Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Review: 'Murder On The Mind' by L L Bartlett

I don't know why it is that women are so good at writing murder mysteries, but here's another example. It's fast-paced, intriguing and entertaining, without bogging down in police procedures or getting so convoluted that you feel you ought to be drawing flowcharts or a timeline. I got the Kindle edition when it was free, but it's still cheap, as a lead-in to the normally priced rest of the series.

But I have to say this upfront: the author has been quite devious in designing her protagonist's setup. After a mugging leaves him with apparent brain damage, he discovers that he gets visions of murder. This is quite cute, because whenever the action slows up or a trail leads to a dead-end, he can suddenly have one of his visions and away we go again. It's a bit like one of those naff mediums: "Wait, I'm getting something... I see a maroon Buick..." And the hero's half-brother is fortuitously rich and unemployed and amiably prepared to drive him all over town.

But if you can get past the inherent implausibilities, this is a terrific page-turner. The main characters are all very believable and likeable, too. The denouement is a bit over-dramatic, but never mind. Overall, this is a good yarn at a good price. Four stars. [First written July 2011]

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