Wednesday, September 14, 2011

L.A. Mental-Neil McMahon

L.A. Mental

Neil McMahon

Harper, Sep 27 2011, $24.99

ISBN: 9780061340789

In Southern California, the local media reports on several strange events over a few months. In February, the local headline news focuses on Municipal Court Judge Berthold trying to bash in his head as he destroys much of his affluent Santa Monica home. In March; Beverly Hills paparazzi favorite, former Miss California Pamela Dutton, acquitted of murdering her older wealthy spouse, lies in a coma. Finally in April, CalTech astrophysics graduate student Peter Janacek ran onto the Foothill Freeway committing suicide.

Not long after people who seemed to have it together went berserk, in Malibu drug addict Nick Crandall tells his keeper brother psychologist Tom that worms are eating away his brain matter. He soon attacks Tom but falls off a cliff. As has been their recent relationship, Tom rescues Nick who is rushed to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Tom learns that their sister Rikki has been threatened through a DVD and their brother Paul is involved in the Parallax Productions movie; both tie back to Nick’s odd behavior. Tom goes to the movie set where he encounters former Swedish physicist turned filmmaker Gunnar Kelso whose theories on human behavioral relationships focus on power.

This is an exhilarating nano-technological thriller that grips readers from the moment Nick attacks Tom until the final exposé. The truth is frightening as it fails to set free Tom or readers when he (and we) begins to realize what is going on that has turned L.A. Mental. Filled with action without dumbing down the nanotechnology, readers will Neil McMahon’s cautionary science fiction thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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