By Alan L. Gordon
Before renaissance man John Dicke released Proof Evident, his
list of accomplishments was already impressive: a distinguished member
of the bar and forensic psychologist. Now, hes got a top-notch
courtroom thriller under his belt.
Dicke has my nomination as the next John Grisham, and that may be an
understatement. Look for Proof Evident to eventually garner a plump
movie contract and hit the big screen but do yourself the favor
of reading an early edition of this masterpiece before it blows up in
a storm of hype and fanfare.
What makes the work so gripping? The plot alone is enough to rivet
readers an unpopular ex-judge walks into a crowded reception
in front of hundreds of witnesses and media, guns down a newly elected
Sheriff for no apparent reason, and then claims he cannot remember having
done so. In what first appears to be an open-and-shut case of capital
murder, the judges defense attorneys battle for his life
and their own as they slowly begin to realize their client (as
it turns out, a remnant from 1960s CIA mind control experiments) was
acting unwittingly as a programmed killer unaware of who he even was.
As in the writings of John Grisham, Dickes attorney background
gives an excellent foundation for courtroom realism
and yet, Dicke
holds a distinct advantage over Grisham: Dicke is not just an attorney;
hes also a forensic psychologist specializing in insanity defenses.
In addition, the author is startlingly well studied in the chilling,
surreal field of actual, real life mind control (in which
split personality is deliberately induced by trauma, drugs and hypnosis
techniques, for example those detailed in CIA documents de-classified
under the Carter administration [US Congress Senate Select Committee
on Intelligence Hearing on MKULTRA, U.S. Congress, August 3, 1977. Testimony
of Admiral Stansfield Turner, Director of Central Intelligence]).
While both movie versions of a more well-known mind control novel,
The Manchurian Candidate, entertained audiences, neither was
as chilling, realistic or convincing to the reader as Proof Evident,
by several orders of magnitude. The novels depiction of hypnosis-induced
unveiling of the judges alter-ego is so gripping and so real,
readers will simply be unable to put the book down. The legal finesse
depicted in the book is truly brilliant, yet still intellectually accessible
to the layperson, and the characters are richly imbued with personality
and background. While readers might expect an attorney/psychologists
writing to be dryly detail oriented, Dickes words roll fluidly
off the page without sacrificing the fine points crucial to the art
of legal and mental health practice.
Proof Evident is an earth-shattering masterpiece, at many levels.
You might as well get two copies, because youll want one to share
and one to keep.
Rating: **** (Must Read)
Synergy Books, 2006 (ISBN: 978-0-9764981-5-5)