Higher Cause by John Hunt

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.

Higher Cause by John Hunt

We have finished the first half of Higher Cause with this, the 11th installment. We get three chapters this time, each dealing with different places and different characters. The action is well under way, so any break we get from here on out will be, one suspects, something of a cliff hanger.

The first chapter picks up where we left off last time, with Jeff and Petur dealing with the attack on the OTEC. As Jeff feared, there was more to come. Indeed, what transpires is perhaps the most harrowing part of the entire ordeal with the saboteurs and assassins. By the time it is over, it seems like a draw between the two sides, and we know that they will butt heads again, most likely multiple times, after they have licked their respective wounds.

The second chapter is perhaps the best thing John Hunt has yet given us. We return to Mexico, to the former drug family now involved in political revolution. We might discuss its placement in the book, because it is largely an establishing chapter and this is the very middle of the novel, but what it gives us is engrossing.

We have a father and a son. The other son is now deceased, as we saw earlier, and the living son has schemes. The dynamic between the two is good, and then we are treated to a scene of the son pursuing a lust-interest who works in the father’s home but who resists the son’s advances. This also adds flavor to the mix, tells us a little more about the son as we discover his motives and his attitude about the whole thing. As if this were not enough, a final twist is added at the end, and that is the best part of all.

I have to say, I am as excited to read more developments in this thread as I am to read anything else in the book.

Finally, we end with a chapter detailing the patrolling of the OTEC and the pursuit of the saboteurs. Whether or not this needed its own chapter is something that might be better determined later, but it strikes me as something that might be cut down to its essentials, which does not seem to be too much. At the very least, it should follow the first chapter, or possibly just be the end of it.

As before, there are a few things that could be done to enliven the prose. Adverbs abound, many of which could be jettisoned, along with their verb, in favor of a stronger, more colorful bit of vocabulary. Others, like “now,” are not necessary and used too frequently, but there are no egregious problems with the writing. Just what I would term clean-up work.

I shall eagerly await next Wednesday, and especially hope that we get another taste of Mexico, as well as some build up for another clash between Jeff and Petur, and the assassins.

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About the Author

Matthew Bruce Alexander Staff Writer

Matthew is a libertarian living in central Ohio. A graduate of Ohio State University, he majored in Spanish and has published a work of libertarian science-fiction called Wĭthûr Wē.

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