND MIRROR by Christopher Pike begins as a traditional
whodunit. David Lennon returns to California after spending two
months in New York City on a business trip. The twenty-eight year
old artist has been presented with a wonderful opportunity: the
chance to create the cover art for a potential new vampire novel
that is expected to be a blockbuster bestseller.

But David is also recovering from a broken heart. On the night
before he left for the Big Apple, his lover dumped him in a cold
and heartless way. While he drives home from LAX, he decides to
return to the beach where they had their final rendezvous. As he
comes upon the ashes of the small fire he and Sienna made love next
to … he is shocked to find … "[t]he decomposed body of
a woman … half buried in the sand."

David reports his grizzly find to the police, and as they begin to
ask questions, he "felt as if he were a suspect. I didn't have
anything to do with her. I just found her is all." The Sheriff
tells him, "Often the first person who finds the murder victim is
the one who murdered them."

And as David's plight unfolds, he becomes drawn into the vampire
novel he brought home from New York, whose cover he is assigned to
create. Pike chose to write THE BLIND MIRROR as a "frame story"
… a novel within a novel. Usually when an author chooses this
device, it serves as a parallel "gloss" to the central or main
tale. Unfortunately, here, the interior vampire novel is too
obscure to help inform the reader about what is happening in the
main frame.

Both stories feel rushed, the events contrived, plot devices clumsy
and the major characters are not fleshed out. The vampire story is
too weird for readers to connect it to David's plight and Mr.
Pike's novel falls apart. "The center does not hold" and readers
are forced to suspend believability beyond their ken. Add to this
the predictable turns and twists in both plots, and the entire
structure implodes.

Nevertheless, Christopher Pike is a veteran novelist who has
written more than fifty books. THE BLIND MIRROR, despite its flaws,
does manage to evoke the eeriness of how the juxtaposition of
everyday, mundane life can appear like a frantic hologram when
positioned against a surreal set of circumstances. And Pike does
make his point, albeit with overkill, to expose "the evil that men
do."

As a beach read THE BLIND MIRROR will keep you entertained to a
point, but readers can only hope that in his next endeavor, Mr.
Pike reigns in his imagination and exercises more control over his
plot. In that sense his fans certainly have something to look
forward to.

Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum on January 21, 2011

The Blind Mirror
by Christopher Pike

  • Publication Date: May 1, 2003
  • Genres: Fiction, Horror
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books
  • ISBN-10: 0312858957
  • ISBN-13: 9780312858957