Harrison “Sonny” Lakes has been through hell and back. And he’s still alive, despite his best efforts to the contrary. After surviving a suicide attempt, Sonny realizes his life has spiraled out of control and he needs a fresh start. Leaving his mother and sisters behind, he moves to a small Texas town in the hopes of starting over. The nightmares follow him, but a steady job and the quiet, friendly, town seem to be helping. Then Sonny meets Officer Abel Ellis and things start looking even brighter.
A series of increasingly violent acts of vandalism targeted at Sonny and then Abel threaten their burgeoning relationship. With the local police questioning his every move and no other friends, Sonny finds Abel is the only one he can trust. But that will mean taking a terrifying leap of faith, one Sonny isn’t sure he’s strong enough to make.
Blind Faith is an exploration of PTSD in various forms and the crippling effect it can have on sufferers. This review does come with a trigger warning for suicide, so consider yourself forewarned. Sonny is a veteran struggling with PTSD after the death of a close friend overseas. He’s trying and failing to manage the nightmares, hyper-vigilance, and soul crushing guilt. His confusion and desperation to pretend he’s fine are profound. As a reader, it was impossible not to be sympathetic towards Sonny and, while his initial move to Texas seems too easy a “fix”, the author does a good job of balancing this out later in the book. Abel is harder to get a read on and I never felt like I knew him as a character. He isn’t quite a caricature, but we just don’t get as much depth with him as we do Sonny. They’re fine as a couple, but more than once it feels as if they’re together because of convenience rather than passion or love.
Blind Faith suffers from a lack of realism at times. We know who the antagonist is almost from the start and though we’re given a token reason for his rage towards Sonny, it never makes much sense. And because we get no development of the antagonist as a character, his actions just feel cartoonish. Yes, there’s danger, but it escalates for no apparent reason and it is part of the plot that reads as forced and poorly blended with the rest of the action. Also, there is a secondary police officer, a friend of Abel’s, who decides to set himself against Sonny, but again it lacks believability. He completely discounted Abel’s experience, despite the fact he’s a fellow officer, and seems determined to prove that Sonny is the one behind his own attacks. Of course, these things do happen in real life, but in the context of this story it just didn’t work well.
Sonny is the heart of Blind Faith and his struggles with PTSD are rendered with a lot of emotion and heart. The rest of the story is only so-so and reads as occasionally unrealistic. As a result, this wasn’t my favorite, but that doesn’t mean it won’t appeal to most readers. I think if you like angst and emotionally driven narratives, you might enjoy Blind Faith.