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A Killer's Mind


A Killer's Mind

Mike Omer, a former game developer and the current CEO of Loadingames, has no law enforcement or forensic CSI experience. What then will make readers want to delve into his take on the serial killer novel in a genre that is oversaturated with entries? Omer knows how to write interesting characters and maintains enough suspense to keep the plot humming along at a pace that will make you hungry for more.

A KILLER’S MIND begins when forensic psychologist and expert profiler Zoe Bentley is called by Quantico to assist in a possible serial killer case in Chicago. There, she is teamed up with Special Agent Tatum Gray. The two are brought up to speed on a deranged killer who enjoys strangling women, having intercourse with them, and finally using embalming fluid on them. This last part allows him to pose his victims in various positions and place them in public areas where most people will mistake them for the living. The Chicago P.D. and local papers have dubbed him the Strangling Undertaker, a moniker that some of the funeral directors they call upon for expert advice take rather personally.

"Omer knows how to write interesting characters and maintains enough suspense to keep the plot humming along at a pace that will make you hungry for more."

It is after this setup that Omer takes the story back to 1997, when 14-year-old Zoe is faced with a situation that will be a turning point in her life. Her hometown of Maynard, Massachusetts, is known for a lack of crime and violence, which is why the murders of a few female residents will really rock their world. Zoe is quite nosy even at this young age and fairly intelligent, which explains why she is the only person to correctly identify the killer as her next-door neighbor, Rod Glover. Unfortunately, no one believes her; as a result, another suspect, Manny Anderson, is arrested and ends up hanging himself in his jail cell. The murders then stop, and all of Maynard is happy again.

However, these series of events never sat right with Zoe, which is what spurred her on to become a forensic psychologist. She is gruff and does not play well with others, but has an innate ability to get to the truth. The killer is on his own mission, and there is still no clear evidence of what his actual end game is.

Zoe is still tormented by the memory of Rod Glover. She has no idea how ironic this is until a local journalist shows up at the Chicago P.D. with a handful of envelopes left at the makeshift memorial that displays where each of the victims were found. The reporter leaves the envelopes with Zoe, who promptly opens each one. When she dumps the contents out on a table, she is shocked to see three gray ties fall out. This hits her hard because that was the calling card of her uncaught nemesis.

She is then accosted by Rod Glover himself and barely escapes with her life. Glover gets away yet again. When the Chicago P.D. learns that Zoe was holding back information about knowing and suspecting Glover, they are not pleased. Zoe and Tatum are taken off the case and will get a nice earful when they return to Quantico. Regardless, the two have nothing to lose and continue to work towards stopping the serial killer before another victim is found.

A KILLER'S MIND does not blaze any new territory in the serial killer genre. What it does well is present the killers not as monsters but as men --- men who have a severe dark side and are operating amongst fellow humans, remaining unseen. This really hits a nerve and allows readers to feel the same worry and conflict as Zoe does. Read on, not to learn if Zoe catches the bad guy, but to see if she can finally escape her past and make things right in the present.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on October 5, 2018

A Killer's Mind
by Mike Omer