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A Novel Novel: Persona Non Grata - End of the Great Game

A novel by Avery Mann (Bruce Janigian), 2015 Paperback

Reviewed by, Joseph Warren, Editor

Searching the many back pages of this journal will yield three – maybe – book reviews intentionally framed to bring our readership some insight into a useful, enjoyable reading experience. Most of our “Reviews” aren’t reviews at all but bibliographic notes leading to a specific resource wherein one might find greater insight into the subject being discussed.

This is one of the former. Why? Because when I’m not immersed in the sciences or history or politics I just love a good mystery. Who doesn’t? It’s the stuff of diversion, and God only knows we could use a little of that as we watch the rollout for the upcoming elections. Read the full article, here.

To my mind Daniel Silva has always captured my interest simply for his subtle blending of theologies and cultures, murder and mayhem, music and art, mixing Judaic and Ecclesiastical traditions and dogmata to a curious conclusion, given my Jesuit background which still simmers slowly beneath a shelf of science and, perhaps, doubt. So, when a new “Tom Clancy” sort-of writer comes along who can capture my interest by weaving an intricate tale founded on international intrigue sodden with Christianity and something else, let me at it.

In this case something else is the introduction of an Armenian (Byzantine) mix to an interesting read in-and-of-itself: Sort of a Saroyan-meets-le Carré-meets-Pope Benedict-meets-Saint Gregory mystery.

What made le Carré so worth reading – and still does – is that he wrote, as Gertrude Stein would have admonished, about that which he knew (or knows, in this case). Le Carré (David Cornwell) served in Intelligence for years prior to beginning his writing career, lending a sense of reality to an otherwise, “Oh, sure…” genre. So does Bruce Janigian (Avery Mann, the alternate persona) – a now retired and highly sentient writer who is able through his primary character, Mark Jamison, to impart much in the way of intrigue and reality that stems from years of Janigian’s genuine Diplomatic, Intelligence, and Legal careers: Always a good mix for a writer in a variety of genres, and someone to whom one could probably confide a secret or two without too much concern.

From the first chapter this book lifts off and soars far above much of today’s commonplace scribbling. It is complex in concept but highly explanatory leaving the reader with a sense of understanding. It is deeply rooted in esoterica and history, so that it stimulates enjoyment and learning, simultaneously. It will likely result in expansive reading as you research, then return to the novel, bookmarking further exploration later regarding something Janigian had brought to the fore: Who could ask for more? The Acquisition of knowledge and entertainment without the grizzly bore factor of PBS.

This is Janigian’s second Avery Mann – Mark Jamison Thriller: The first, Angel Landing was a near equal to Persona Non Grata, but not quite as enwrapping. Janigian obviously has come to master his craft and, in this book, feels freer to open his experiences and mind to his readers. Bravo.

It’s intelligent writing for the intelligent reader. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy today. Otherwise, every man but you will have read it…wait: “Every man” and “Avery Mann?” No, it must be a coincidence. Here’s your link to Amazon.

Next month I’ll be reviewing Dr. Alastair Rae’s, Quantum Physics – Illusion or Reality? Don’t go to sleep yet: it’s actually far more interesting and provocative than you imagine, particularly if you’re stuck in the age of “Continuous Matter.”   -JRW