Book Review: A Guilty Mind By Kellie Larsen Murphy

When I first started my blog, I was like a computer geek stuck in cheerleading camp. I had no idea what I was doing. Someone can research all day about maintaining a blog, but they don’t truly learn until they start posting. Kellie Larsen Murphy was one of those nice bloggers who didn’t mind my questions. One day I visited the dashboard under “writing” topic and found her. When I looked closer, I knew I could learn a lot from her since her interest is psychological mysteries and thrillers. Back then, I only wrote romance and women’s fiction, so I looked for writers’ blogs that concentrated on genres I’d like to try.

When she revealed she was interested in publishing a book, I decided to follow her blog to keep up with her publishing journey and to see when her book release date would be. I wanted to support her any way that I could. Recently, she published A Guilty Mind, and I’m very proud of her. Reading her posts has kept me motivated to continue on my writing path.

A Guilty Mind is book #22 in my reading challenge. Here’s my thoughts:

When secrets have deadly consequences…

George Vandenberg is a broken man with a volatile temper, haunted by the memory of the younger 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.

I loved this 50 chapter book. Being from the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, I’ve always enjoyed books that feature areas near my hometown. This book was set in Washington DC and Richmond, Virginia. Have you ever read a book that blows your mind? That after you finish it, it forces you to reflect on what you just read, whether you feel sorry for the characters or because the plot was too awesome to forget? Well, that’s what this story did for me. I shed a couple of tears (definitely at the ending) reflecting on George’s life. Then it dawned on me that this isn’t a real person, so I shouldn’t be so sad LOL.

This was a psychological mystery that definitely had a lot of twists and turns. The opening scene where Dr. Michael gets attacked from behind was very creepy (in a good way). It gave me chills down my spine. Also when George is aware that someone broke into the shed and he chased the person through the woods at night also scared me.

A Guilty Mind was told through George and Detective Cancini’s third person point-of-view. I loved this set-up because they were my favorite characters. I loved the drama–both characters had incredible devastating backgrounds. Poor George lost the love of his life so had to settle with a woman he didn’t love. He became an alcoholic to escape the pain and guilt. He went to therapy, trying to solve his problems but didn’t get any support from his wife. Poor Detective Cancini–he was still guarded and heartbroken from his failed marriage.

My favorite lines were: 1) “And truthfully, he didn’t mind his loner reputation, finding it kept most of the nosier bunch as well as the kiss-ups away from him.” Since I’m a loner, I could relate to the Detective’s personality. 2) “The crime itself might be perfect but the killer isn’t.” Great concept to work with in a story that played mindgames on its characters. 3) “This wasn’t an episode of Law & Order, you know. It won’t be over in an hour.” I enjoyed the shout-out to one of my favorite cop dramas.

Kellie Larsen Murphy has an incredible talent with setting. She described locations, characters, and their interactions with one another so vividly that I got lost in the story. It didn’t feel like I was reading about a character’s journey. It felt like I was experiencing their life with them. I could picture this book as a blockbuster hit. I could see Thomas Jane as George and Andy Garcia as Detective Cancini.

This story had twists, mystery, drama. And I appreciated every second of it, especially the flashbacks of George trying to remember the day he lost Sarah forever. If you want to read a story that takes you on an emotional rollercoaster, then definitely give this book a try. I wish I could discuss the ending (my favorite part), but I can’t give the twist away.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

For more information on the author or book:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: A Guilty Mind By Kellie Larsen Murphy

  1. Yawatta, thanks for the great review and positive feedback. I’ve been doing some local book club appearances and feedback is my favorite part. I am so glad we’ve connected through our websites and I love seeing what you’re up to next. Thanks again!!! As always, my best to you – Kellie

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