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L.A. Mental by Neil McMahon

The Book:

Source for ‘The Book’ section : From Goodreads
For psychologist Tom Crandall, the city of Los Angeles seems to be going insane, plagued by a series of strange events that extend to his own life as well. Not only did his drug-addled brother, Nick, nearly jump to his death over a Malibu cliff. He’s been blackmailing members of his wealthy family, including brother Paul, who is financing a movie by a mysterious company called Parallax Productions.

Determined to find the truth, Tom heads to the surreal film set in the valley, where he meets Parallax head Gunnar Kelso, a former physicist with odd theories about power and human behavior. Though everything seems normal, something isn’t right. The more Tom digs into Nick’s breakdown, the more he learns about Parallax and the enigmatic Kelso. Parallax, it seems, has dark ambitions that extend beyond Hollywood, deep into the highest levels of government. Caught in a terrifying conspiracy that threatens his own sanity, Tom must find a way expose the truth before it’s too late.

The View:

I don’t read science fictions but I do like thrillers and decided to give this one a go; much quicker than I expected too. Also the recommendations by Patterson only helped to move this further up my TBR pile.

Tom Crandall belongs to a wealthy family. With three siblings he appears to be the normal one in the family. His brother Nick calls him in the middle of one night as worms are eating his brain and he almost kills himself, his sister Erica has problems of her own when a private moment gets videotaped and his other brother Paul is busy dealing with the wrong kind of people and businesses. When Tom goes about investigating his brother’s crazy reaction he meets a scientist cum movie director who could be causing all the havoc in the world. Tom himself gets affected but will have to come out of this mess unscathed.

The plot is interesting and takes a different direction from the usual thrillers. Tom’s family and the messy relationships have been detailed pretty well. But the explanations and the scientific theories is what drew me crazy. I even went back and read a few chapters to try to understand the wholesome picture but kept missing out on some critical details. The ending was way out there and left me with a lot of unanswered questions. I also felt that a lot was revealed much earlier when it could have been opened up at the end.

I liked Tom and think he would do great in a sequel (if there is one sans the sci-fi part). Most of the characters did justice to their roles except for some of the members from the film company Parallax Productions and that includes his flame Lisa.

Rated a 3.5 on 5 as this is a good read. The sci-fi part is closely integrated with the plot and if you like thrillers or sci-fi, give this one a chance.

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.



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