Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Mind in the Clouds by Bruce Perrin


Recently graduated and newly hired Ruger-Phillips employee, Dr. Sam “Doc” Price is excited to be starting his new assignment. He will be assessing training developed for a team. It is, however, a team like no other, because only one of the team members is human; the other is one of the most intelligent and lethal systems ever built by man—the Joint Aerial Combat Capability or JACC. Loaded with the latest in detection and threat assessment technology, JACC is a silent, deadly hunter in the sky. Doc discovers, however, that JACC may not be the only killer on the remote, Nevada test range where he now finds himself. Soon, he is involved in a cat and mouse game with an unknown adversary. In this fight for his life and the lives of his friends, Doc asks himself, how do you match wits with the mind in the clouds, when you are not sure if you are facing the cold, exact logic of machine intelligence or the coldblooded urges of a human murderer?

Mind in the Clouds is book two in the Mind Sleuth Series. It is not necessary to read book one in order to understand this novel. The story in this book is standalone.

About the Author:

Bruce Perrin has been writing for more than twenty years, although you will find most of that work only in professional technical journals or conference proceedings. But, after completing a PhD in Industrial Psychology and a career in psychological R&D, he is now applying his background and fascination with technology and the human mind to writing novels. Besides writing, Bruce likes to tinker with home automation and is an avid hiker, logging nearly 2,500 miles each year in the first two years of Fitbit ownership. When he is not on the trails, he lives with his wife in St. Louis, MO. For a closer look at his writing life, book reviews, and progress on his upcoming works, please join him at


I found Mind in the Clouds a bit confusing, as the book is not organized by chapters, but by dates and times, which seem to jump back and forth. The preface describes an incident that occurs a few months before Dr. Sam “Doc” Price ever even hears about the JACC project. Maybe part of the problem is that I did not read the “blurb” or plot summary before I read the book. It probably would have made more sense if I had, and I was a bit confused at first as to who the hero was.

At any rate, I liked Sam, but I felt as though I was kind of slogging through the beginning a bit. There was a lot of foreshadowing with inferences like, “I would come to regret this decision later.” I found myself yelling at my Kindle, “quit foreshadowing and get on with the plot!” Finally, Mr. Perrin did get on with the plot, and the last forty-percent of the book got to be pretty page-burning. But even then, he interrupted the pacing and took us back in time yet again. Doc was fighting for his life, and he went back to a conversation he had with one of the developers of the system. He couldn’t just say to the guy in the room with him, “Hey, Troy, Dillon said JACC could…” Did we really need a rehash of the entire conversation when their lives were at stake?

I’m really grateful Mind in the Clouds didn’t have a cliff-hanger ending. It’s nice to find an author who writes a series of standalone books. I just wish he had an editor who would encourage him to tamp down a bit on the foreshadowing, flashbacks, long technical conversations, and keep the action going forward a bit more smoothly.

Heat Rating:  PG-13
Length:  284 Pages
Print:  $10.99
Digital:  $3.99

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