The Third Gate

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There are many good points about “The Third Gate”, published by Lincoln Child in 2012.  Most important, of course, is that it’s a good read.   It’s an interesting genre, a  combination archeological/supernatural thriller, and I think Child has avoided the many possible pitfalls this involves.  He apologizes for liberties taken with various facets of life in ancient Egypt in service of his plot ( the search for a pharaoh’s tomb), but speaking as someone who likes this kind of thing, I think he’s accurate enough for the amateur reader.  He doesn’t apologize for one of the major characters whose near death experience produced amazingly enhanced psychic abilities.  An apology is due because during this experience her brain was starved of oxygen for fourteen minutes.  This would actually have given her the esp ability of a turnip.

Professor Jeremy Logan is a historian who has developed a sideline as an interpreter of the bizarre.  Explaining the impossible is a rare talent, so of course he’s much in demand and is sent to some interesting places.  I think this character is a great idea, providing Child with the opportunity to follow his obvious interest in various types of unexplained phenomena.  It’s also an interest of mine.  I’ve done my best to share what I have been able to find out about the subject of esp in The Wish to Kill .

The Power of Thought

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The wish to kill

“Go to hell!” Alex said.  He was alone in the room and he said it under his breath, in Hungarian.  Even so, the word hell had barely passed his lips when a violent explosion echoed down the corridor in answer to his command.

After an instant of stunned disbelief he jumped out of his chair and ran past the dark, deserted laboratories toward the source of the noise.  Tendrils of foul-smelling smoke drifted out of the doorway of the one lighted lab.  It belonged to Ilan Falk, the man he had just been thinking about.

*****

The opening sentences of The Wish to Kill describe what seems to be a tragic accident in a research laboratory at the University of Jerusalem.  Of course, accidents happen.  They can also be made to happen.  Does making them happen require a physical act, or is it possible that a life can be ended by the power of thought?  This question is at the heart of The Wish to Kill, the first Alex Kertész mystery.

The Power of Thought

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The wish to kill

“Go to hell!” Alex said.  He was alone in the room and he said it under his breath, in Hungarian.  Even so, the word hell had barely passed his lips when a violent explosion echoed down the corridor in answer to his command.

After an instant of stunned disbelief he jumped out of his chair and ran past the dark, deserted laboratories toward the source of the noise.  Tendrils of foul-smelling smoke drifted out of the doorway of the one lighted lab.  It belonged to Ilan Falk, the man he had just been thinking about.

*****

The opening sentences of The Wish to Kill describe what seems to be a tragic accident in a research laboratory at the University of Jerusalem.  Of course, accidents happen.  They can also be made to happen.  Does making them happen require a physical act, or is it possible that a life can be ended by the power of thought?  This question is at the heart of The Wish to Kill, the first Alex Kertész mystery.

Astrology – Book Review

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I believe or am open minded about many of the things lumped under the category “paranormal”, but astrology isn’t one of them.  I think astrology was a valiant attempt to understand what made people different from each other before the discovery of DNA, just as it was reasonable to attempt to transmute lead into gold before the advent of modern chemistry.

So I was all set to brush off the premise of Karen Irving’s book, Pluto Rising, whose heroine is a professional astrologer.  But in fact astrologer Kay Klein is a trained psychologist who uses star charts as a source of inspiration for psychological analysis, just as a “successful” fortune teller might use a crystal ball as an accessory while making a psychological assessment of a client.  Since understanding human behavior is still more an art than a science, anything that helps to inspire the intuition that a good psychologist depends on is worth trying.

Astrological mumbo jumbo aside, this is an entertaining mystery set in a sweltering Ottawa summer.

(For a mystery involving esp, and specifically killing by the power of thought, see The Wish to Kill, by Janet Hannah)