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The Void by Mark Mynheir

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The Advocate

The Void by Mark Mynheir

Reviewed by Phillip Tomasso III

"From start to finish The Void is fast, with taut chapters, great characters and an impressive--albeit scary--storyline."

Mark Mynheir is back with his third installment of The Truth Chasers police procedural mystery series. It wasn’t long ago that I first read Rolling Thunder. I was hooked as a Mynheir fan at that point. Next came From the Belly of the Dragon, proving that Mynheir wasn’t some one hit book wonder. And now with The Void, I believe Mynheir has more than proven himself as a talented author who will be around for years to come –– at least I hope so, anyway.

What I like about The Truth Chasers series is that it is similar to what I always enjoyed most about Ed McBain’ss 87th Precinct novels. Though the novels are part of a series, the main character oftentimes is a different officer from the precinct. Mynheir uses this same kind of technique. And I love it. As I read each book, the other secondary characters always intrigued me. And with each new book, one of those secondary characters has now become the main character, while the others have fallen just outside of the spotlight.

In The Void, it is Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s (FDLE) Agent Robbie Sanchez’s turn to shine. And Shine she does. While dealing with an ailing mother, memories of her father—a police officer killed in the line of duty—and managing an all-consuming career, Sanchez has little time to focus on developing a personal life. Not to mention, what little free time she thought she might have, disappears when an area officer is brutally murdered and she is placed in charge of the team assigned to investigate the homicide.

The crime was committed on the property just outside of Lifetex, a genetics lab. What actually takes place inside the high-tech buildings is as much a mystery to the public as it is to the FDLE agents. Upon closer examination, and interviews, it is possible that the scientists inside the plant are up to more than splicing frog DNA to iguana DNA. Perhaps they have found a way to mess with God’s greatest creations, and earth’s worst nightmare . . . Man.

Working with her fellow agents, and Eric Casey, the partner of the officer killed, Sanchez spearheads an operation to hopefully capture the psycho responsible for such a brutal, and seemingly unwarranted attack. Before the agents can put the perp behind bars, a second, equally as grueling murder is committed. As the evidence is gathered and the clues raked over, it appears the truth behind the motive of the crimes must be some kind of joke. However, it was I think Sherlock Holmes who once said, (and I’m paraphrasing), when you rule out the impossible, what’s left is your answer, no matter how improbable.

When it looks like more than one killer may be involved, and that the small army of these sadistic assassins grows, and spreads, Sanchez realizes that stopping them all may prove an impossible feat for her to accomplish on her own . . . even with the highly skilled team of agents supporting her best efforts.

Although I would like to say The Void is like a Michael Crighton or Robin Cook novel, I can’t. I won’t. Mark Mynhier has his own unique and effective voice. His storytelling is unparalleled. He may just be one of my favorite authors. From start to finish The Void is fast, with taut chapters, great characters and an impressive--albeit scary--storyline . . . one that I find all too possible, and all too likely to happen in the not too distant future. If you’ve never tried a Mark Mynheir novel, there is no need to read his books in order. Each is its own stand alone novel with interlaced characters. But I do recommend reading them all. Always powerful, relevant and slightly disturbing, Mynheir is the kind of author who now has me anxiously awaiting his next novel.

Phillip Tomasso IIIThomas Phillips grew up with a reading disability. He did everything possible not to read. It wasn’t until he was in seventh grade that he finally read a book cover to cover. Now a voracious reader and prolific writer, Phillips uses his accomplishments as a motivational backdrop for speaking at school assemblies. Born and raised in Rochester, New York, Phillips has worked as a freelance journalist and currently works full time as an employment law paralegal. When he isn’t writing, Phillips plays guitar, is active at his church, coaches his children’s Little League teams, co-leads Ink Spots and Coffee Grounds—a creative writing group, and plots his next story. The Molech Prophecy is his first published Christian novel. Visit him online at his Shoutlife page & Myspace page.