Review: A Dark Mind – T.R. Ragan

Lizzy Gardner #3

SYNOPSIS: A serial killer is terrorizing Sacramento, preying on happily married couples and unleashing unspeakable cruelties upon his victims. The ordeal rekindles disturbing memories for private investigator Lizzy Gardner, who barely escaped a serial killer clutches only years ago. But while most Sacramento residents are hiding in the shadows, paralyzed by fear, Lizzy is compelled to go after the Lovebird Killer. So it no surprise that, when a routine workers- compensation case suddenly leads her and her two young assistants onto the killer trail, she welcomes the chase, determined to bring him to justice before he can claim another victim. She never imagines he could be two steps ahead, watching her every move and plotting his bloodiest, most triumphant conquest of all. – via Goodreads

You know what? This is the Lizzy Gardner book I have liked the most. Yes, it still had some hectic issues, but it was so much better than the previous two. For reals. The first two books were pretty bland, nothing special, though still not the worst things I had ever read, but enough to keep me wondering. Okay, I lie, the biggest reason I read this was because I thoroughly enjoyed the start of her new Jessie Cole series, what with Her Last Day. I was like why can’t the Gardner books be better? Well, it seems that they have started to go that way.

The Lizzy Gardner books still require you to suspend a lot of belief, but if you are okay with that, then it is okay. A Dark Mind introduces us to what I feel is the first compelling villain of this series – and he is truly not okay. He is obsessive and creepy and totally delusional, which makes him even harder to nail down. I enjoyed reading chunks of the book from his perspective, to get a look at what made him tick and how it was all put together.

Lizzie and Jared are still kicking it together, and while I like them together, I sometimes feel that the relationship doesn’t feel natural, sort of like it is there because it is expected to be there. Hayley is back in action after chopping off Brian Rosie’s nether regions, and her obsession with breaking rules and just hating the world is also really getting old. I liked her quite a bit in Abducted, I thought she had potential to be more, and instead, Ragan has even managed to alienate me as a reader, so nope, not winning. I enjoyed reading a bit about Tommy, though his character is starting to become (imagine this) a little bit unbelievable (like most parts of it all). Kitally is a new character that Ragan has introduced, and I am interested to see where this goes.

Anyway, A Dark Mind is the most solid read in the Lizzy Gardner series, and has convinced me to keep going with these books. It’s almost as though they get better as time progresses, which is not a bad thing at all. This book is flawed, certainly, but entertaining. The Lovebird Killer is also a character that pushes further than any of the weak (I know how bad that sounds) we have had so far. Alright, that’s all I have to say about that.

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