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L.A. Mental

Neil McMahon

September 27, 2011 / ISBN 978-0061340789
Mystery Thriller

Reviewed by Linda Morelli

L.A. Mental is set in the Los Angeles area, a city of quirky people and film industry denizens. Neil McMahon has done an excellent job in portraying them in this sci-fi tinged thriller, one centering on alien interventions and nanotechnology used as a form of mind control.

Dr. Tom Crandall is a psychologist and teacher. His mother is a widow.As her oldest child, Tom watches over his younger siblings, Erica, Nick and Paul. When Nick calls Tom in the middle of the night, fear obvious in his voice, Tom dials 911 and races his to the family’s cliff-side Malibu home. Soon as he arrives, Nick raves about worms eating his brain, and then jumps off the cliff. Tom manages to save Nick and, after his brother is hospitalized, Tom sets out to determine the cause of Nick’s psychotic episode.

Tom clearly holds the family together, but is surprised when he learns that Nick has been blackmailing Paul and Erica to pay for his drug habit. Paul is a would-be movie producer who is involved with Parallax, a film production company headed by a scientist who believes in nanotechnology and other-worldly beings. In Tom’s mind, Parallax is a cult, but delving further into the company endangers his life and that of others dear to him.

One only needs to live in L.A. to understand what might cause residents to go crazy, but nanotechnology is real, and the possibility that nanoparticles can be used to control others is frightening. Neil McMahon has written a tense, fast-paced and mesmerizing plot, filled with twists and turns that kept me reading well into the wee hours of the night.

Reviewer Linda Morelli is the award winning author of three published romance novels.
Reviewed 2011
© 2011