NINE NORTH, 5 STAR Review, Art Smukler, MD, author & psychiatrist

Nine North

By Art Smukler

November 14, 2022

Reviewed by Angie Mangino, freelance journalist & book reviewer

Rating: 5 stars

“Two years and one day after Nelson Bennett died, he rose from the dead.”

What a powerful way to immerse readers into the story!

The author goes on to introduce Jake.

“… ‘Nelson!’ Jake yelled. ‘Nelson!’ The man was about fifty feet away – close enough for Jake to clearly make out his features; far enough to provoke enough doubt to make Jake wonder if he was hallucinating. There was no way Jake could ever forget or mistake Nelson’s face. It was the face of his older brother, his only brother and only sibling.

The man turned, stared straight at Jake, his blue eyes locking onto Jake’s blue eyes. Abruptly, he glanced over his shoulder, a startled look transforming his gaunt, clean-shaven face, and he placed his index finger in front of his lips. Then he pivoted, and like a snowflake landing on a hot windshield, melted away.”

As readers learn of Jake Bennett’s life in the present with insights into his brother, Jake’s writing aspirations, his job as a waiter, and his tangled relationship with Gina Carlton, the story engages them.

They next meet Dr. Todd Horowitz, senior psychiatric resident at New County Medical Center. Learning some of his back story and relationship with his fiancé Tanya Roth, efficiently develops the setting for the intersection of their lives beginning with Jake’s confinement in Nine North.

An intriguing faster pace rapidly develops with intrigue and danger that navigates psychiatry in action, the Hassidic Judaism community, and the financial world seamlessly.

The dialogue is authentic, with characters both believable and endearing, which makes it easy for readers to care about them throughout the story to its satisfying conclusion. The last chapter further rewards readers with a glimpse into the lives of the four protagonists seven years later.

Nine North is a book that will stay with readers after their enjoyable journey with it.

#mystery #suspense #psychiatrists

NINE NORTH, by Art Smukler, MD, author & psychiatrist

Jake Bennett throws away his Ivy League education and the love of his life to be a writer. Three failed novels later, a crappy apartment, a battered car, and waiting tables to survive, he sees his dead brother on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California. Hours later, he’s attacked by members of 14K, a brutal Hong-Kong-based Triad, and almost killed. To hide from his attackers, he gets himself admitted to Nine North, the psychiatric unit at New County Hospital. 

Like cozy mysteries? 

Two lovers you’ll never forget? 

A brilliant writer hiding out on a psychiatric unit in Los Angeles?

A Hong Kong Triad trying to kill him?

A psychiatrist who actually tries to figure out why his patients do what they do?

How the unconscious mind rules our behavior? 

High finance? 


You’ve got to read NINE NORTH, a mystery. It’ll blow you away.

#mystery #suspense #psychiatrists #lovestory