A Game of Minds

Dr. Claire Roget, forensic psychiatrist, is asked to interview a serial killer, Jonah Kobi, in an attempt to solve a cold case and find a missing girl. Marvel Trustom has been missing for six years. Can Claire win a battle of wits with a psychopath in order to fulfill the wish of Marvel’s dying father?

This is an interesting book that contains two mysteries, one which will be revealed within the book. The mysteries are complex and held my attention. Claire’s interactions with Marvel’s family are just as compelling as her interactions with the psychopath Kobi. However, the time spent on Claire’s personal life was uninteresting. Her relationship actually ticked me off at times. Her significant other treats her badly and I cannot figure out why she stays with him. Claire is a brilliant psychiatrist. Why would she put up with this? 

There was not a lot of action in this book. It was mostly a battle of wits on two fronts. It was not your typical gruesome serial killer story.

This is part of a series but can easily be read as a standalone. I received a free copy of this book from Severn House via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

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Nothing Good Happens After Midnight

This is a brilliant, suspense-filled collection of stories from a group of talented, best-selling authors who all put their own spin on what might happen after midnight. These stories run the gamut from crime to horror to psychological thrillers and dark fantasy. There is something here for every fan of those genres. This collection is edited by international best-selling author Jeffery Deaver , and he provides a story as well. My personal favorites were “12:01 AM” by Alan Jacobson and “A Creative Defense” by Jeffery Deaver. I recommend this for everyone who likes the spooky, the thrilling, the suspenseful, and even the horror-filled side of fiction.

12:01 AM (Excerpt Below) by Alan Jacobson is about the last minutes of a serial killer who harbors important information about a copycat. FBI profilers race to save a missing woman before their only source of information is executed.

Cell Phone Intolerant by Kevin O’Brien is the story of Ed, who is so angered by rude behavior of cell phone users that he comes up with a scheme to try and do something about it.

All Aboard by Hank Phillippi Ryan is a psychological thriller about a PR executive on a train who overhears a plot against a woman and becomes part of the game.

Gone Forever by Joseph Badal describes a mass killing.

Night Shift by Linwood Barclay is a psychological thriller with a surprise ending when a man threatens to go on a killing spree.

In Midnight in the Garden of Death, a sleepover in a graveyard turns bloody and bizarre.

Paul Kemprecos’ The Sixth Decoy sees his established series character Aristotle Socarides taking a case from a suspicious man.

Jeffery Deaver writes the brilliant story A Creative Defense about a mesmerizing musical composition and a very unusual murder.

Rhys Bowen’s After Midnight offers two variations on the story of Cinderella. 

Easy Peasy by John Lescroart shows us how antics of high school kids can turn out very badly.

Tonic by D.P. Lyle is about two cousins trying to make a living who decide to employ a new business model.

Shannon Kirk’s Tonight is the Night is a suspenseful ride in a ski resort where one of the worker’s tall tales may catch up with him.

Jon Land’s ATM is about a young man in New York City whose life is about to change

Excerpt of 12:01 AM by Alan Jacobson

12:01 AM

A Karen Vail Short Story

By Alan Jacobson


Stephen Raye Vaughn—no relation to the famed musician—sat on the edge of his death row cot. His “music” was a tune of a different sort, his cauldron of creativity emanating from death and mayhem—and finding new ways to wreak havoc on a city.

With his time remaining on this Earth melting away like a glacier in the throes of climate change, he was now reduced to digging out the dirt from under his fingernails. Why? He had no goddamn idea. He was due to die in 120 minutes and nothing really mattered anymore, did it? 

Did it ever really matter?

Yeah, it did. Back when he was hunting for his prey, he had to present himself as an upstanding, clean cut individual. He had to play the part. Otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to sit undisturbed in his van in parking lots while selecting the 16 women he would eventually murder.

His van. He missed that thing. He didn’t know exactly where it was at this moment, but he knew who had it. Fortunately, he had disposed of it before the police caught him, so it could not be used as evidence against him. And man, was there a lot of evidence in it that could be used against him.

As it turned out, the one victim who got away went to the police and turned him in. It was very difficult to commit the perfect crime, although it did happen on occasion. People did get away with murder sometimes, but there was usually at least one major mistake a guy made that proved to be his undoing. 

Stephen Raye Vaughn was no exception. For him it would be the mistake of a lifetime, one he could not take back. 

But so be it. He was like a star in the nighttime sky, burning very brightly before going supernova. He had made peace with that. Not that he didn’t want to continue living, but sometimes you just had to accept your fortune. It took him a dozen years, but he had finally reached that point.

Time was short, and his lifespan was now shorter, but at least he had lived a helluva ride. And unlike 99% of the individuals populating this planet, he had made plans to ensure his legacy continued on, at least for the near future. If all played out the way he figured it would, he would be forever immortalized in movies, television, books, Internet memes, and American history.

Stevie Ray Vaughn may be famous, but Stephen Raye Vaughn…he was infamous.

Vaughn glanced over at the sterile black and white clock across the way and wondered: Was that enough?

With so little time left to live, it would have to be.

I received a free copy of this book from R&R Book Tours. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

Link to Nothing Good Happens After Midnight on Amazon