Thursday, May 16, 2013

Reviewing A Guilty Mind

My apologies for being tardy with today's review.  After a late night power outage and a "you don't want to know what else happened" kinda day, I'm finally able to get logged back into the blog and write this belated review.  Forgive me, Kellie, for not being able to give a full day promotion of your great book. 

Sometimes life throws us a bit of a curve around which we must drive. 

That summary also applies to the contents of Kellie Larsen Murphy's A Guilty Mind.  Join me in exploring this intriguing psychological mystery!

Book Summary:
George Vandenberg is a broken man with a volatile temper, haunted by the memory of the young woman he once loved and "accidentally" killed.  Wrestling with the guilt and pushed by his psychiatrist to confess the circumstances of her death, he teeters on the edge of a nervous breakdown.  The past collides with the present when the doctor turns up dead, brutally stabbed to death in his office.  Stunned and confused, George emerges as the primary suspect even as he becomes a target himself.  To prove his innocence, George must face the police, his manipulative wife, and the past he's been unable to forget.  When the truth is finally divulged, no one, including George, is prepared for the collateral damage or the shocking identity of the killer.

My Review:
The opening scene immediately grabbed my attention and made me want to explore "who done it" even further.  Dr. Michael is on the cusp of a breakthrough in helping one of his most troubling patients, staying in his office late at night to review audio recordings of his recent sessions.  Then the unthinkable happens as someone the good doctor knows sneaks in and murders him.

Several patients are immediately suspect, and Detective Cancini has his work cut out for him - particularly when the widow points a finger toward those patients who transferred over to her husband's care after the "murder" of her psychiatrist brother a year earlier.

One man eventually makes the top of the suspect list - one George Vandenberg, a successful, wealthy family man on the surface.  Underneath is a dark and painful past he attempts to placate with booze.  His marriage to his controlling and pretentious wife is a sham, as he pines for his younger days and the only woman he ever really loved.

The one he killed.

I found this story to be an intriguing read.  Pacing is at times fast and then slows down as we get to know the players on the field, but it never feels bogged down.  The characters are well developed with back stories full of secrets that have shattered them into the jagged-edged people they've become.  It's at times heartbreaking.

There are plenty of red herrings in the story, so don't expect to be able to pin-point the perpetrator right away.  However, if you're paying close attention, you'll probably figure out the "who done it" before the end.

And what an end!

I'd pretty much figured things out by the time of the unveiling - but I was unprepared for the completely unexpected twist at the end.  I'm still not sure how I feel about that one, but it DID take me by surprise.

That's something rather difficult to do, in my experience.  But it's also something that makes me like a book even more.  I enjoy being surprised in the end because it doesn't happen very often.

And that's where I give this novel very high ratings indeed.  So if you're looking for a great Memorial weekend read, pick up a copy of Kellie Larsen Murphy's A Guilty Mind.

Author Bio:
Kellie Larsen Murphy is a freelance writer who has worked in both the banking and publishing industries. In recent years, she has written on a variety of subjects and been featured frequently in several mid-Atlantic magazines. Her debut novel, A Guilty Mind, is the first in a series featuring Detective Michael Cancini. The second in the series, Stay of Execution, will be available in 2013. Kellie lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, four children, and two dogs. She would be happy to hear from readers through her website,

Amazon Kindle eBook $2.99

Amazon Print $11.44 


  1. Thanks, DA, for the great review. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

    1. I'm looking forward to your next Detective Cancini novel! Thanks for visiting and allowing me to read your work.