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Review: The Mime by Tony Profumo

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Mime
Tony Profumo

Genre: SuspenseMystery
Paperback: 335 Pages
Publication: February 1978
by Jove Books


The man who was her lover and the man who was her doctor watched the girl they thought the knew so well, and listened to unimaginably shocking words pouring from her mouth. How could a girl this lovely be so familiar with such ugliness? How could a creature so light and air be captive to such dark forces?

The questions were terrifying - the answer far more fearful...

You are invited on a journey into evil beyond even the occult - where heartbeats echo in the silence and blood spells out the message of THE MIME.


What can I say about this book? I’m actually struggling to find words for it because it gave me a genuine surprise. I thought this would just be some cheap, badly written murder mystery. However, The Mime has left quite an impression on me.

The main plot focuses on a middle-aged man named Jack who meets a young woman named Claire and leaves everything, including his wife and businesses, just to be with her. Around the same time, grisly murders take place, involving someone dressed and made up as a mime. Though Jack was the protagonist, Claire was, to my mind, the more interesting character. Her backstory and the attitude that arises as a result of it made her stand out when compared with the other characters, in particular with the other women of the novel. Don’t get me wrong, though. Claire may be fascinating, but she didn’t go through much growth; that was reserved for Jack. It was great to see how he bounced around the question of whether or not this affair was really worth gambling away all the stability in his life for, and how becoming Claire's lover changed him.

Typos and grammatical errors aside, I found the plot intriguing. Call it my love for campy horror or whatever, but I was heavily invested in the mystery and wanted to find out who this mime was and what he wanted. I was right in the frontlines with the characters, trying to sort out the mystery. Not only does it draw you in, but there's some real complexity to it as well, and that, I think, was what kept me reading. The final climactic moment of the novel was intense and had me racing through the pages, wondering how it was going to end. There were a few twists thrown in throughout the novel, mostly leads in the mystery that turn out to be dead ends, but the main one involving the killer was hands down the most shocking; my jaw just about hit the floor when I read it.

That being said, this book wasn’t without its flaws. I felt like one of the subplots wasn’t developed enough. There was one involving Jack’s family lawyer that tied in and eventually blended with the main plot, but the one involving Jack's mother didn’t receive the same treatment. Honestly, it was middle of the road. The mother is pretty well developed, so I kind of hoped that her subplot would be as well, even if it didn't merge with the main plot as the subplot involving the lawyer did. If the author didn't intend for the mother to have a big subplot, he probably should've kept that out of the story, but still kept her as a strong minor character in the novel.

The pacing was a touch problematic for me as well. The author spent a lot of time setting up the affair between Jack and Claire, and the ending when we find out who the killer is felt kind of hastened, as if the author remembered that he only had so many pages left and had to end the book at some point. I think this could have been cleared up by spending less time dumping information on several minor characters. My guess is that this information was meant to make the characters more memorable, but since their roles were overall minor in the plot, it was unnecessary. Since the ending was rushed, there were a few loose ends that weren't resolved, so some questions went unanswered, and I really would've liked to have seen how some of those would've been resolved.

To be honest, I mostly got this book because I thought the cover looked cool. Now that I’ve actually read it, I’ve realized that I found quite a gem without trying hard to find one. The mystery is intense and very engaging, and the big twist was a really hard left turn. A rushed one perhaps, but an unexpected one regardless. Again, it might be me being drawn in by cheap thrills, but I really did enjoy this book, despite some issues I had with characters and pacing. Check it out for yourself, even if it's just to be seduced by the character that is Claire.

Additional Information
  • N/A

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  • Language
  • Some drug use
  • Nudity
  • Sex
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5 comments on "Review: The Mime by Tony Profumo"
  1. I'm so freaked out by both the cover and the title, I can't even give this book a chance. *shudders* *runs away and snuggles with warm puppy*

    1. It's okay. I've been on a bit of a horror kick as of late, so that might be why I got the book. I didn't mind the cover so much, mostly because the mime reminds me of the main character from my favorite movie. Had it been a clown, I wouldn't have bothered with it.

  2. This sounds like a great read. . . if only I could get past the cover and synopsis! Great review, Roxanne! If not for my undying fear of horror, I would give this a try.

    1. Thanks! Okay, I'll admit that the cover might be creepy for some people, but you have a pretty good idea where my horror thresholds are. The synopsis makes it seem like it's going to be a really scary book, but it wasn't that bad. I was actually expecting more horror! But it was pretty tame, at least compared to some of the stuff I usually read. The suspense was really great, though.

    2. Good to know. MAYBE I'll pick it up one day, lol. When I have someone to hold my hand while I sleep in case of nightmares.


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