Blog Tour: A Psychic Subterfuge, JP Alters

Book Review: A Psychic Subterfuge, JP Alters


Fiction: A Psychic Subterfuge, JP Alters


A Psychic Subterfuge, JP Alters
Blog Tour, March 17, 2023


This does not read like a debut novel. J.P. Alters writes with a fervor and passion that belies a lack of experience. Oh, there are a few minor indications that this is a writer’s early work, but it is overall a strong debut and gives great hope for future works.

We first meet our protagonist, Mary, in the midst of a psychotic break. Worn down by the constant voices in her head, she has decided to end her life. Captured at literally the last moment by concerned police officers, Mary is taken as an involuntary inpatient to a luxurious treatment center. Housed in a converted mansion, the center is limited to eight patients at a time. Led by a world renowned neurosurgeon and psychiatrist, the center is known internationally for groundbreaking success with helping those who have treatment resistant schizophrenia. Somehow, despite all of the odds, Mary has found the best possible place to get help.

And Mary is indeed finding things she needed. She makes friends, human friends, for the first time in her life. She gains some weight and starts to heal physically and mentally. She dares to love. It seems too good to be true.

It is.

There are secrets hidden behind the walls of this center. The old joke reminds us that even paranoid people have enemies. Sometimes, the delusions of schizophrenia are more real than anyone else would believe. As Mary and her friends learn more and more about this place, their danger becomes more and more present. Can people who have lost their minds escape before they lose more than their sanity?

As someone who has been an inpatient in a mental health hospital, reading the perspective from Mary’s POV was uncomfortably real. I don’t know and won’t speculate on the author’s experience, and I am not schizophrenic, but this had very strong parallels to experiences I have had with my own mind. Those blessed with mental health may not realize how real the imaginary feels, how frightening the shadows can be, how loud the voices in one’s head can shout. I have not had auditory or visual hallucinations, but I have come close. Those voices from within strike a stronger chord than those from others–after all, the internal voices are connected to your very consciousness and have a direct line to your deepest self.

J.P. Alters may or may not know how well she captures the perspective of someone in the midst of a mental health crisis. I can state unequivocally that she captures it extremely well. It is as terrifying, as confusing, and as real as any external threat, and I felt very much like Mary and I look out through the same pair of eyes.

The plot is exciting, the characters (especially Mary) are convincing, and the twists at the end work well. I enjoyed and recommend this book. I particularly recommend it if you want to know what it looks like from inside a mind at war with itself. It’s a dark view, but Alters has captured it exceedingly well.

Our thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things for our copy of A Psychic Subterfuge, provided so we could participate in this blog tour. The opinions here are solely those of Scintilla. For other perspectives on this novel, check out the other bloggers on this tour.


A Psychic Subterfuge, JP Alters

Book Review: A Psychic Subterfuge, JP Alters

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.