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Disordered Minds
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Disordered Minds

4.2 5
by Minette Walters

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When a local councillor and an anthropologist re-investigate the controversial murder conviction of a mentally retarded 20-year-old, they're unprepared for the disturbing facts that come to light--and the personal demons with which they must come to terms.


When a local councillor and an anthropologist re-investigate the controversial murder conviction of a mentally retarded 20-year-old, they're unprepared for the disturbing facts that come to light--and the personal demons with which they must come to terms.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Walters (Fox Evil, etc.) delivers another complex tale of murder and deception. In 1970, 20-year-old Howard Stamp is convicted of brutally killing his 57-year-old grandmother with a carving knife; three years later, he commits suicide in prison. In 2002, London anthropologist Jonathan Hughes includes the Stamp case in his book, Disordered Minds, which examines infamous miscarriages of justice. The mentally slow Stamp may have been coerced into confessing to the murder. George (Georgina) Gardener, an elderly councilor living in Stamp's hometown of Bournemouth, has come to believe in Stamp's innocence herself and asks Jonathan for help in clearing the young man's name. The two get off to a rocky start, but they form an uneasy alliance that gradually grows into a deep friendship. Watching this relationship develop is one of the novel's more entertaining aspects. Walters uses to good effect the multiple viewpoints of her numerous characters, as well as flashbacks, letters, newspaper articles and e-mails to reveal the truth behind the decades-old murder. However, as in life, there are no easy answers, and although the ending may disappoint some, it caps perfectly all that has come before it. Agent, Jane Gregory at Gregory and Company. (Dec. 7) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Murder will out, even after decades, in the hands of award-winning author Walters. A 1970 case, in which retarded Howard Stamp was convicted of the brutal killing of his grandmother Grace Jefferies, is brought to the attention of the public in general-and Councillor George (for Georgina) Gardener in particular-by London anthropologist Jonathan Hughes's book, Disordered Minds, about miscarriages of justice. Stamp committed suicide in prison, but George wants to clear his name and pursue the possible connection to the disappearance of 13-year-old Priscilla Trevelyan in the same neighborhood just days before Grace was killed. Jon and George make an unlikely pair, but the prickly, black, 34-year-old anthropologist and the ailing white 60-year-old councillor decide to ferret out the truth together. With its probing of a decades-old case involving issues of prejudice and abuse, this novel is reminiscent of Walters's The Shape of Snakes; while it uncovers less absolute evil, it is hardly less gripping in revealing and illuminating not only what happened but also why. A masterly tale of psychological suspense; for most fiction collections. [This mass-market Berkley Special Event paperback is a direct reprint of the British hardcover edition.-Ed.]-Michele Leber, Arlington, VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
4.38(w) x 7.48(h) x 1.21(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Minette Walters is the Edgar Award-winning author of six previous novels of intrigue, most recently The Breaker. Walters won the Crime Writers’ Association John Creasey Award for the best first crime novel in 1992, with her debut novel The Ice House. Rapidly establishing a reputation as one of the most exciting crime novelists writing today, her second novel, The Sculptress, was acclaimed by critics as one of the most compelling and powerful novels of the year and won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for the best crime novel published in America in 1993. In 1994, Minette Walters achieved a unique triple when The Scold’s Bridle was awarded the Crime Writers of America Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year. Her following novels, The Dark Room and The Echo, were also published to further critical acclaim and international best-selling success.

Walters work has been translated into thirty-two languages and adapted for television. Her first five novels have been adapted for BBC Television with huge success. She has worked as a magazine editor, and is now a full-time writer.

Brief Biography

Dorchester, Dorset, England
Date of Birth:
September 26, 1949
Place of Birth:
Bishop¿s Stortford, Hertfordshire, England
B.A. in French, Dunelm (Durham University), 1971

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Disordered Minds 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1970 Bournemouth, Dorset, the public is upset with the brutal murder of fifty-seven years old Grace Jefferies that is so reminiscent of the Manson clan. A few days later the police announce that Grace¿s bizarre twenty-years old grandson Howard Stamp confessed after being held for questioning for thirty-six hours. A year later, a jury convicts Howard. While incarcerated Howard was abused by his peers until less than two years after his conviction he committed suicide......................... Three decades later, sexagenarian councilor George Gardener believes that Stamp was guilty of being retarded and different and never killed his grandmother. Gardener has uncovered evidence that he feels might posthumously exonerate Stamp, but the justice system is satisfied with the neat ending. Gardener learns that thirty something years old anthropologist Dr Jonathan Hughes is researching case studies for a book Disordered Minds that he is writing that includes a chapter on Stamp. Gardner thinks he has an ally who might awaken the public that a travesty occurred. However, will the academic risk his reputation on a dead loner who in many ways reminds him of his own childhood that he prefers to forget?.......................... This is an exhilarating thriller that makes the key players seem genuine by selectively providing ¿chapters¿ from Hughes book. The story line is action-packed as Gardner makes his case while Hughes wants to hide from the evidence because his own could have easily paralleled that of Stamp. He begins to believe the real killer lurks waiting to murder again. Readers will be hooked from start to finish wondering if Gardener is right or just soothing his soul for failing at defending his client....................... Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
The plot of the book was good, but the way it was written, using pages of e-mails, police reports and other correspondence, was annoying. The characters were flat and the whole thing moved a bit slowly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love her books because the characters are always so intriguing, and the psychology so fascinating. Yet they are so easy to read that one can hardly put them down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago