Diane's Reviews > The Unseen

The Unseen by T.L. Hines
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Feb 18, 09

bookshelves: mystery-suspense
Read in February, 2009

** spoiler alert ** This was an interesting book. I have never thought about, or considered the possibility, that there might be some subset of society involved in watching others from above ceiling tiles, in heating ducts, under the floor, etc. The possibility is fairly chilling.

Initially, I thought the main character was a seriously disturbed social misfit who had clearly suffered trauma in his lifetime, and had taken to "creeping" to fulfill his fantasies of a normal life. As the book evolved, however, Lucas' reactions to the disturbing events he was witnessing, and his interactions with the various other characters in the book, made him seem more like a typical "hero" character. For me, that made his chosen lifestyle, and his odd habit of collecting "tokens" of others' lives, less believable. He seemed too normal!

Lucas is fond of noting that "People hear, but they don't listen," and "People look, but they don't see." The examples of the truth of those statements are thought-provoking.

Lucas' struggle to draw his own moral line is interesting because he knows that the spying he does would be considered by most to be morally wrong, but he does have boundaries . . . he doesn't spy on people in their homes, and he cannot merely observe when he knows someone is going to be hurt. He feesl so strongly about those boundaries that he is willing to move outside his comfort zone to prevent what he views as a misuse of creeping, even though he feels the pull to cross the line himself.

Much of Lucas' motivation is to "do something." He feels he is nothing. He has no past, no family, no mainstream life. He wants to make a mark.

The resolution of the story was, to me, confusing. Lucas becomes caught up in a web of spies, some who look exactly like him (for an odd reason), and he has no idea who is good or bad. The explanation of an "experiment" gone awry, and a "good twin" followed by a swarm of wasps who wants to give Lucas memories which had been taken from him, was all too "out there" for me. But in all, a good read.
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