|Review of The CAUL, A Trilogy.
By Daniel Mangan, M.A.,
If you’re an action-adventure fan in search of something fresh, energetic and satisfying, then get on board The CAUL. James Allan Matte may be a new name in fiction, but he’s hardly a new name in writing. As a polygraph examiner, I was already well acquainted with Matte’s authoritative works on forensic psychophysiology (lie detection), but little did I know that the author had an equal talent for creating such engaging and powerful fiction as is found in The CAUL, A Trilogy.
But is it really fiction? Good Question. Given Matte’s impressive resume – and a unique literary timbre that rings true page after page – one is left with the obvious prospect that much of The CAUL’s story line is based on Matte’s actual experiences. But so what if it is? The author brings us on a compelling tour de force that rivals the best work of perennial favorites such as Tom Clancy, John Grisham and Robert B. Parker.
Whatever his inspiration, the epic that author Matte so artfully weaves is positively gripping, and its protagonist, Jim Markham, is truly one of a kind. He’s a rollicking deep thinker with a kind heart and an unshakeable sense of honor, and when there’s justice to be served, Markham dishes it out in spades. It soon becomes clear that Markham is indeed a very special creation. His difficult upbringing set the stage for a personal credo that helped forge a backbone of steel. Good thing, because Markham needs it time and again in his adventures. To be sure, Jim Markham is the kind of guy we all want to have on our side. The combination of likeable hero and vivid odyssey becomes irresistible early on and stays that way throughout the entire 1100-plus pages.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the trilogy’s spiritual component, which, as a sadly disenfranchised Roman Catholic, I found to be strangely revitalizing. An unexpected but heartening twist, to say the least. Given all that is going on in the world today, The Caul contains a message that’s both timely and comforting.
Bottom Line: The CAUL, A Trilogy is a delightful departure from the scads of slickly produced but tired or inane plotlines out there, that, coming from the same well-known names, habitually clutter the bestseller lists. Too bad that Matte doesn’t have the same heavyweight marketing machine that’s available to big-name fiction authors. His trilogy certain warrants it. For the time being, The Caul may be the best-kept secret in fiction, and that’s a shame. What a hell of a movie it would make?
Give The CAUL, A Trilogy a try. Once you start reading it you will never want to stop.