The Shadowed Mind
Source: Review copy from the publisher.
Book Description from Back Cover:
Who will be found worthy to live; who is the next victim?
After the deadly investigation into the Smithsonian murders, Dinah Harris is now facing a daily battle to keep her sobriety while struggling to form a new career from the ashes of her former job as an FBI agent. From the shadows will emerge a cunning and terrifying killer, who carefully and methodically will decide whose life has value to society and whose does not.
Using her profiling and security skills as a private consultant based in Washington, DC, Dinah uncovers a connection to the shadowy world of neoeugenics, and those who publicly denounce the killings but privately support a much different view.
Against this backdrop, Dinah must come to terms with her own past. Those associated with the deepening mystery face their own personal demons and struggle with the concept of God's inexhaustible grace and forgiveness. Old secrets are revealed, tragedies unearthed, and the devastating legacy of science without compassion is finally brought to light.
The second book in this thrilling new fiction trilogy!
The Shadowed Mind is a well-written, fast-paced detective suspense novel. It's the second novel in the trilogy, but you don't need to have read the first novel (Deadly Disclosures) to follow what's happening in this one. However, the "whodunit" in the previous novel is somewhat revealed in this one, so I'd recommend reading them in order if both sound interesting to you.
The suspense came from trying to stop the killer before he killed again, personal danger to the main characters, and Dinah's struggle with alcoholism. A subplot with some secondary characters also created suspense by the stresses the daughter (Ella) underwent in dealing with her father's Alzheimer's Disease and her anger after learning a horrible secret about his past.
The characters were interesting, complex, and had realistic struggles. Dinah struggled with staying sober during a stressful case and with her quick temper.
The details about the police work, setting, and historical information relating to the case where excellent and interesting yet didn't slow the story down. These details brought the story alive in my imagination.
I don't think most people will figure out who the killer is before Dinah does, but it is possible to do so. Overall, I thought this was a more polished novel than the first one, but I still noticed some inaccurate, conflicting, or odd minor details. Like why did Cage and Dinah (who's on the case as a profile consultant) ignore that the profile she made of the killer didn't match their favorite suspect?
Dinah and several minor characters were Christians. Dinah and Ella struggled realistically with forgiveness and grace in their difficult circumstances and talked with other Christians about this struggle. Also, Dinah consulted a Christian about the Christian viewpoint of eugenics, but she also consulted a secular source and heard the views of several pro-eugenics characters. I felt the pro-eugenics characters were handled realistically.
There was no sex and no bad language. I'd highly recommend this well-written, suspenseful novel.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt from Chapter One
He looked utterly ordinary.
Cruising the streets of Washington DC, he looked like he belonged there. He was wearing a charcoal pinstriped suit, a red and blue silk tie, and shiny Italian leather shoes. He carried a calfskin briefcase. His cell phone was tucked in his pocket — one of his most useful props. Who would look twice at a man in a suit with a briefcase and cell phone, in the heart of DC?
Yet his reasons for being in the city were far from ordinary. He had come to find and stalk his prey.
It was early evening in the first week of a promising summer. The streets were busy and the restaurants and cafes packed with patrons, enjoying the arrival of longer, warmer days. A new, wild optimism seemed to charge the atmosphere when summer arrived — the shackles of winter thrown off, thoughts turned now to vacations, beaches, and the possibility of a tan. Business lunches seemed less highpowered, with talk revolving around yachts and summer houses rather than the economy and falling commodity prices.
He should know — he existed in that world during the day and partook in those very lunches and conversations. But at night, when the mood overcame him, a new creature emerged.
His prey wouldn’t be found on Pennsylvania Avenue or Constitution Avenue. He would have to traverse the shadowy alleyways and the darkest corners of the city to find what he was looking for. He wasn’t afraid. He was the one who struck fear into the hearts of others.
He headed northeast of the city, where crack cocaine was sold on the streets only blocks away from Capitol Hill. He was entering neighborhoods where the shade of his skin could put him in danger, but he strode confidently. As he walked, his eyes constantly roamed, taking in the people around him. Though he received several catcalls and jeers, those who got sufficiently close enough to see his eyes soon backed away.
He realized that in this part of town, potential victims were plentiful. Human life was cheap and could be bought by the highest bidder. But he wanted more than a chance to buy five minutes in an alleyway.
It took some time, but finally he found someone who had real potential. She stood on a street corner, arms crossed over her skinny ribcage, and shoulders hunched defensively. Her dirty blonde hair hung forward over her face, but he could see that she was still attractive despite the weariness evident in her face. Track marks dotted both arms. Boldly, he approached.
Read more from chapter one.