Ballantine, Mar 2001, 24.95, 360 pp.
Oxford researcher and instructor James Fieldhead leads a team on a field experiment centering on better understanding of human emotions. James enlists his student Ben Ashurst to serve as a guinea pig to test a new device in a luxurious resort in Kenya. To encourage Ben to come, James allows him to bring along his girlfriend Cara on this all expense paid for “holiday”.
Initially, Ben enjoys the vacation of a lifetime. However, the experiment begins to place him in danger and fear as to what will be the next twist. He turns paranoid, trusting no one including his mentor and his girlfriend. When the experiment is completed, Ben retains his anger and rage, feeling unfairly used and with a need to know whom is really behind the game he just played and lost and what is the ultimate victory.
THE MIND GAME is an exciting medical thriller that is at its top game when the story line revolves around modern psychology theory. As the plot veers from neurology and game theory into the chaos of a typical thriller's cat and mouse chase, it loses some momentum as the audience struggles with a loss of reality. In his debut Hector MacDonald has shown he can entertain and educate his audience with a great intelligent psychological thriller, but needs to show he has the endurance to stick to his prime plot without adding unnecessary gimmicks that spins away from a winner. This book is still worth reading as one of the better sub-genre entries in quite awhile.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner