Brain Matters: An Alie McCull Mystery by J. R. Scott

Brain Matters: An Alie McCull Mystery by J. R. Scott
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
Genre: Historical, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (320 Pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

Reporter Alie McCull faces a political tempest of murder and deceit behind the backdrop of two corrupt government agencies. It is then that Alie discovers the Brain Matters.

One high-profile assassination. Two government agencies competing to bridle society with blackmail, mind-control and social engineering. And one vengeful reporter who will move heaven and earth to protect her stepson accused of a savage murder.

Alie McCull is followed by a trail of dead bodies as she unravels the truth of a conspiracy decades old. Using her reporter’s intuition is the only way she can solve the mystery and prove that, in the ugly face of corruption, the Brain Matters.

Alie McCull is an established crime reporter who now has to research a crime that her stepson has been falsely accused of. She is very smart as well as determined, which makes her a dangerous adversary for the criminals.

Alie is a very believable character with a lot of depth. She inspires confidence and loyalty in her family and friends. Even the criminals show a healthy respect for her abilities, and there is never any question of her integrity and honesty, something that turns out to be a rare commodity.

The plot is riddled with corruption and deceit, making the mysteries extremely complex and convoluted. I wasn’t any faster than Alie at figuring out just what was going on, and the ending leaves many questions.

The novel is set in 1958, and the setting is vividly described with complete accuracy. I really felt as if I had been transported back in time. Every detail fits with the period, making the action realistic and believable. The pacing is excellent, fast-moving and exciting. For example, the description of a car chase through Detroit is so vivid that I felt as if I were watching it in a movie. The chase really gets the adrenaline pumping.

The plot deals with a lot of political corruption and drug induced mind controls which makes the story very scary indeed and while the setting in the 1950’s might seem to distance the reader from the realities of some very scary politics, we all know that the possibilities are still very real. I found the story disturbingly frightening and very powerful, and I really admired Alie for standing up for what she knows to be right in spite of pretty daunting odds.

Mystery readers who love thrillers are sure to be captivated by Brain Matters. Beware though, if you pick it for a bedtime read, you may not get much sleep.

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