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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Vibrations in the Field by Daniel Burke is a metaphysical medical thriller that revolves around three characters. Jane Carter is an academically accomplished young woman who was diagnosed with a series of mental health conditions in the form of schizophrenia, psychosis, and Dissociative Identity Disorder. She is joined by a decorated war veteran on a path to the priesthood named Joe Carroll and Dr. Barry Lieberman, a physician who runs a private practice. The latter uses hypnosis in a manner that gives him unfettered physical and psychological access to his most vulnerable patients. One of Barry's patients is Jane, who is of particular interest to him because she views each of her personalities as separate visible beings. This includes “Sweet Jane”, an alter ego created by Barry to counter the triggers in Jane that hamper her academic pursuits. Barry is a sexual predator and the combination of his unregulated drugs and a hypnosis method called Disassociated Observer Exploration Therapy (DOET) make his patients not only submissive to his advances but active participants in them. When Jane is found with a bloody poker and the unthinkable has happened, Joe is bent on helping Jane/Sweet Jane, who has spent years in psychiatric facilities, while Barry is willing to do everything necessary to stop her.
Vibrations in the Field by Daniel Burke is an exceptionally well-written thriller due to the character development achieved through multiple points of view. Although Jane seems to be the main protagonist, it is the almost-there priest Joe who is the most visible and compelling. Barry also takes up a decent percentage of page real estate, and the two men with polar opposite ideologies duke it out without fully understanding exactly who or what they are up against. To say that Jane is rough around the edges is akin to comparing a goldfish to a whale. She is painfully raw with the tongue of a viper. She is unreliable as a point of view character and she was most unlikeable initially. Burke is methodical in revealing who the characters are, their backstories, and their motives. He uses the restraint of a seasoned writer to set the perfect pace for the story. Quantum physics aficionados will appreciate the theoretical explanations that would likely be way over the heads of casual readers. This is a tightly written, entertaining, and layered novel that was an absolute pleasure to read. Highly recommended.