Using Words to Change Attitudes

A Picture of author Robert Bennett
Robert P. Bennett
Jericho, NY 11753
Fax: 501-635-1004

book cover

Blind Traveler Down A Dark River

A Mystery for the 21st Century

Douglas Abledan is blind. But a blind man may just see something everyone else missed. A modern day miracle, a Virtual Sensory GPS unit, helps him navigate his world - but on one critical day it fails and Douglas apparently stumbles upon the scene of a what may just have been a murder. Disoriented and confused, he isn't the first man a retiring cop wants to listen to.

In the year 2021 increasing global earthquakes threaten civilization’s infrastructure. Unimat Incorporated is trying to stop the destruction by introducing a new building material. Special interests are up in arms. Environmentalists blame technology for the problem and want a different solution. Steel workers worry about jobs and safety. Now someone has hired a contract killer to stop the project. Can one lone blind man expose the killer without becoming a target?

Read a Chapter

Please feel free to read a chapter.
The first chapter is posted here.
Just click here : < Chapter 1 >

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        "Blind Chance" Radio show with David Faucheux

What People Are Saying

"Masterfully plotted, flawlessly written, Robert Bennett's dazzling debut, Blind Traveler Down A Dark River, will hold you in its grip until the very last syllable. Imagine the addictive combination of the fast-paced police procedural and the elegant prose style of your favorite mystery writer and you will have the essence of Bennett's appeal. What makes this book infinitely more important, however, is that here, for the first time, is a representation of disability on the page that is neither patronizing nor sentimental, but sharply accurate, respectful and solidly human. It is an achievement worth noting and emulating, unique in today's writing community."

- Charles A. Riley II, Ph.D. -
- Professor of English, City University of New York and former editor-in-chief, WE lifestyle magazine -

"Set in the not too distant future in New York City, the book Blind Traveler Down A Dark River is an exciting, well-constructed, fast moving story of a blind computer expert caught up in an intricate murder story involving high technology and environmental terrorism. The main character moves around using advanced electronics that tell him where he is and what is around him. Forced into being a detective by circumstances beyond his control, he finds himself in the middle of a murder case that he must solve. This is an exciting and believable story of a man who uses the high technology that helps him get around in the world to solve a case that the police cannot! I found it to be one of the most exciting and believable books I have read in a long time! Kudos to the author Robert Bennett! My advice to everyone…. Get the book! Read it! It will be one of the best books you will read this year!"
- Michael Burks -
- Public Information Officer for International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet -

“Mr. Bennett’s writing style reminds me of that of Mary Higgins Clark. [In describing the technology used by the main character] he has written about something that could exist in the not-too-distant future. His vision of the ‘Navigator’ system captures the long run aims of every group working on different types of personal guidance projects. His characterization hits a few high spots in the general area of blind travel - the fierce desire to be independent, the crushing emotional condition of being "disoriented" and having calls for assistance ignored.”
- Reginald G. Golledge, Ph.D. -
- Professor of Geography, University of California at Santa Barbara -

"I truly enjoyed the book. I feel it was very realistic and I don't feel it ‘Super Heroed’ the blind character. It touched on stereotypes about blindness but addressed them in a positive way. I thought it was an excellent read and I would recommend it to my friends."
- Michael Lewis, med. -
- National Program Consultant, Blind Rehabilitation Service, Veterans Affairs Central Office -

One of the neat things about this job is that occasionally, I get to see books before the rest of y'all. Once in a while, a writer will ask if I would be willing to review his book, and I will say, sure... Send me a copy. In this case, Robert Bennett, the author of Blind Traveler Down A Dark River (shortened to "Blind Traveler" for the rest of this review) was still going over cover art and such with his publisher, and so sent me an MS-Word DOC file. I read the first couple of chapters and said, "This is pretty good, for a new writer." But reading a novel from the computer is not real practical, and the alternative, printing out 400 pages, wasn't terribly attractive, although I've done it before. Then I got my E-Book Reader, and everything changed. I stuck Blind Traveler on the Reader, and voila! I could, and did, take it everywhere, and read almost compulsively, and stayed up way too late. Blind Traveler is a combination near-future SF/Mystery novel. And both the SF trappings, and the mystery, are well done. In fact, the mystery couldn't have happened without the cool gear owned by Douglas Abledan, a blind man who gets around using special GPS enabled equipment specially developed for the blind. The world that Abledan inhabits is not that big of a jump from our own, but a few years from now, the Earth's magnetic fields have shifted, and you think we have problems with earthquakes NOW? Just wait. Anyway, a corporation has just created and is getting ready to market a new construction material they call Plasteel; lighter, cheaper, and stronger than steel. Just perfect for construction in earthquake ravaged areas. What's not to love? Well, evidently a lot, because the CEO is killed in what seems to be a random drive-by. Only there was a witness. Douglas Abledan, blind man, saw the whole thing happen. The problem? He was half a city away. As he is walking to work one day his navigation device malfunctions. Suddenly he seems to be in a part of the city that he does not recognize, surrounded by images and sounds that confuse him. Through a series of missteps he stumbles upon the scene of a murder about to take place. As far as he is concerned, his equipment just malfunctioned, but when he hears a radio report about a missing man a few days later, the scene he “witnessed” starts to make sense. Now we have several mysteries to solve. Whodunnit? As far as the police are concerned, it was a random drive-by shooting. Sad, but it happens all the time. And Abledan, confused and disoriented, physically a long way away, but according to the device he desperately needs to live a normal life, he was there, at the scene of the murder. If he can't trust his new senses, what can he trust? So Abledan investigates. And he finds way more than he bargains for. Robert Bennett has written a taut, well-constructed puzzler with interesting characters, and an involving SF world.
- Jerry Wright -
- Bewildering Stories -

This book is a real find: believable science fiction, with a rousing plot line, a real page-turner! I couldn't put it down. Hard to believe this is the writer's first published novel. I love that the hero (totally lacking in self-pity or even resentment -- both of which would be understandable) functions courageously in the world, even though his somewhat-recent lost of sight means he is still not comfortable with the technology that he relies upon! The writer (no stranger to disability himself) presents his hero as a whole being who happens not to be able to see, who never plays the victim, although he walks the knife's edge of safety throughout the book. The characters are finely etched and fully support the well-rounded story, and I didn't see the ending in sight until it was over. Great book!
- Cindy Radke -
- Los Angeles, Ca. -

I started reading Robert Bennett’s “Blind Traveler Down a Dark River” without any pre-conceived notions. I didn’t look at the blurb, the preface or other reviews. With a paper book, I probably would have read the back cover first, but this was an e-book, so I just plunged in. I read the first chapter about the CEO of a company that was trying to combine the best qualities of steel and plastic. So far, so good. I mean, why not? A very sensible idea and I’m surprised it hasn’t been done yet. The guy had his problems: a drinking domineering wife and a trade union that wouldn’t quit. I liked him from the start and I was sad to realize he was not to be the main character, when around came a visually-impaired man whose story this actually is (and who’s responsible for the title of the book). That’s when my grip on reality started to loosen. I’ve worked with GPS, I’ve even driven a car with a navigation system, but do the blind really use GPS to find their way around? And those driver-less buses, maybe they indeed exist overseas? The writing was so believable and so unlike the conventional Science Fiction style, that it took several GPS experts, together with the book’s blurb, to convince me that this was, indeed, a futuristic setting and the year was 2021. The premise of the book is simple: imagine a blind man who’s dependent on all this futuristic technology. Imagine the technology going haywire. Imagine him witness a murder… without actually being present at the scene.A great premise. A very good book.
- Yvonne Eve Walrus -
- Author: Murder@Work -
- New Zealand -

What would it be like to be blinded as an adult? If it happens in 2021, the technology for blind people will afford them a nearly normal life, at least that's how author Robert Bennett envisions the future. A social worker with a background in criminal justice, he has written a gripping murder mystery starring a blind man, who, with the help of his GPS navigation system, is able to investigate and track down a killer. I thoroughly enjoyed this page-turner and wouldn't be a bit surprised if the technology described in the book comes to pass.
- Mrs. Francine T. Silverman -
- Book author/Publicist -
- New York City, NY -

Blind Traveler Down a Dark River
    PUBLISHER: Publish America LLP
    ISBN: 1-4137-6999-3
    RELEASE DATE: July 2, 2005

COMING SOON : Blind Traveler’s Blues
    PUBLISHER: Echelon Press LLC

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