A Noble Cause

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 February, 2012, 12:00am

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A Noble Cause
by J. Gregory Smith
Thomas and Mercer (e-book)

A Noble Cause, the third novel by J. Gregory Smith, is typical of a new wave of independent-minded authors who began their careers by self-publishing on the internet. The writer's success with previous books (Final Price and Legacy of the Dragon) has helped A Noble Cause land a bona fide publisher. But I suspect it is his loyal online readership that has pushed his new novel up Amazon's 'hot book' list. On balance, A Noble Cause is an adequate thriller with hints of Ian Fleming and Clive Cussler. The setting is glamorous - the islands of the Caribbean. Our hero, Mark Noble (hence the punning title), is the sort of hunky, decent but mildly haunted man so favoured today. Before his recent death in a fire, Noble's father was a therapist who specialised in hypnosis. When a thriller employs hypnosis, dark deeds usually follow: Mark's fiancee, Vanessa, is kidnapped shortly after Dr Noble's death. Could the two events be related? And is it possible Mark holds the key to the solution without fully realising it? A Noble Cause is OK. The writing is plain, the characters cardboardy, but the plot is enjoyably vivid, if a bit silly.