Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Trance (Alex Madison #1)” as Want to Read:
Trance (Alex Madison #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Alex Madison #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  4,815 ratings  ·  401 reviews

His victims are powerless. He is in control. This is his revenge—and he’s only just begun.

Three university scientists are found dead in a gruesome murder-suicide, and the only suspect in the case, Victor Lazar, is quickly captured. When the spate of violent suicides follows him to prison he is moved to solitary confinement, reserved for the highest-risk inmates. And then h

Kindle Edition, 332 pages
Published July 1st 2019 by Thomas & Mercer
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,815 ratings  ·  401 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Trance (Alex Madison #1)
Joey R.
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
1.5 stars—“Trance” is the fIrst book I have read by Adam Southward. The book tells the story of Dr. Alex Madison, who is a private psychiatrist assigned to do a forensic interview on an inmate suspected of causing the death of several individuals. The inmate, Victor, appears to have the ability to control others by whisperIng commands to them and then makes them do things against their will such as committing suicide. It is an interesting premise, but it doesn’t take long for the story to detour ...more
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After having the author Adam Southward recommended to me, I could not wait to get started on the debut book in his Dr. Alex Madison series. Quick paced and entertaining, Southward does well to win the reader over in the early chapters. Dr. Alex Madison has been seconded to work within one of Britain’s prisons, helping with an odd case involving one of the inmates. After viewing the video footage, Madison is baffled as to what might be going on with Victor Lazar. After whispering something into t ...more
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-books
This book is completely different what I usually read.Alex Madison is called to a case where victor who puts people into a trance this story about his background and how he was treated as a child.he was at at a scene during murders was he innocent or apart of it.he escapes his past haunts him.its an intriguing story.
Apr 07, 2019 added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
Abandoned at about 80 pages. A great premise and lots of potential but I couldn't get past the clunky and rather flat prose.
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, thriller
It is possible to be intrigued with a story but also be disenchanted with the arrogance of the main character, and such was the case here. Alex Madison is a philandering jerk, who seems to be aimless and without any sense of purpose. He's a miserable soul, and while I didn't like him at all, I still had to see how things would get resolved.

While I was somewhat caught off guard with a twist of one of the characters near the end of the story, I found most of the plot predictable. I didn't feel li
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, ku, us-kindle
1.5 stars. Too predictable. The protagonist - the stereotypical psychologist with a broken marriage and an addiction to pills - was a whining prick with no redeeming qualities. I disliked him so much, I won't bother with the second book in this new series.
This had the potential for an interesting and exciting story but the way it was told with flashbacks, revelations and explanations, it lost all suspense. The ending was extremely lame.
Narration was ok except for the female voices.
Jul 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
This one's on me.

I downloaded Trance because of all the positive reviews.

Dammit, when will I learn?

Trance was bad. I mean, really bad, mostly because the premise was not original and the main character was so unlikable.

I like unlikable characters.

There are plenty of them in literature; the thing is that most well written unlikable characters have, at least, one redeeming quality, one positive trait. Maybe he or she is brilliant or kind or love animals or children.

Dr. Alex Madison is a c
Liz Barnsley
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trance is a very addictive thriller with an excellent speculative premise, it is tension fuelled and disturbing, with an interesting main protagonist in Alex Madison.

The story jumps between past and present as we learn about Victor, his childhood and weird ability while in the present Alex tries to discover his intentions not realising they are tied together in unexpected ways..

There are twists and turns plus some edge of the seat moments ending with a tense stand off and an excellent set up for
Antigone Walsh
Despite a promising start this novel slowly devolves into a bad episode of the X files. A celebrated clinical psychologist, Alex, takes on the rare forensic case. He is to examine a strange Romanian prisoner who was found at the scene of a brutal murder-suicide. Seems like a lot of people kill themselves when this prisoner is around. But Alex has all the usual baggage., a divorced wife he still loves, a precocious brat, plenty of angst and guilt which he assuages with an addiction to Xanax. The ...more
Yvonne (It's All About Books)

Finished reading: July 4th 2019

"We understand so much, yet so little. Delving into people's minds is an immature science, even for those of us who have studied it for years."

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

(view spoiler)
Jun 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
I don't often review books, but this one struck me differently. I only got about 75 pages in before I had to stop reading it. The female characters were written in such a limited, shallow way that was almost offensive. The author failed to give even the assistant depth by instead relying on sexist notions to describe her and her interactions with others. I thought the premise of the book was pretty interesting, but the way the book played out was disheartening.
Jul 14, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
Maybe it’s a good story. Maybe not. What’s for certain is the writing sucks. Example: ‘Alex slipped on his suit.’ Being as the suit in question is not a boiler suit, how the heck did he SLIP it on?

Too many good stories written by competent writers out there to waste time with this.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Psychological crime fiction with horror + science-fantasy elements

3.5 Stars

The premise is original with a well-thought-out serial murderer storyline that includes: a villain that terrifies; a flawed, Xanax-addicted protagonist; and horror born of science-fantasy. The atmosphere is appropriately dark and sometimes desperate. As a whole, the writing is good, but I had difficulties with the flash backs/forwards, which were often awkwardly executed.

None of the characters were particularly likable
Andy Coleman
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was ok

Bleh. The story promises some sort of "supernatural thriller", but since the author explains the mysterious skill pretty early on, the "supernatural" element quickly vanishes. And for the "thriller" part? The story is quite predictable and you'll have it all figured out WAY before the end.

The idea behind the mysterious skill of the antagonist is pretty interesting. It sort of takes what we already know about psychology and pushes it to an eleven (or thirteen, but you'd hav
Darla C. James
Jun 19, 2019 rated it did not like it

I seriously struggled to finish reading this book after several chapters into the story. I was hooked on the storyline, too curious to learn how it ended to stop what turned into an agonizing journey. Maybe part of the problem was that it was so well-written that the descriptions were too detailed. The main vehicle used to carry the story along were the thoughts of a very damaged and completely self-obsessed main character. I really didn't warm to any of the characters but this guy
Angela Ford
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A gripping read

This is quite a gripping read - even though I must admit the story did not feel new to me and I was able to guess the plot twists before they happened, it was well written and engaging nonetheless. Alex is a psychologist who struggles with his personal demons, addiction, a broken family and unable to hold a steady relationship. He’s a realistic character but his passion is for the mind. When he’s asked to evaluate a dangerous prisoner his life gets twisted into a disaster.
Chuck Wigginton
Jun 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nancy S
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Scary Stuff!

This book really frightened me, to the point that I had to take breaks from reading! Both the thought of the way the orphans were treated, and the darkness that was Victor, appalled me. I look forward to reading more in this series, but first, I need a break. I think I will read something light and silly now.
Christine Lowe
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it

This story is exciting and disturbing. Anything about mind control should scream wrong specially when children and violence are part of the picture. That being said, I was unable to read this book straight through. I needed time away from children who are being severely punished when they do not conform to their expected standard.
The most disturbing aspect is the possibility this could happen. Some humans welcome complete control over others. If they are particularly drawn to young, helple
Cathy Hayes
Jun 09, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019-books
Another one where the plot sounded intriguing and original but the writing didn’t live up to the promise. Victor was found at the scene of a gruesome murder-suicide and is taken into custody but things soon escalate to the point where he is able to control minds and escape.

So far, so interesting but the hero Alex, a former forensic psychologist who is brought in to investigate soon makes the storyline ridiculous. His Porsche gets a mention, plus his pill popping addiction, his problematic relat
Kelly Van Damme
To follow
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, technology, cops
Disclaimer: While I own this book I got it for free for being a Prime Member. It was one of the June books and I spent almost the entire month trying to decide before choosing.

As I have previously boasted; a lot like Bingley in P&P boasting on his terrible penmanship, I rarely read reviews before starting a book and occasionally even skip the blurb. This actually allowed me to sort of enjoy the beginning of the book because I simply believed that the narrator was 'unreliable'. I mean how could s
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Alex Madison is one messed-up protagonist. I believe in flawed heroes but he is past that. He can’t keep a relationship, has his own marriage self-destructed, drinks to excess on a regular basis, and has an expensive drug habit, an addiction to Xanax. And his job is to analyze other people’s mental problems. Yes, really. Not my type of individual, much less a fitting protagonist in a novel of over 300 pages that I have committed to read.
The overblown and largely boring story is about how our pro
This was an ok read. The premise of the story was clever but as the book got near the end i felt disappointed and unsatisfied.
Dr Alex is the main character and he is not very likeable and is very flawed as you find out the more you read. He goes to assess a patient called Victor Lazar who has been at the scene of suicides of some professors and is believed to have somehow put the victims in a trance like state to kill themselves. Victor escapes out of the prison and there are more victims.

Donna McCaul Thibodeau
Alex Madison was once a forensic psychologist until a tragedy sent him into private practice. He has been asked to interview inmate Victor Lazar, who seems to be the cause of a growing number of suicides. He has some kind of mind control and he uses it to escape. Can Alex track him down before it's too late? This was an interesting plot but I had two problems with this book. The first was Alex. He wasn't particularly likable and so damaged a character that it was very difficult to believe he cou ...more
Brian Lawrence
Aug 06, 2019 rated it liked it
A suspenseful and riveting story.

The story held me. I liked the concept and the way things went. I disliked the protagonist though. He is weak, egotistical, overly flawed and in these days of opiate abuse I am repelled by a protagonist who is a functional drug addict. Maybe he will clean up in subsequent novels but unlikely I will read them.
Lonnie Conn
Aug 19, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked the premise of the book but it had a lot of faults. I did not like the protagonist Alex. His immediate interest in Sophie seemed silly and her constant furtive glances at him got redundant and annoying. Alex is supposed to be this great psychiatrist and yet he has no self control. I won’t be reading the next book in the series. One and done!
Colin Davis
Good premise but a couple issues. 1. Very long winded with not great flow at times. I feel like the book could have been 50 pages shorter and gotten the same point. 2. Its labeled and "Alex Mattison book" but seems like you learned more about Victor than Alex. I don't think I'll read the next in the series.
Vicky Peplow
May 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Read better

I was looking forward to reading reading this when I first got it but the further in I got, the more disappointed I became. A shame really and found myself skipping over a lot of it and still didn't seem to miss anything.
Sep 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Trance, by Adam Southward, is a murder mystery/thriller story with an interesting concept: can a killer use mind control to force others to kill and commit suicide against their own will?

Main character Alex Madison had a successful career in forensic psychology, assessing criminals for mental treatment or prosecution, until a case ended with the tragic death of two people. Blaming himself, Madison retreated into private psychology practice (and a growing dependence on Xanax) until his father, a
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Kindle English My...: Trance, by Adam Southward 1 7 Aug 28, 2019 12:15AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Forgotten Bones (Dead Remaining #1)
  • What You Did
  • Black Nowhere (Lisa Tanchik #1)
  • Here To Stay
  • Cold Waters (Normal, Alabama #1)
  • One Small Sacrifice (Shadows of New York, #1)
  • An Equal Justice (David Adams, #1)
  • Thin Air (Jessica Shaw, #1)
  • Broken Glass (Nik Pohl Thriller #1)
  • Rain Will Come
  • Little Voices
  • Drowning With Others
  • Don't Even Breathe (Maggie Novak, #1)
  • Don't Make a Sound (Sawyer Brooks, #1)
  • Thief River Falls
  • The Names of the Dead
  • Quantum (Captain Chase #1)
  • The Girl Beneath the Sea (Underwater Investigation Unit #1)
See similar books…

Other books in the series

Alex Madison (3 books)
  • Pain
  • Mirror (Alex Madison Book 3)

News & Interviews

November is the time for aspiring writers to get serious about writing that book! It's National Novel Writing Month, the annual event designed to...
8 likes · 0 comments
“We’ve got six illegals here awaiting deportation, and they’re not leaving without a fight.” 0 likes
“Like the harsh winter, he was cold and unforgiving to” 0 likes
More quotes…