Mind Games

Mind Games

by Nancy Mehl


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764231841
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/04/2018
Series: Kaely Quinn Profiler Series , #1
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 64,201
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Nancy Mehl is the author of over twenty-five books, including the Road to Kingdom, Finding Sanctuary, and Defenders of Justice series. She received the ACFW Mystery Book of the Year Award in 2009. She writes from her home in Missouri, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their puggle, Watson.

Traci Odom, an American-born actor and voice artist, has built a successful career that spans decades. As a stage, film, and television actor, she has played everything from a tree to an Irish setter to a lawyer, but it is as a veteran narrator of more than fifty-five audiobooks that she has truly found her voice.

Read an Excerpt


As she poured the sparkling red claret into the serial killer's glass, she wondered if it reminded him of blood. She pushed it toward him, but he ignored it. Kaely smiled. Just as she thought.

"You strangle your victims because you don't like blood," she said. "You took food from their refrigerators. You're on a limited budget and saw a way to profit. But you only took cheese, fruit, vegetables, desserts, yogurt ..." She tapped on the base of the wineglass. "You're a vegetarian, but not vegan."

She pulled the wineglass away and pushed another toward him. This time she filled it with white wine. He reached through the shadows and picked it up.

Kaely riffled through the pages of the file she'd brought with her. Then she leaned back and stared at the chair across from her. He was a white male. Between twenty-five and thirty-five. He worked a menial job. Was shy around people. Probably awkward. Yet he seemed to have a purpose. But what was it? All of his victims were different. A successful black male attorney, a poor Hispanic female artist, and a white male college student.

It wasn't something inherent about them, so whatever it was that drove him to punish them was something they did. He was angry with the people he killed, but he didn't enjoy the act of killing. Didn't feel good about it. Strangling them from behind meant he didn't have to look them in the eyes. Afterward, he posed them, their arms folded across their chests. It was a sign of remorse.

"I'm confused," she said. "There's no connection between your victims. Different sexes. Different races. They don't live near each other. You don't seem to have a kill zone."

"You're confused?" he whispered. "That's new for you."

"Hush," she said. "I'll tell you when you can talk." Kaely frowned at him. The rules were very clear. They weren't allowed to speak unless she gave them permission.

A disturbance to her right made her shift her focus to the table nearest her. A chubby, florid-faced man and his haggard-looking wife scowled at her as they addressed the waiter they'd called to their table.

"What kind of place is this?" the man asked loudly. He pointed at Kaely. "You let crazy people in here? You need to remove that woman."

Louis Bertrand, the owner of Restaurant d'Andre, stomped up to the table, his face set and his hands gesturing wildly as if they had a mind of their own. "This is not a crazy woman, monsieur. This is the famous FBI profiler, Kaely Quinn. That is her table, and she is allowed to use it whenever she wants."

"But this is unacceptable," the man said, his face growing even darker. Kaely began to worry about his blood pressure.

"It is acceptable to me, monsieur," Louis stated simply. "But you are not. I will ask you to leave now. No charge for your meal."

The man began to sputter and curse. His wife, seemingly embarrassed about the entire incident, grabbed her purse, stood up, and hightailed it out of the dining room. Her husband continued to protest. He gestured again toward Kaely, his eyes wide with anger and confusion. "But she's talking to herself. There's no one there!"

Kaely felt her cheeks grow hot. She hadn't meant to use her private technique in front of other people. She'd been so focused on the information in the file she'd forgotten she was in public.

"I do not care what she does, monsieur. She is welcome in my restaurant any time." Louis grabbed the man's arm and helped him to his feet. "She caught the man who killed my only son. She cleared my Andre's name, and she will be shown the respect, n'est-ce pas? If you cannot do so, then you must leave, oui? And please do not cross my door again."

Kaely sighed to herself. She'd been judged and criticized for her process by those she'd worked with. She quickly scanned the room. Other diners stared at her too, although it seemed they wanted nothing more than to avoid Louis's wrath. She hated to embarrass the kind restaurant owner. He'd wanted to do something to thank her for her help in locating his son's murderer last year, but she couldn't allow him to disrupt his business. Tonight would be the last time she'd come here. For Louis's sake.

Kaely gave the restaurant owner a brief smile and turned her attention back to the file as Louis escorted the sputtering man to the front door.

"He's not the only one who thinks you're crazy, is he?" the killer said softly.

"No, he's not, but I'm used to it. Now be still. I can't talk to you anymore."

She was flipping through the file one more time when Louis came up to the table. "I am sorry for that man's rudeness. It will not happen again, mon cher amie. What have you decided for dinner tonight?" he asked.

"I'll have the salade niçoise with salmon, Louis," she said.

"Good choice. It is délicieux. Iced tea to drink?"

She nodded. Louis used to argue that a little wine wouldn't hurt her. She had nothing against wine, but she didn't like anything that softened her sense of control, including alcohol or drugs of any kind. Her mother had become addicted to pain medication when Kaely was seventeen. Thankfully, she'd kicked it, but watching her mother's struggle had convinced Kaely that pharmaceuticals were something to be avoided, if at all possible. She slowly pulled the glass of water she'd used for her invisible guest's wine back to her side of the table.

"And for ...?" He jerked his head toward the seat across from Kaely.

"You don't need to placate me, Louis. I know there's no one there. It's just ... it's a way I work through information sometimes. I'm ... I'm sorry I caused you a problem."

The restaurateur paused a moment before saying, "You could never cause me a problem, mon amie. You are my friend and always will be. Everything I have is yours. If it wasn't for you, Andre's death would still be considered a suicide. Proving he was a victim of a serial killer gave my boy back his dignity. You eased his mother's mind — and mine as well. We will always be grateful to you."

"Just doing my job, Louis. That's all."

"It might be just a job to you, ma chère, but to me it means more than I can ever say." Louis actually bowed and clicked his heels together before turning around and heading toward the kitchen. Kaely was happy to see how successful Restaurant d'Andre had become. The restaurant had been Louis's salvation. He'd put his heart and soul into it, and somehow it had helped to ease his pain.

Kaely turned back to the file. She stared at the reports and pictures spread out in front of her. The file had been overnighted from Nashville, where three murders had recently occurred. Although Nashville could have asked for assistance from the FBI at Quantico due to the federal serial murder statute, the police chief there had called Kaely's boss, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's field office in St. Louis, Solomon Slattery. The chief had asked Solomon to let Kaely peruse it first. He was afraid there would be another killing before the FBI could gather their resources together.

Kaely reread the information. Each person had died in their own home, strangled with something that had been removed from the scene. The medical examiner narrowed the ligature down to some kind of leather strap, but that was as close as he could get. There were no signs of a break-in. Whoever killed them had been given access into the victims' houses or apartments. None of the victims knew each other, and they had nothing in common. The perpetrator had to be someone they felt safe with. He probably dressed as a public employee. Someone from the electric company, the cable company, the water company. But the victims didn't share any of these services. Two of them used the same electric company, but one of the victims lived in a house where all the utilities were paid for by the owner. True, the killer could have changed uniforms, but Kaely didn't think so.

This was an organized killer, but there was also an odd randomness involved. He planned his murders, which showed organization, but it was clear he wasn't certain when people might be home and within his reach. One of the murders happened when a victim had taken the day off to drive his mother to the doctor. It had been a last-minute decision. The killer couldn't have known.

"Your MO is the same, but what is your signature?" she whispered to the man sitting across from her, making sure she couldn't be overheard by others around her. "What is it that drives you to kill?"

There was no response from her dinner companion.

As she carefully flipped through the file page by page, a waitress brought her food. Kaely quickly gathered the pictures together and closed the file so the young woman wouldn't see images that would shock her. When Kaely began training as part of the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit, referred to as the BAU, they horrified her too. Now they were just clues to a puzzle. It wasn't that she didn't care about the victims — she did. But this was the only way she could do her job. She worked for the victims. Getting justice was her way of caring. Allowing herself to fall apart wouldn't help anyone. Eventually, she learned how to build a wall of protection around herself and her emotions. Sometimes the wall cracked, but she'd always found a way to repair the breach.

Kaely thanked her waitress and took a bite of the salmon. Delicious, as always. After the waitress left, her companion picked up a soup spoon and began eating, slurping, making a mess.

"You're not refined," she said quietly to him. "Simple, really. Whatever it is that motivates you is simple too. Nothing complicated."

As he continued to gulp his soup, she realized he lived a very basic life. Unpretentious. A small apartment or boardinghouse. He owned an older car but probably kept it clean. Didn't throw trash around. Didn't like mess. She quickly wrote her thoughts down on her notepad. She wanted to stop. Wait until she was home to finish her "interview," but she felt compelled to finish. As if she had no choice but to keep going until she got the answer.

The waitress returned to refill her glass. "Sorry. I won't bother you again for a while. I can see you're working."

"You're fine," Kaely said. "Don't worry about it."

The waitress smiled and walked over to another table. Kaely overheard the woman at the table ask, "Could I have a doggie bag, please?"

"Of course, ma'am," the waitress said as she picked up some of the dishes on the table. "I'll bring it right out."

Kaely started to take another bite of her salmon. But before she could lift her fork, she froze. That was it. She dropped the fork and began looking through the file again. Finding the medical examiner's report, she went through it carefully. Then she reread the crime-scene investigator's notes. Sure enough, it was all there.

Finally, she began to shuffle through all the interviews. Friends, family, neighbors. Little by little, everything became clear. Kaely stared across the table.

A man sat there. Medium build, dumpy, in his early thirties. Blond hair, crooked teeth, wearing a T-shirt with writing on it.

"There you are," Kaely said with a smile.

"It isn't me," the man replied, onion soup dribbling down his T-shirt, which had a picture of a panda and the words Caring for Animals Isn't What I Do. It's Who I Am.

"Seriously?" Kaely said with a sigh.

She pulled a cell phone out of her purse. "Solomon?" she said when he answered. "I have something for you on that Nashville case." She listened for a moment. "I'm going to give you the profile, but I'm also going to tell you the name of Nashville's UNSUB."


Excerpted from "Mind Games"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Nancy Mehl.
Excerpted by permission of Baker Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Mind Games 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
TrixiO 3 days ago
First off, I must confess that I have a few other books by Nancy Mehl sitting on my shelf unread. It's not due to lack of interest, but a case of way too many books and way too little reading time! I've often fantasized I could clone myself just to get more reading in! That being said, I wished I wouldn't have waited this long to discover her writing because this book was beyond my expectations! I've read a LOT of suspense in a LOT of various topics & subjects written in this genre, however, the combination of thriller/psychological angle added an extra layer that had me hooked from the start. It's just like the title conveys, a definite mind game for both the reader and Kaely Quinn. Step into her world and it's as if you've stepped into a whole other dimension where the game of cat and mouse has dangerous & fatal consequences! Kaely's character was excellently portrayed; she's smart as a whip, excels in her job as an FBI behavioral analyst, and has a natural knack for reading people. She's what I would call a slayer of human monsters; those who kill without remorse or thought for life. The killer who has a personal vendetta against her wants to trip her up, make her doubt her abilities and mete out revenge for some unknown crime committed against him. She's desperately racing against time to save not only herself but those who are victims in a sick & twisted poem the killer writes just for her. With the help of special agent Noah Hunter as lead, can they stop this reign of terror and bring the psycho to justice before its too late? Like I said, this exceeded my expectations! I had an inkling of who might be behind it all about halfway through, but not until the very end did I find out if I was correct or not. Mehl throws in a lot of twists and turns to throw off the reader. The only thing I was a little disappointed in, there wasn't a lot of romance in the story. It was hinted at, and subtly under the surface, but it never fully developed. I love romantic suspense and watching the hero and heroine falling in love in the midst of danger. In spite of this, it didn't deter my enjoyment of the story. And I get to look forward to the second book where we revisit both Kaely and Noah, so there's hope for romance yet! A definite page turner and a thrilling mind game all through the pages, I honestly couldn't put this down. She hooked me from the start and never let up on the tension throughout. I really love an author who can stump you and keep you guessing until the very end. *I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House and was under no obligation to leave a positive review. All opinions are my own. *
Becky5 20 hours ago
I have read several of Nancy Mehl’s romantic suspense novels, and I always enjoy them. In Mind Games, Mehl’s latest thriller, a vigilante is out to avenge himself on a serial killer’s daughter, Jessica Oliphant, now Kaely Quinn, a top FBI profiler. Noah Hunter, Kaely’s new partner, needs to get close enough to this strange agent to protect her, without repeating the mistakes of his predecessor. We often expect FBI agents to be consummate professionals, but Mehl shows hers as human and flawed, thankfully. This is why her books are so enjoyable. I feel like the protagonists are actually within reach of the average person. While some situations in the novel may create extreme worry and tension for the reader, the circumstances seem so very possible. Kudos to Mehl. Also, I absolutely loved Mehl’s ending. I didn’t see it coming and I have been debating in my mind about how plausible it really is. That is one sign of a great book- it makes you think, ruminate, and wonder. A quote to think about, when we as Christians wonder how others can deal with all the degradation of certain fields: “Those who know God should be the ones to confront the darkness, to chase the evil. We have the weapons. Those who don’t know Him have only themselves.” I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley and a paperback from Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own and no review was required.
lolly-pops 1 days ago
I was a bit freaked out by the prologue of MIND GAMES and the freaky first chapter. But Nancy Mehl is a favorite author of mine and as usual her writing drew me in. I absolutely could not put MIND GAMES down and had to keep reading it. In fact, I stayed up past my bedtime to finish it! MIND GAMES is the first book in Ms. Mehl's new series Kaely Quinn, Profiler. I love how Kaely spells her name. My daughter's name is spelled similar. I picked this up between church services on Sunday and read the whole book in mere hours. There is a hint of a future romance, and may I say that I loved Alex and Noah and Solomon. It was kind of creepy about how Kaely profiles - and her invisible friend and invisible cat - but that said I've seen author interviews about how they do the same type of interviewing with their characters so it maybe the way the mind is wired. Whatever, it worked for her, and if Ms. Mehl does character interviews that way it worked for her. I am anxious to read the second book in the series. As for whodunit, I figured it out somewhat early, but wasn't 100% sure I was right until the end. There were plenty of red herrings. I was. Great book. Enjoyed it. I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.
DianaFlow 2 days ago
Intense. Spellbinding. Eerie. Heart-pounding. And deliciously creepy describes Nancy Mehl's brilliant new suspense, Mind Games. Who better to get inside of a brazen serial killer's head than the daughter of one, Jessica Oliphant aka Kaely Quinn, FBI behavior analyst? Kaely is a highly intelligent and likeable heroine with incredibly unorthodox methods of hunting down evil. Sceptical at first, special agent Noah Hunter teams up with her to find a serial killer who pens a macabre poem implicating Kaely as one of his next victims! Totally ensnared in this novel I found myself becoming an amateur sleuth—going back to the chilling poem, searching for clues, and then finally...I nailed him! Only to discover I had the wrong guy. Ugh! So I happily retire from my detective work until Ms. Mehl's next book, which I await with bated breath. In my opinion this is her best novel to date, clearly establishing Nancy Mehl as a master at her craft—writing thrilling suspense using exemplary research and accurate details to pen one spine-tingling story! *I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Bethany House Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.*
LizD1 2 days ago
Mind Games ( Kaely Quinn Profiler #1 ) By: Nancy Mehl Mind Games is the first book in a new series by Nancy Mehl and she has a winner. WOW, Mind Games needs to be a movie. I have read lots of books by this author, but this one is different. Once you start you do not want to put it down. The story holds your attention and the characters are real like. This is one of those page turners where I could not read fast enough to see what was going to happen next. I caught myself holding my breath several times. The cover really is perfect for this book. A serial killer is at large , FBI profilers, murder, and suspense. There are so many twist and turns that will keep you guessing till the end. I was trying to guess how things would turn out, but ! If you love a good suspense that will keep you glued to your seat, then you will love Mind Games. I highly recommend it. I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers, but was not told that I had to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.
More_Than_A_Review 3 days ago
Mind Games by Nancy Mehl is one of those stories you will never forget. You will find yourself thinking about it days later. Definitely a book to re-read. Kaely is a FBI profiler and excels at her job. She is driven to identify the evil ones since she didn’t identify her father who was an infamous serial killer. I was fascinated by her thought process when identifying a killer. Even more so when she would explain to Noah how she did it. I was immediately a fan of Noah. I would love for this book to be a series of Kaely and Noah fighting crimes together. Sorry Team Alex, I was cheering for Noah the whole way. There are a lot of characters in the book but you will have no trouble keeping them separate. The bigger question is can you guess who the killer is??? Stunning psychological suspense that hooks you from the first pages. The storyline is fresh and fascinating with compelling characters. I highly recommend this book. It has trumped another book to make it into my Top Books of 2018! I received this book from Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. You can see my full review at More Than a Review dot com where I rate the level of sex, violence, language and drug/alcohol use in books.
JustCommonly 4 days ago
"As she poured the sparkling red claret into the serial killer's glass, she wondered if it reminded him of blood." (11) Mind Games by Nancy Mehl will fill your mind with intrigue and interest. Chilling and at times haunting, this first book in the Kaely Quinn Profiler series makes for one unforgettable start. Kaely Quinn is a talented profiler, but her unorthodox methods raised more than a couple of eyebrows. Her character is so unlike many heroines I've read. Her strength lies in her ability to read people easily, but what she's unable to do may very well cost her more than her life. Poignant, yet profound in the underlying themes of trust and working around complex emotional stress. By the end of Mind Games, anyone that have followed Kaely through the disconcerting poem will know this is one memorable story. I anxiously await for the next one in the series. "Those who know God should be the ones to confront the darkness, to chase evil. We have the weapons." (141) This review first appeared on Just Commonly blog. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.
Amaack 5 days ago
I have read a lot of Christian fiction suspense books in my lifetime. I devour them by the minute. As the genre itself has been growing, I've been expanding the number of authors. And with this expansion also comes new authors. And sometimes predictable stories. When I'm surprised by a new author, I'm excited and share it widely. And that happened to me last week. While I've read a few other Nancy Mehl books in the last year or so, it hasn't been many. She just released her newest book, Mind Games. And I was blown away. It was a story unlike any I've read. Kaely Quinn is an FBI Behavioral Analyst (my secret dream job!) with some unique methods for solving serial crimes. She's also got a unique perspective as the daughter of a serial killer. Mind Games had me guessing through every page. It was hard to put the book down because I was so engaged in the story. Though I share nothing in common with Kaely Quinn (other than a love for solving crimes), I found her to be someone I wanted to know about. I was rooting for her as she was solving the crime. I was invested in the emotions that solving this particular crime brought up for her. And now, I'm waiting anxiously for book two in the Kaely Quinn Profiler series! I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review is my own, honest opinion.
Christianfictionandmore 7 days ago
This is the most intense book that I have read in a very long time. Finally in chapter twenty-four I flipped to the back and set my mind at ease so that I could enjoy the rest of the book. Mehl included so many feasible suspects, some the reader would truly not want to be the guilty one. If you have something important to accomplish, you may want to wait to begin reading this book because you are likely to be consumed with it. Kaely Quinn's father was convicted as a serial killer when she was a child. Kaely,now grown up, is an FBI agent who specializes in profiling. Now there is a serial killer targeting people associated with her, even if indirectly. His end game is to cause Kaely's suicide. While she is allowed to remain on the case, Kaely has difficulty trusting those around her; that and her unorthodox profiling methods complicate matters. I am grateful to NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a copy of Mind Games in exchange for my honest opinion. I highly recommend this book to fans of psychological thrillers and suspense. I was not under any obligation to provide a positive review and received no monetary compensation.
Nanna51 7 days ago
This is a stunning and amazingly well-written first book in a series! Kaely Quinn is an FBI profiler who has a deep faith that gives her the courage to face all of the naysayers of her quirky methodology. I thought it was amusing that she had conversations with her imaginary suspects, but it worked for her. When Noah Hunter is sent to work with her at the St Louis office, the romantic sparks begin, but Kaely is totally focused on her job, i.e. finding the serial killer terrorizing St. Louis. Kaely is an engaging and mysterious protagonist who has untraditional methods that work. The elements of faith are subtly woven into the story via the character of Kaely. The villain was a surprise, even though I was sure that I had it all figured out. This was a brilliant suspense novel that will have you reading long into the night and asking yourself, “How long until I can read the next Kaely Quinn thriller?” Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
Nanna51 7 days ago
This is a stunning and amazingly well-written first book in a series! Kaely Quinn is an FBI profiler who has a deep faith that gives her the courage to face all of the naysayers of her quirky methodology. I thought it was amusing that she had conversations with her imaginary suspects, but it worked for her. When Noah Hunter is sent to work with her at the St Louis office, the romantic sparks begin, but Kaely is totally focused on her job, i.e. finding the serial killer terrorizing St. Louis. Kaely is an engaging and mysterious protagonist who has untraditional methods that work. The elements of faith are subtly woven into the story via the character of Kaely. The villain was a surprise, even though I was sure that I had it all figured out. This was a brilliant suspense novel that will have you reading long into the night and asking yourself, “How long until I can read the next Kaely Quinn thriller?” Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
MaureenST 7 days ago
This book quickly became a riveting page turner and most of what happens I never saw coming. If you enjoy a suspenseful murder mystery, boy is this book for you, and you won’t be disappointed. This story is about an FBI behavior analyst and her uncanny gifts, a little odd to many, but she sure gets the job done. Surprises abound and you will be changing your mind as to whom the culprit is several times, and even when you really find out, what a bomb shell. Now I found amazements right up to the last page of this read, and I never would have guess! I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.
Anonymous 8 days ago
The captivating cover of Mind Games by Nancy Mehl caught me and I had to know the significance of that bench and those trees! Kaely Quinn is a fascinating character, multilayered and with a complex history. Opening with a creepy and disturbing poem detailing the upcoming deaths of several people and ending with Kaely’s, the chills are there from the beginning. The storyline is equal measures of intriguing and scary! The minds of psychopaths and serial killers are disturbing. Noah steps onto the case as Kaely’s partner, clear-headed and open-minded, a strong leader for the team. The suspects list is long and Nancy keeps you guessing, which I love, and the journey is worth it! Be careful when you start this one, you won’t want to stop! I’m excited that this book is the start of a series and await eagerly the next one! I highly recommend it and it’s a five out of five on the en-JOY-ment scale!
amandainpa 9 days ago
Full of twists and turns, this was one of the best Christian thrillers I've read. The story follows a criminal profiler who has an unorthodox method of finding her criminals and an interesting past. A serial killer sends a poem that eludes to the fact that she will be the final victim and the race is on to find him or her.  I really enjoyed this story, it was original and fast paced and light on the romance. It also had many surprises and kept me guessing. The characters were all interesting and had their share of flaws.  I did find that it didn't feel like book one in a series as there was a lot of talk of past events (but everything was explained). There was also a lot of police jargon and abbreviations that I didn't understand at times but I was still able to piece things together.  Overall, this was a great thriller that I flew through and I look forward to reading more books by Nancy Mehl. I received this book from the author/publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 
literarymadness 4 days ago
I really tried to read this book, but almost immediately I was bored. First off, it says it's the first book of the series, but it reads as if there was a book before, because the amount of backstory mentioned is substantial. If there is no previous book, then maybe there should be, it really disrupted the flow for it to constantly be filling in the reader about previous happenings. It was difficult to slog through and I had to force myself to read, because nothing was really propelling me through the narrative. I was further turned off when I detected the foreshadowing of a romance. I was not aware that this was of that genre, and I am really not a fan of anything that sets the romance up so obviously. The characters are dull and predictably fashioned. Nothing made them stand apart from any other "haunted" FBI agent I've read or watched. Physical descriptors were overused and unoriginal. The entire thing was a played out retelling of an exhausted spiel.