L.A. Mental

Neil McMahon. Harper, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-134078-9
McMahon’s stellar stand-alone offers a cunning technological twist worthy of the late Michael Crichton. In an ominous prologue, articles from three L.A. newspapers recount bizarre incidents: a judge goes berserk and does extensive damage to his Santa Monica house; a celebrity heiress accused of her elderly husband’s murder is found in a coma in the pool of her Beverly Hills condo; and a gifted CalTech grad student apparently commits suicide by running onto a freeway. Later, druggie Nick Crandall attacks his psychologist brother, Tom, in their old family home in Malibu after complaining that worms are eating his brain. Tom manages to save his brother’s life after Nick falls off a cliff, but the mystery only deepens when their sister, Rikki, reveals that she’s being threatened. All of this may somehow be connected with a brilliant physicist-turned-moviemaker, who’s using another Crandall property to film his next feature. McMahon (Dead Silver) easily makes a science fiction concept plausible in a pulse-pounding read that doesn’t sacrifice intelligence for thrills. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/15/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-06-206505-6
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-06-209177-2
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