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Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Mind Control Murder Mystery by J.Gregory Smith

J. Gregory Smith has written an engaging, fast moving mystery story in A Noble Cause. 

His characters vary from young to old, and there is a focus on family relationships. Mark and his soon to be fiance are young and a bit undefined in terms of life goals; Mark's friend and friend's father, Ray, are rough and tough and loyal, and Mark's Gran is a shadow of her former self, living as a recluse on the yacht she once shared with her successful shipping magnate husband.

I was drawn to this book by the description which alluded to the psychological component of the mystery. Mind control was the unknown factor, gradually discovered by Mark and his supportive friends. A former police officer-turned-private investigator made the physical connections, but Mark himself realized his father's role in the mind control experiments.

A key to the mystery is Mark's father's journal, mysteriously discovered by Mark himself, but immediately lost to the 'bad guys.' What could have been a fascinating description was barely addressed by the author, and the role of the journal was never quite clearly described for the reader. It's use in the hands of the sub-standard doctor was somehow enhanced by Mark's own unknown talent. This was the element I wanted to read about, and was disappointed in its short role.

Smith's settings are well described nautically, which added a layer of information for me. The theme of good versus bad was carried out; the minor role of medical training came in handy only toward
the end of the book, and the ending seems to invite a sequel that would allow the happily ever after strand to bloom. I can say no more without giving away too much. It is worth your time to read this book. It will entertain you, and give pause for thought.
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