Headcase Book 1: Shock & Denial by author Chris Jones begins by introducing the ‘World of Headcase’ in combination with a prologue. An alternative reality of the New York metro area in a year before COVID-19 and a play on the professional sporting leagues, its associates, and players. It explores and unveils what occurs in the minds of professional athletes both on and off the field – one often not picturesque.
Undertaking the novel’s format in this way has erected the perfect platform to truly understand the deep psychological elements of this novel; the impact of childhood, trauma, societal pressure, career, and expectations in the world of the elite.
The intricate mind of the main protagonist, Dr. Andrew Beck – a psychologist being paid six figures to restore and repair the minds of star athletes – was foreshadowed with such precision that it made for a brilliant page-turner. Each of his patients brings a set of issues that add to the complex, high-profile sporting world and stroke the shadows of his upbringing with his sporting-legend father.
Dr. Beck’s character truly captures the reader’s attention and brings them into the know-how of the’ Headcase’ world. The shake of the shoulders, rub of a lip, and Dr. Beck’s attention to detail spells out the narrative so ideally that it is almost as if he’s undertaking live brain surgery amongst the pages. This is all while achieving a suspenseful plot as the reader uncovers the dubious choices of a well-educated, well-respected doctor as he finds himself in the spiderweb of the world’s most infamous.
Headcase Book 1: Shock & Denial makes for the perfect powerplay dynamic, integrated with the highest caliber of writing and captivating characters. It is a must-read. A stellar beginning for the first book in what will undoubtedly be a sell-out series.
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