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A Noble Cause by [Smith, J. Gregory]
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A Noble Cause Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews

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Length: 363 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews Review

A Q&A with J. Gregory Smith

Question: Hypnosis and mind control play a large role in A Noble Cause. What sparked that idea? Have you ever tried being hypnotized?

J. Gregory Smith: Hypnosis has always fascinated me, though I've never tried it myself. With my imagination, it would either work too well or I wouldn't give in for fear of losing control. That said, I've always heard the subjects really can't be made to do anything they really wouldn't do normally--but I couldn't let it go at that, so I came up with a sort of superhypnosis combined with a mysterious concoction that allows access to the deepest reaches of a subject's subconscious. Now we're talking power. Our hero is caught in the middle of a struggle for what such power could offer.

Q: Which character in the book was your favorite to develop?

JGS: That's a tough question for the right reasons. One of the things that was so much fun for me about this book is that the characters fell into place right along with the story. Mark, the central character, is the most "normal," and he's at the epicenter of a storm of "What would you do?" situations, so I loved seeing him forced to rise to the occasion.

Lukasz, the Navy SEAL, might be my favorite not just for his tough-guy abilities but because he has his own code of ethics--foremost loyalty--and he's willing to do anything for a friend. On the flip side, he's about the worst enemy anyone could have. What he's willing to do for Mark says a great deal about what he sees in his friend, even if Mark can't see it in himself.

Q: Your last book, Final Price, was more of a straightforward mystery. What made you decide to write a thriller? Will your Detective Paul Chang fans get to see more of him?

JGS: This book just fell into place and worked better as a fast-paced action tale. I wanted to keep the lead character reeling from one blow after another until he is forced to battle back. The characters aren't cops, but I took the craziest situation I could come up with and tossed them into it. Yes, Detective Chang and his very unconventional sidekick, Nelson, will be back in The Legacy of the Dragon [coming in March 2012], and I'm hard at work on a third installment with Chang, tentatively called Send in the Clowns.

Q: You have also published some short fiction. Do you prefer to write short stories or novels?

JGS: I prefer novels but love writing short stories. Short stories are such a different animal, but I love the way they demand an economy of thought while providing an opportunity to play with cool ideas that don't have the legs for a whole book. I have a story coming out early this year in a twisted anthology, Zippered Flesh: Tales of Body Enhancements Gone Bad.

Q: What are you reading right now?

JGS: Dove Season by Johnny Shaw.

Q: Which books have influenced you and your writing the most?

JGS: I'll skip craft books except Stephen King's On Writing, because I get at least as much inspiration as technique from it. If you want to be a writer, read that book. Then read it again. I try--emphasis on "try"--to write the kinds of books I like to read: King, Koontz, Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn, Tolkien, Thomas Harris, etc. I appreciate good writing of any stripe, but I personally like stuff to happen in a story. Preferably right away.

About the Author

A native of Washington, DC, J. Gregory Smith earned a master s degree in business administration from the College of William & Mary in Virginia and built a career in public relations before turning to fiction writing full-time. His debut novel, Final Price, made the quarterfinals of Amazon s Breakthrough Novel Award contest in 2009. He is also the author of Legacy of the Dragon and the award-winning novel A Noble Cause, which was a Kindle bestseller. He lives with his wife and son in Wilmington, Delaware.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1801 KB
  • Print Length: 363 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (January 16, 2012)
  • Publication Date: January 16, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0053TI9ZG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,284 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Richard Gazala VINE VOICE on November 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There's nothing particularly subtle or intricate about J. Gregory Smith's competent new novel, "A Noble Cause." It's a straightforward modern thriller, unburdened by complexity. With the exception of one secondary character, all of the principals and secondaries who toil in Smith's story are either plainly good, or plainly bad, and none of them are very deep. Smith's settings won't take readers anywhere they've not visited before courtesy of dozens of other novelists in scores of other novels. Still, Smith writes fairly snappy and realistic dialogue, his points of view are consistent, and he paces this novel well enough to keep the pages turning. It's a solid thriller, written with skill sufficient to hold readers' attention and keep them entertained.

In the aftermath of his girlfriend's Antiguan disappearance and the murders of his parents in Pennsylvania, Mark Noble battles to uncover the reasons and people behind the mysterious kidnapping and deaths. The plot rushes along a track centered around clandestine mind control experiments conducted on unwitting subjects via pharmaceutically-enhanced hypnosis. Accordingly, the back-cover copy of Smith's book likens "A Noble Cause" to Richard Condon's famous 1959 novel, "The Manchurian Candidate." In that the latter was as much socio-political Cold War commentary as thriller, while Smith's work has no such grand political or philosophical ambitions, the comparison is at best a stretch. Nonetheless, "A Noble cause" is a rewarding read, and a good way to while away a few hours.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A Noble Cause is my first exposure to J. Gregory Smith. I was pleasantly surprised by the 348-page easy to follow, quick read featuring non-stop action from beginning to end.

Although there was little depth in character development, the storyline was an intriguing one day read for me.

Unlike his famous father, Ian Noble, Mark enrolled in medical school because he did not want to disappoint his father; however, he was not interested in the medical field and dropped out after one year.

A deckhand on his grandmother, Frances's Miami based yacht; he plans his proposal during vacation in the Caribbean Island of Antigua to his girl friend, Vanessa.

While on the Island, at the request from Mark to pick up jewelry for him from Andre Varre's Green Envy Emeralds jewelers, Vanessa is kidnapped by mysterious unknown assailants.

Though he and his father are not close, after apprising his father of the situation, Mark's father told him to immediately leave the Island. Shortly thereafter, Ian and Mrs. Noble are killed in a fire in his home in Pennsylvania where Mark grew up. Only the Doctor's office survived the fire.

In the mean time, Doctor Darrin Culpepper, in spite of his well-known lifelong fear of snakes, in a trance-like state, scales the fence of a cobra pit at a zoo in Miami where he publically agitates the large venomous creature without regard to his safety. Following that incident, Culpeper's' sister, Meg hires former cop and bad private detective, Tucker "Saint" Bernard to find out what happened.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In quick succession, some odd things happen. A man ventures into a king cobra's pit in Miami, and is fatally bit. Mark Nobel's girlfriend disappears in Antigua. Mark's father and mother die in a fire in Pennsylvania. And some heavy-duty bad guys are after Mark.

Seems improbable that these events could all be related, but they are. And Mark and his allies will be challenged to the max as they put together the plot that is afoot and the villains behind it and then prepare to counterattack.

"A Noble Cause" offers a taut, vivid narrative with plenty of twists and turns that will have you turning the pages to see what happens next. On the other hand, there is nothing particularly profound about the story - it's simply entertaining.

I also read Smith's first effort, "Final Price," which was set in Delaware. There are some similarities, especially a talent for portraying the dark side of human nature, but this book is better crafted and more suspenseful.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you like clichés and one-liners (think high school), you will love this book. For me, I quickly regretted purchasing it due to the fact that I usually feel compelled to finish books that I start. I kept hoping it would get better.

In addition, I am always shocked when there are numerous grammatical errors and dropped articles in published books. Since the author has a BA in English, I can only suspect that "spell check" and "grammar check" were used and proof readers missed the errors. It drove me to distraction and caused me to read paragraphs over and over in an effort to understand what the author was saying.

I agree with another reviewer who stated that the plot (while a good one) was extremely disjointed and convoluted. It was frustrating for me to have to go back and reread earlier events in order to understand what was happening and who was who. I am afraid I cannot recommend this book.
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