Outstanding New Offering of Psychological Thrills
Reviewed by Sarah Moore, Writers in the Sky
To share that the most recent offering by author Jennifer Chase is my favorite means that I really love this novel, as I have enjoyed every book that she has published. Dark Mind is the fourth novel by Jennifer Chase, and through its pages Chase takes her magnificent ability to put her readers inside the mind of a serial killer and to produce plot twists that literally take your breath away to a new level of thrills and intensity. Whether or not you are already familiar with Jennifer Chase’s work and have eagerly been anticipating this new release (like me), or she is an author you are discovering for the first time, you will not be disappointed by Dark Mind.
Chase brings character Emily Stone back to the forefront in Dark Mind. Still happily connected to Detective Rick Lopez in an endearing romance, the two arrive on the island of Kauai to investigate a child abduction that is part of a larger, disturbing trafficking network. Once there, the couple becomes drawn into the search for a serial killer who has been attacking women and then sacrificing their bodies in grotesque and public ways to please his god. Joined by former FBI investigator and good friend Jordan, who fans of Chase will recognize, and local investigator Sergeant Lani Candena, Emily and Rick explore the darkest and most remote locations in Kauai in their hunt to bring a vicious monster to justice.
For the first time in her writing, Chase involves the physical environment as a major character in her writing. The island of Kauai provides an amazing backdrop for the storyline, with its gorgeous beaches that create a sense of peace and pure beauty, as well as the uninhabited woods and caverns that can be terrifying to those not familiar with the land. Chase also displays a deep knowledge of, and respect for, the local culture and traditions. The readers are not just placed on an island and asked to accept the storyline; they are transported into the language and mystery and mysticism of the land, making the authenticity of the work thoroughly believable.
As has been a particular strength through all of her books, Jennifer Chase continues to put forth a powerful psychological component in her writing. We are asked to delve into the thoughts and fears of a serial killer, even taking breaths with him and walking with him as he stalks his prey. I found myself having to shake off the intensity of these episodes before moving forward with the next scene, which speaks to the strength of Chase’s writing and her obvious background in criminology. And, Chase also succeeds at another critical element of a thriller novel . . . she keeps the reader guessing. The suspense is effectively built so that you never know when danger may strike and the twists in who the “bad guys” are in the novel evolve wonderfully. It’s not an instance in which you read a scene and think, “Oh, she wants me to think this guy is the killer, but he won’t be.” The revelations really are unexpected and make for a great climax to the book.
Jennifer Chase does not disappoint with her new novel, Dark Mind. Far from it. Instead, she proves that her creative mind continues to generate fresh and compelling storylines and characters. If you are looking for a book that is smart, beautiful, and even a bit frightening at times, you need to pick up a copy of Dark Mind.
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Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase/
Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting