psychological thriller

Review of ‘No Good Deed’

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Mark Taylor was a modestly successful photographer, living an ordinary life, until he purchased an old camera in a bazaar in Afghanistan. Then, he learned that the camera took photos of horrific tragedies before they occurred, and he later had realistic dreams of the events—events he was determined to prevent. When he gets photos of the 9/11 attacks the day before they took place and tried to warn the government, instead of believing him, they took him into custody and labeled him an enemy combatant.

In a military prison, Taylor learns that being an enemy combatant means the government can do anything they want, any time they want, and there is no way out. Only his almost girlfriend, Chicago police detective Jessica Bishop, believes him, and then only after he’s incarcerated and she sees the power of the camera herself. It’s left to her to convince the authorities he’s innocent.

His travails don’t end with his release, though. He still has the camera, and it tells him of another impending terrorist attack; an attack that only he can stop, but in doing so, he must save one of the government officials who imprisoned and tortured him.

No Good Deed by M. P. McDonald is a riveting psychological thriller that has elements of the paranormal effortlessly entwined with gut-wrenching thrills and action that will take your breath away.

This is the first in a series that shows great promise, and I give it four stars.

Review of ‘The Circle’

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Maryam Bartool, a powerful presence in the stock market, snapped one day and had to be institutionalized. As Patient 128, she comes to the attention of Solomon Lewin, chief psychologist in the institution. During his sessions with her, he is only able to get her to say that she is in danger from The Circle. Suddenly, during one of their sessions, Maryam starts to get her memory back—just as she does, people arrive and try to kill her.

Mario Escobar’s The Circle is a dark psychological thriller that chronicles Maryam and Solomon’s flight to survive. It is well written, suffering only from the author’s tendency to head hop from character to character, often within the same chapter, which at times can be confusing.

This story starts on a dark note of high tension and continues to rise until the startling conclusion. It’s hard to know who the good guys are—if, in fact, there are any good guys left in the world. Kudos to Escobar for creating a world you’ll be glad only exists between the covers of his book, or does it? Four stars.