Tuesday, October 2, 2007

"Murder on the Mind" by L. L. Bartlett

After a brutal mugging in NYC, Jeff Resnick struggles to patch up his life, accept his new psychic abilities, and attempt to use those abilities to help solve a gruesome murder of a banker in Buffalo, New York. The slim book is tightly written and moves briskly forward, a great asset for any mystery. A former insurance investigator downsized out of a job prior to the mugging, Jeff takes the tantalizing clues his on again/off again psychic abilities provide and combines them with sound detective skills to hunt down the killer until he pushes the killer too far threatening his domestic situation. The main plot is intriguing, well done, and a solid read for any mystery lover. The secondary plot surrounding his domestic situation plodded a bit and lacked depth. Still, "Murder on the Mind" is a four out of five star read for the mystery reader in me. For those mystery readers who like the psychic angle, it might climb a bit higher.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review!

Nancy P said...

I'm soooo glad the mystery world got over its long prejudice against intuition, psychic stuff, and things that go bump in the night (besides serial killers).

Anonymous said...

I think shows like "Medium" have helped, but there's still a lot of prejudice among some readers.

"Paranormal? No thanks, I'll pass."

Another reason I'm grateful the book has a second shot at finding readers with this new paperback edition.

Rick Bylina said...

I believe the key to incorporating paranormal aspects in a mystery is not to lose the focus. It's the MYSTERY that should be the heart of the story. The paranormal element is a tool (whether it be imaging or the ability of a shape-shifting werewolf) used to solve the mystery just like any other tool the protagonist uses to solve the mystery.

Kimberly Frost said...

I love paranormal elements, but I do think one has to use a light touch in mystery with them or it seems over the top.

Seems like most people who report psychic ability don't have much control over their "gift" so when I read something that's meant to be a serious mystery and the character is just wielding their power like they stepped out of Harry Potter, I can't suspend my disbelief well enough. (Though I love Harry Potter/urban fantasy)

It sounds like L.L. Bartlett deftly combined the normal and the paranormal in this book. Thanks for the review, Rick.