Monday, March 9, 2015

A Dark Mind by T.R. Ragan

Sacramento is being targeted by a serial killer.  Dubbed the Lovebird Killer, he kidnaps couples in love and then kills them in horrific ways.  Sometimes the couple is married, sometimes they are just in love.  Regardless, the killer delights in increasing their torture by testing how much they are willing to sacrifice for their love.  One man escaped several years ago although his girlfriend never made it out.  What little the police and the FBI know comes from his experience.

Lizzy Gardner, a private investigator, knows about serial killers.  She was kidnapped by one when she was seventeen and spent months in his captivity before escaping and helping the police catch him and put an end to his trail of misery.  She becomes embroiled in this new killer's case in several ways.  She is living with an FBI agent, Jared, who is assigned to the case.  One of the victim couples had recently hired Lizzy to do a workers compensation investigation which was interrupted when the wife was kidnapped and brutally killer, her husband falsely accused of the murder.  Lizzy and her two assistants, Hayley and Jessica, start to use their expertise to help the police track down this killer.  Can the Lovebird Killer be stopped before more couples die?

T. R. Ragan has written a series of Lizzy Gardner mysteries.  This is the third in the series but can be read as a stand-alone.  One effective technique is that each chapter begins with a quote from a real serial killer, most of whom the reader will recognize.  The characters are interesting and the plot moves quickly enough to keep the reader's interest.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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