This review is part of a series covering each installment of the serialized novel Higher Cause, written by John Hunt and published by Laissez Faire Books. To catch up, start with the announcement, the book’s link-rich table of contents, and the first review.
The latest installment consists of three chapters. The story continues to introduce some new characters, but now, separated characters are slowly being brought together.
In the first chapter, we revisit Jeff, one of the characters introduced earlier, as he meets someone whose patronymic suggests a familial connection with another character. There is also an important bit of information at the end of the chapter, something that a reader will probably be expecting. It gives a little jolt of electricity to the story and hints at suspense to come.
The next chapter is the first one that I would offer serious criticism to. It begins by introducing a new character, and I would say that there are too many unimportant details, or details that can come out in another way. This in itself is not a big issue, but midway through the chapter this new character, a recently laid-off or perhaps fired professor comes home to find someone waiting for him there. Suddenly, the narrative jumps out of the head of the professor and into the head of the newcomer, and then we are treated to a few paragraphs explaining who this person is and what he is like. The chapter is near to 2,500 words, and most of it is exposition with a jolting point-of-view change in the middle. It does serve a plot point, but I would have preferred to see it achieve this with more economy.
The following chapter, the last of the recent installment, gets back on track. The possibility that arose two chapters previous is confirmed, and the stakes of the game are expounded on in more detail. In addition, a sound explanation of sound money is delivered with an Austrian flourish.
After three weeks and several chapters, Hunt has a pretty good story going. There are lots of intriguing and epic possibilities lurking ahead, one suspects. I think that things could be trimmed in places, but I have definitely been entertained so far. In another week, we shall see how it proceeds.