Murder on the Mind
(Jess Resnick Mystery #1)
by: L.L. Bartlett
Jeff Resnick hardly knew his well-heeled half-brother. But after suffering a fractured skull in a vicious mugging, he reluctantly accepts the fact that he has a long and brutal recovery to face—and his closest of kin can provide him with the time and place to do it.
Now, Jeff is haunted by unexplained visions of a heinous crime—a banker, stalked, killed, and eviscerated like a ten-point buck. When Matt Sumner’s murder is discovered, a still-recovering Jeff realizes this was what he had seen. Jeff must not only convince himself of his new-found psychic ability, but also his skeptical brother Richard Alpert. Since Sumner was Richard’s banker, both brothers have a stake in finding out what happened. With Richard’s reluctant help, Jeff’s investigation leads him to Sumner’s belligerent family and hard-nosed business associates, none of whom want him snooping around. – Goodreads
I’m pretty sure that I picked up Murder on the Mind, the first book in what is a seven book mystery series, for free on Amazon. It might be in the free books or something or another a few years back. As I clear out the backlog, I finally got around to it. Mystery and suspense novels are my thing. I truly do enjoy ones that get me at the edge of my seat and keep me guessing and wondering the whole time through. Its quite the mixed bag when it comes to Murder on the Mind. On one hand, there is a nice twist to learning about this Jeff Resnick and how he believes he’s gotten these special powers that help him have this sense of when there’s something suspicious about a location or a person or whatnot. Its nice to let the readers learn as he learns so it really starts from zero.
At the same time, Jeff Resnick is somewhat of an odd and extreme character. Perhaps a tad reckless but then he also earns a bit of sympathy for all the unlucky things that has lead him to this point in time. At least in the beginning. We soon realize as we head to the end that the slower paced mystery here works not so much as a page turner for the mystery but rather it was a look at his life and it doubles as a way that this has tied up some loose ends in his life that has been dangling for too long, like mending the relationship with his brother or being okay with asking for help. Its gives someone the chance to reevaluate the change that he could take with the mugging that got him this point in time to have some other opportunity open up using the skills he had in his previous job as an insurance investigator. The past insurance investigator angle is good and the learning about these new paranormal/instinctive abilities are also an intriguing twist.
My main issue with Murder on the Mind is that this like most first book in series feels a lot like a book to set up. There’s a lot of filler things and its fairly slow. There is some investigation and if it did follow the path of keeping a lot more mystery apparent in its pacing, it would have been more effective. Except the set up here gives you (like what I mentioned before), development of Jeff Resnick. his weaknesses and his unpredictable and abstract feelings when something is wrong. We see that he can be calm and collected and has great deductive skills. The one thing Jeff Resnick has for himself is that he feels real because he gets pain (quite frequently) but he also is clever and daring so it makes it technically an entertaining read. But for one reason or another, it took a while to get really absorbed into the book. Maybe its just some parts felt unnecessary and the pacing was what made it not so engaging.
Don’t get me wrong. Murder on the Mind is not a bad book, in fact its pretty average and has some cool ideas and some entertaining suspenseful moments. Even the mystery itself seems rather twisty and the end game is nice to see it unveiled. Its the process of getting there that causes most of the lackluster moments but at least the stage is set now and it looks like this could be a fun one to keep checking out. I’m not sure if I will personally, maybe eventually but not right away.