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By Theresa de Valence - Posted on 30 April 2011

Mea culpa, THE SUICIDE EFFECT is only the second L. J. Sellers novel I have read. I’ve discovered that L. J. Sellers is a nearly perfect author for me.

In THE SUICIDE EFFECT the protagonist, Sula, is someone I really like (this seems to be important to me). L. J. has made all her characters come alive; they do stupid stuff because of who they are, and L. J. has made me care about them.

THE SUICIDE EFFECT contains a truly fascinating Mind of the Killer (or Mind of the Bad Guy, I should say). Generally, I’m not bothered by Mind of the Killer the way some are, though I agree it’s often implausibly done. The Bad Guy in THE SUICIDE EFFECT is substantive and fascinating. I don’t suppose I ever came to admire him, but sometimes I thought I understood him, and I pitied him.

New threads (subplot lines) begin in provocative ways. As the threads develop some were quite obvious in a not unpleasant noticing way—one watched the train wreck as it happened.

For me, one appealing feature of the story was the focus on suicide, a subject which interests me deeply, at least in part because the modern reaction to mention of the word suicide produces the automatic response: "Should I call 911?" Suicide is a taboo subject, but in THE SUICIDE EFFECT, we get a well-rounded, multiple aspect view.

Many characters think about suicide. Some are contemplating it. Some despise people who do it. Some had friends or relatives who committed suicide which has a varied but continuous effect on the living. Giving the subject an airing was appreciated.

Another very appealing feature of THE SUICIDE EFFECT was the sense that we were immersed in high stakes investigative journalism. We were learning things that were important for us, for the world, to know.

Putting the book down and going to bed at a reasonable hour was not possible.

Highly satisfying.

By L. J. Sellers
© 2010
Spellbinder Press