Utterly compelling and wickedly addictive…
Ramirez transcends the thriller genre with this riveting tale around cruel genetic experiments and secrets long buried. In a secret lab, Jane awakens from a bizarre dream, with her body immersed in a tank with wires and tubes and her memory gone except for foggy parts about dying from her wounds during a night raid in Afghanistan. She makes an escape from the facility, but her venture into the outside world brings her face to face with a shocking reality: bullets can’t kill her—her body has the ability to heal itself except for a debilitating fever that rages inside her, and she needs an experimental drug to keep herself alive. As she sets on to unravel her real identity, her search leads her down a rabbit hole of startling revelations. But Jane is determined and ready to go to any length in order to reclaim her life. Ramirez’s expert narrative is replete with shocking twists and turns, placing readers right in the middle of a bleak world that’s full of violence, senseless and cruel death, and chaos, where bizarre test subjects are fighting for survival. The dialogue is sharp, and the pacing swift. There are classified genomics projects, malevolent villains, troubled anti-heroes, sinister conspiracies, and enough bloodshed to pour into two thrillers. Ramirez adeptly engraves the personalities of his wildly diverse cast of players: readers will like Jane—she’s a lost soul, vulnerable and yet commands strength of both character and body, unfeeling and compassionate at once, and relentless and resilient; the quiet and dependable Raul steals the show though. The plot is winding and yet accessible, and Ramirez uses a twisted and yet deceptively simple story to delve deep into Jane’s struggle to unravel her own identity while navigating the strangeness of the world around her. For a thriller, the novel is pretty slim (it amounts to 200 pages), and Ramirez displays an expert control of his craft: employing a sparse, economical prose, he packs plenty into each image without overwhelming the reader. The mystery of Jane’s death and her subsequent revival is at the dark heart of an unfolding biological experiment that will leave readers reeling, and the final reveal is a shocker. Along the way, Ramirez visits the themes of memory and mortality through the lenses of science and occult while playing on universal themes of genetic engineering and ethical issues, trauma, abuse, and malevolence. Clever and suspenseful, the novel will pull the reader in and doesn’t let go.
Faithless: A Jane Doe Thriller
By Steven Ramirez
Pub date May 16, 2021