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By J. B. Manas

IR Rating:
A complex and intriguing plot, an abundance of action and outstanding characterization make THE MIRROR MAN a compelling read.
IR Approved
A young man’s compassion wins out over his fears when he comes out of his comfort zone playing online virtual reality games and volunteers to use his extrasensory powers to solve the death of a mother who leaves behind two young children.

Julian Black feels more comfortable playing Stealth Invaders online with his virtual reality friend Cassie than anything else in life. While his mother wishes he would get out more, she is afraid if he does, the word will get out of his unusual power to read other peoples’ traumatic memories merely by touching their hands. But when Julian hears about a road rage incident that resulted in the death of a mother of two young daughters, he is compelled to help police find the perpetrator by using his extrasensory skills. When he solves the case, the authorities want more, and this leads him on a dangerous adventure overseas to London, England. Meanwhile, Sebastian Blaine is about to engage in his next heist. He is asked to summon Dr. Max Baumann—a scientist who developed a prototype communication system for defending satellites from missile attacks—to London, so that his villainous cohorts can extract information from him about the plans.

J. B. Manas’ THE MIRROR MAN includes all the essential elements of successful suspense story writing—high stakes, conflict, drama, quick pacing, red herrings, cliff hangers, and a satisfying ending. Multiple settings are used as backdrops but also give valuable context to the narrative. The profound portrayal of people, places, and events allows readers to easily visualize what is happening and experience the scenes. Strong, complex characters come alive on the page and drive the story forward, each with a distinct personality and unique motivation. Their morals, attitudes, and behaviors deftly define them and their actions. The good guys and the bad guys are equally developed, their inner and outer stories fittingly portrayed. Connections between characters are well-defined and robust—with one association in particular coming as a complete surprise.

THE MIRROR MAN was written with a strong narrative arc that feeds into the climax and ending of the story in a satisfying manner. Manas’s creative writing style is fluid, well-structured, and engaging, with the right amount of backstory and detail with his brilliant partnering of theme and plot adding to the suspense and intrigue. He consistently keeps the story moving forward at a good pace, even during still moments between scenes where he includes the promise of something yet to happen.

A complex and intriguing plot, an abundance of action and outstanding characterization make THE MIRROR MAN a compelling read.

~Florence Osmund for IndieReader

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