Item description for Bleeding in the Eye of a Brainstorm by George C. Chesbro...
Veteran of thirteen previous mysteries, the dwarf detective, martial arts expert, former circus performer, and expert criminologist known as Mongo the Magnificent goes on the trail of a drug-maker whose miracle cures mask an evil intent.
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An outstanding series Aug 23, 2007
Bleeding in the Eye of a Brainstorm is the thirteenth installment in George Chesbro's genre bending mystery series featuring Mongo, the dwarf detective. On Thanksgiving Day, Mongo finds a woman sitting on his doorstep. She identifies herself as Margaret Dutton, but he does not recognize the polite, neatly dressed woman. Suddenly, Mongo realizes who she is--Mama Spit, a deranged baglady famous in his neighborhood for spitting at anyone who came near the steam grate she called home. Mongo, stunned by the radical change in her personality, soon discovers her turnaround is attributable to the yellow and black capsules Margaret takes daily. She claims the capsules were given to her by a mysterious stranger shortly before she saw him murdered. The capsules tamed her madness, and heightened her sense of taste and smell.
Mongo's investigation into Margaret's situation eventually leads him to focus on Rivercliff, a mental institution where the CIA conducted unlawful pharmacological experiments on human subjects. One victim of these experiments, a killer named Raymond Rogers, escaped after killing several doctors and setting the institution ablaze. The turmoil Rogers created also enabled twelve other inmates to escape. All are addicted to the drug Margaret takes, which is in very limited supply. Withdrawal is not an option--if they fail to take a dose every twenty four hours they will perish. Mongo fences with the NYPD, battles assassins, and races against time to save the lives of the former mental patients.
Bleeding in the Eye of a Brainstorm is downright sedate compared to other entries in the series, but still showcases the attributes which make Chesbro's work so outstanding: adventure, intrigue, suspense, great characters and writing. Chesbro fuses many genres in his Mongo stories--elements of mystery, science fiction, fantasy, horror, suspense, political intrigue and espionage abound. Mongo has encountered ESPers, serial killers, ninjas, and mad scientists trying to take over the world. Anything can happen in a Mongo novel, and it usually does. The Beasts of Valhalla is probably the best book in the series, but all are enjoyable. Read one and you'll want to read them all.
Mongo novel #13: how many shopping days till Christmas? Jun 13, 2005
Mongo, alone in New York from Thanksgiving to New Year's while his immediate family members are on various extended trips outside the US, encounters two anomalies on Thanksgiving eve: a chess hustler from the park haunting the halls of the Manhattan Chess Club with a new apprentice, and a schizophrenic woman living near his office who calls on him for help - an "offer" he can hardly refuse, with an ice-pick killer roaming the city.
All three - the budding chess master Michael Stout, the suddenly coherent Margaret Dutton, and the terrifying "Dr Death" - are more than they appear to be. Mongo soon discovers that somebody in upstate New York has been running illegal experiments with anti-schizophrenic medication on human subjects at an institution called Rivercliff, and all three of his new responsibilities are former inmates. The nameless new drug all three patients - and nearly a dozen other escapees hiding in New York City - has severe side effects: the patients are physically dependent on the drug, can't quit cold turkey without risk of dying, and have at most enough supplies to survive until Christmas.
To make matters interesting (as if "Dr Death" on the loose weren't enough), not only is there a certain risk of male patients on the drug suddenly becoming violently psychotic, but those formerly running the experiment have sent assassins after the only people who could possibly testify against them.
Nice little race against time here: trace or otherwise supply substantial amounts of an experimental drug without the name of the manufacturer, where the manufacturer is motivated to lie about it, where there's a risk of some of the patients turning into serial killers on the medication but a certainty that they'll all die without it.
Lippitt, Chant, and Insolers don't appear, although at least one of them really should, and it's never explained why Mongo doesn't think of contacting Insolers and asking for help. Veil has a minor supporting role. Garth, Harper, and Mary Tree are out of the country and the story for most of the book.
Drive in totals: - Lots of dead bodies. - Some sexual content (serial killer with urges). - Torture (electricity). - Nice touch: patients who don't become violent always seem to develop some wild talent, such as Stout's ability to play chess, although the talent may not be identified unless circumstances are favourable (such as access to a chess set). - Conspiracy theories. - Evil corporate bad guys. - Mad scientist fu.