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Friday, July 6, 2012

Sins of the Mind by L.J. Garland and Debbie Gould

Sins of the Mind by L.J. Garland and Debbie Gould
Publisher: Decadent Publishing Company, LLC
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (266 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aster

Seven years ago, Abby Montgomery survived a brutal attack. Now she is ready to put her pain in the past and move on with her life. The problem is, one by one the men in her life are being viciously murdered.

The detective assigned to the case, Ethan Parker, has demons of his own to hide. As the danger gets closer to Abby, so does Ethan. But can they get past his secrets before the killer gets to them? Sometimes the sins of the mind are more depraved than the sins of the heart.

It's been a long time since a book had me so riveted my heart raced and I had to catch my breath. Sins of the Mind not only did that, but there were times I wished I could still read while covering my eyes!

Ethan Parker is a top notch detective assigned to investigate a grisly murder with his new partner, Grant Montgomery. When more bodies begin to pile up, all of them associated with Montgomery's sister, Abby, Ethan is forced to take the lead to avoid any conflict his partner could cause. Once Abby is ruled out as a suspect, Ethan's interest in her switches from professional to very personal. But Ethan has a secret of his own - his half-brother, Mikey, is serving time for an assault on Abby seven years prior.

This was a wonderfully complex story, yet never confusing or muddled. Characters were introduced in a logical order and the wonderful pacing made it easy to follow who was who and what the relationships were. The hero and heroine were especially likable; Ethan a dedicated cop who was smitten by a suspect/witness/victim of the crime and Abby, a rape victim who had managed to piece her life together after a vicious assault. They fit together nicely, and although it took quite some time in the book for them to act on their attraction, once they had, it was easy to root for them!

The writing style of these authors is easy to read, and despite a handful of editing mishaps and typos, I was able to full submerge myself into the story. The reader is able to experience both Abby and Ethan's points of view, which helps endear you to both of them. I felt for Ethan - he has very strong feelings for Abby, yet is terrified of her reaction if she would find out about his brother, but also sympathized with Abby, who had come so far from the disaster her life had been after her attack and was finally taking large steps into her future.

My only negative feelings about this story were several scenes of intense violence. The descriptions were vivid enough to paint a mental picture, and when you're talking about a serial killer, that's a scary place to be! The acts were necessary to the story, so there was nothing gratuitous, but I was a bit squeamish in places and found myself skimming ahead to see how it would end. To someone who isn't bothered by those types of scenes, this may not bother you.

I will admit I correctly suspected the identity of the murderer very early on, but didn't know how the authors would get there, nor the connections everyone had to each other. The twists were very well done, and there were several I never saw coming. There were quite a few red herrings thrown in as well, to throw the reader off, so there were continuous questions along the way.

I would definitely pick up the next title in this series, and hope to read more about Abby and Ethan along the way. If you love a good whodunit, with a fantastic romance mixed in, this is definitely a book to pick up!

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