L. Frank James,
Mr. Inside
(The Salt Works, 2007)

Mr. Inside is a fascinating novel, the second from L. Frank James. It brings us into an area that we are growing more and more familiar with -- ancient mysteries and lost wisdom. Unfortunately, when a genre becomes popular, we find a plethora of writers leaping in where wiser heads might fear to tread. Thankfully, James is an author who appears to write with a genuine feel for the story rather than just for the fame or money.

His hero, Dr. Gustov Miller, is a most interesting invention. We first meet him as a young boy in Missouri where, like many boys in the 1940s, his ambition was to play professional baseball. But such was not to be the lot of Gus, whose father was a minister with a vision of serving in Kenya.

Like with all thrillers, I am loathe to disclose too much for fear of spoiling the many plot twists and turns that the reader deserves to discover just as the good doctor lives to solve ancient mysteries.

Aided and abetted by the wonderfully named Beatrix Peeters, his company Lost & Found International leads us on a wonderful trek involving all the tensions and plot twists we can handle.

Sometimes as a reader/reviewer, the publisher can give me too much information before I start to read, and this can be counterproductive. A case in point here is the cover blurb pointing out the religious connotations of the story. I fear that some potential readers may be put off by this and neglect the book feeling it to be religious. This would be their loss.

An atheist can read Mr. Inside as a rollicking tale while a committed Christian may only love the religious message and the agnostic will win by getting a combination of both.

review by
Nicky Rossiter

8 March 2008

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