Sunday, August 16, 2009

Book Review - Personal Effects: Dark Arts

Personal Effects: Dark Arts
J C Hutchins and Jordan Weisman

“Personal Effects: Dark Arts” is a bleak, noir story of gruesome multiple murders and the physiatrist assigned to interview the suspected criminal responsible. But there is so much more to this story then I ever expected. It is a dark mystery with a very unusual and highly unique concept. Packaged inside the front cover and included with the purchase is a myriad of physical clues. Included documents, photographs, and personal effects provide minute clues and added enjoyment to the story. The files of ephemera add to the mystery and the unsolved murders. Sticky notes with phone numbers, funeral cards with websites, driver’s license, credit cards, etc. all provide evidence to the actual architect of the numerous heinous crimes committed. The story, in short, might have stood well on its own merits but the addition of the physical evidence made it much more enjoyable for me and is a unique concept that I've never seen before.

The protagonist, Zach Taylor, a psychiatrist who practices art therapy, is given the case of one Martin Grace an ex-CIA operative who has a sordid past. Martin is incarcerated at the Brinkvale Psychiatric Hospital with a case of psychosomatic blindness and accused of multiple murders. Zachary finds himself involved more deeply than he anticipated when he is dragged into the dark world of Grace.The climax is a blend of clues gathered through the narrative with additional help from the included personal effects.

This mystery is highly accessible to even the most novice reader buts hold untold secrets for even the most experienced viral alternative reality gamer.

Good fun and a fun to read especialy for those who love to unravel mysteries by themselves.

4 out of 5 stars
(added points for all the extras)
The Alternative
Southeast Wisconsin

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