#2: The Shadowed Mind
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Who will be found worthy to live; who is the next victim?
After the deadly investigation into the Smithsonian murders, Dinah Harris is now facing a daily battle to keep her sobriety while struggling to form a new career from the ashes of her former job as an FBI agent. From the shadows will emerge a cunning and terrifying killer, who carefully and methodically will decide whose life has value to society and whose does not.
Using her profiling and security skills as a private consultant based in Washington, DC, Dinah uncovers a connection to the shadowy world of neo-eugenics, and those who publicly denounce the killings but privately support a much different view.
Against this backdrop, Dinah must come to terms with her own past, as those associated with the deepening mystery face their own personal demons, and struggle with the concept of God's inexhaustible grace and forgiveness. Old secrets are revealed, tragedies unearthed, and the devastating legacy of science without compassion is finally brought to light.
Deadly Disclosures, Dinah Harris Mystery Series #1Julie CaveMaster Books / 2010 / Trade Paperback$8.19 Retail:4.5 Stars Out Of 5 13 Reviews
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The Shadowed Mind is written in chunks that are narrated from different characters' perspectives. This provides an easy way to get into the individuals' heads. Cave includes a wide cast of characters: a trendy, well dressed college professor; a tattooed and pierced crime lab technician; and various homeless and drug-addicted vagabonds. Even though most of the characters are secondary, Cave gives the reader the chance to get to know them before they fade from the scene.
The story has three central characters: Detective Samson Cage, ex-FBI agent Dinah Harris, and the killer whom we never see coming. Cage is a friendly, but reserved, hulking character who likes order and precision. Dinah Harris is working as a private consultant after being fired from the FBI for alcoholism. Now, trying to keep her new sobriety intact is almost as hard as tracking a killer who leaves little to nothing to follow. The murderer only kills those he deems unfit for society, those he believes are holding the human race back from evolving into something greater. Lack of public interest is on his side since the average citizen doesn't care if a homeless man or a drugged-up prostitute goes missing.
This book begins with promise but ends somewhat weak. Cave does a marvelous job making her characters vivid and real, but some of the things they say and do defy common sense. Also, the story loses momentum about half-way through, and the reader gets bogged down in investigative information or, at times, some preaching and lectures. The Christian message is skillfully woven into some parts of the story, but it is also thrown at the reader in large, awkward chunks in other sections. The concept of this book is a good one, but the execution could use some fine tuning. Rebekah Mosolf, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
LehrerinRoxboro, NCAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Suspense with a heartFebruary 8, 2012LehrerinRoxboro, NCAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Having lost her career as an FBI agent but gained her sobriety, Dinah Harris is ready to begin her new career: as a private consultant. With the a shady senator keeping his eye on her while she tracks a serial killer, Dinah is challenged to stop the man killing society's most undesirables - before his aim settles on her.
Peace does not yet reign supreme in Dinah's mind. Although she desperately wants the new life she has found in Jesus, she isn't sure yet how to make that happen. Staying sober continues to be a struggle even as she hates the part of her that craves alcohol, and thus makes her a target for the eugenics killer.
Eugenics, defined by www.dictionary.com as the practice of improving the human race by discouraging the reproduction of people with defects, is a main theme of this book. The history of eugenics in America - yes, America! - plays a large role in solving this case. Like in Deadly Disclosures, the information is passed to the reader from experts consulted throughout the investigation. Because the information trickled through the suspects as new evidence was revealed, it flowed naturally.
Dinah Harris is one of my new favorite characters. Her enthusiastic desire to create a new life for herself is inspiring, and she tackles each mystery with bulldog tenacity. If I needed her superior investigative skills, I'd want her on the case.
The Shadowed Mind is a realistic suspense with a clear view of how easily we humans can lose sight of kindness and good will when we take our minds off of the One who created them. A cut above your ordinary mystery, this book is not merely 200 pages of mysterious fluff but the well-crafted work of an educated, inspirational author.
I received a free copy of The Shadowed Mind from Julie Cave in exchange for an honest review. The opinions are my own.
Shaun TabattCottage Grove, MNAge: 35-44Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5A fantastic read, thrilling and thought-provoking!January 3, 2012Shaun TabattCottage Grove, MNAge: 35-44Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5At the close of Deadly Disclosures (book 1 in the Dinah Harris mystery series), Dinah Harris and her former partner Ferguson had just solved the Thomas Whitfield abduction case. Next up on Dinah's calendar was beginning a rehabilitation program to aid her in combatting her struggles with alcoholism. The Shadowed Mind (book 2 in the Dinah Harris mystery series) picks up Dinah's story about 6 months later. The now former FBI agent has completed her time in rehabilitation and is back home, trying to build a new life as a freelance criminal profiler and investigator. In many ways, you could say Dinah's life is better than it was before rehab, but that's not to say it is easy. Each day is a struggle as she continues to come to terms with the painful reality that her husband (Luke) and son (Sammy) are gone forever. The temptation of alcohol still lingers in her mind each day, but she is finding the strength she needs to resist giving in to that temptation through her growing faith in Jesus Christ and the support of the Christian mentor who was assigned to her through the rehabilitation center's outpatient recovery program.
Dinah's work as a profiler was an important part of her life when she worked for the FBI and she is eager to put her skills to work again in the private sector. Her first consulting opportunity comes from Detective Samson Cage, who she had crossed paths with during the Whitfield investigation. Detective Cage is investigating the murder of a seventeen year old street kid named Lakeisha Tennant. While it wasn't unusual for violence and the occasional homicide in that part of Washington D.C., there was a unique piece of evidence found on the victim that convinced Detective Cage to engage services of an expert profiler like Dinah. Tucked in to one of Lakeisha's boots was a blank sympathy card with an old photo attached. It really wasn't all that much to go on, but it was a start.
Seemingly unrelated, in a different part of town, Ella Barnett is at home caring for her aging father John Barnett. John was formerly president of a large bank, but that was some years ago. John is now suffering from the later stages of Alzheimer's and his mind has retreated to a time long before Ella was born. It is becoming increasingly difficult for Ella to care for her father. She no longer feels safe taking him out in public as he often rambles on and on about searching for two boys named Peter and Henry. His need to find these two boys is a bit confounding to Ella, but it is downright scary to the people they encounter in public.
One final character I need to mention that first appeared in Deadly Disclosures is presidential hopeful, Senator David Winters. Senator Winters will do whatever it takes to further his political aspirations. With the way things ended following the Whitfield investigation, Winters is Dinah's sworn enemy and would like nothing more than to see her disappear forever. I won't give away any more of Senator Winters part in this story, but I have a sneaking suspicion he will show up again in Pieces of Light (book 3 in the Dinah Harris Mystery Series).
As the book progresses, these three disparate story lines will come together touching on the themes of eugenics and euthanasia, helping readers to come to terms with the question of whether or not there is intrinsic value in all human life, no matter how fragile or frail. In the midst of all this, readers will also be able to come alongside Dinah as she continues on her own journey of healing and faith, where she finally comes to terms with her catastrophic loss and the healing and restoration she continues to experience through her relationship with Jesus Christ.
I enthusiastically recommend The Shadowed Mind. It is a masterfully written tale that not only keeps you on the edge of your seat, but also challenges you to seriously consider many of the important faith and worldview issues we face in our world today. While I am always a bit nervous about the quality of follow up books in any series, this book is written with the same quality and passion we saw from Julie Cave in Deadly Disclosures. With the first and second books in the Dinah Harris mystery series under my belt, I can't wait to start reading Pieces of Light!
Julie Cave credits her parents for introducing her to books at a young age, which fostered an enduring passion for reading and writing. As a child, her favorite authors were Enid Blyton and C.S. Lewis and it wasn't long before she began copying them, writing short stories for anyone who would read them. At fifteen, two things happened which would shape her future: she heard a creation science speaker at her church which cemented her faith in God; and she finished her second novel-length story and realized she had fallen in love with writing novels. After school, she completed a health science degree, got married, and worked in banking and finance. All the while she wondered how she could combine her love of writing and her strong passion for Christian apologetics and evangelism. One weekend at a church camp, a friend asked, `What if the guy in charge of the Smithsonian Institution went missing?' The result - and the answer to that question - is Julie's maiden published novel, Deadly Disclosures. Since then, Julie has written and released the other two books in this trilogy, The Shadowed Mind and Pieces of Light. Julie has two daughters and lives in Brisbane, Australia with her family. She divides her time between being a wife, a mother and an author.
This book was provided by Master Books for review. The reviewer was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
Sneezybee23Age: 25-34Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Suspense, Mystery, Murder!March 25, 2011Sneezybee23Age: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5All men are created equal. Or are they? One of America's core beliefs is about to be challenged. There's a killer on the loose who is intent on making a point. Those deemed unworthy - the prostitutes, mentally ill, alcoholics, and homeless - are all lower on the evolutionary scale and ought to be eradicated. Former FBI Agent Dinah Harris is hired by the mysterious Detective Samson Cage to assist in the investigation and gets a crash course into the world of neo-eugenics. As a recovering alcoholic, staying sober is hard enough. But when the killer targets her personally, the stakes are higher than ever before.
The Shadowed Mind by Julie Cave is the second book in the Dinah Harris trilogy. In my opinion, it is better than the first book though I do recommend reading them in order. Dinah Harris is a deeply intricate character that captures and holds the attention of the reader. Half-mystery and half-suspense, this book keeps the reader guessing about the killer's identity. There is also a sub-plot that doesn't seem to have anything to do with the Dinah's part of the story until the very end. I am always impressed when an author writes so well that I can't predict who did it until the chosen moment of revelation.
I applaud Cave for her boldness in tackling the topic of neo-eugenics. In way of warning, I think that politically liberal readers will probably take offense at some portions of this book. The book takes obvious stabs at prevailing liberal philosophies. From mocking evolutionary beliefs to quoting Obama's "no longer a Christian nation" statement, the author attacks ideologies and defends her own. Personally, I agree with the author's beliefs. I just feel it necessary to warn of the prevalent conservative bias that may cause some readers to discard the book rather than considering Cave's argument.
I recommend reading this book with an open mind.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from New Leaf Publishing Group as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
BettyWAge: 55-654 Stars Out Of 5Very EnlighteningJanuary 1, 2011BettyWAge: 55-65Quality: 3Value: 3Meets Expectations: 3The books provides a lot of information on eugenics in the United States at the turn of the 20th century. I think it is a wake up call to all those who stand for Biblical truths and the apparent negative effect the teaching of evolution is having on our society. The story is a bit depressing due to the victims chosen but it ends on an exciting note.
Jeff LeMasterGlens Falls, NYAge: 35-44Gender: male3 Stars Out Of 5Part crime scene drama, part ethics lectureDecember 24, 2010Jeff LeMasterGlens Falls, NYAge: 35-44Gender: maleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 3What do you get when you mix a crime scene drama with an ethics lecture? A book that can best be described as a theological thriller.
This is book two in the Dinah Harris series, but it stands alone with just enough background story and references to the first book to make you want to go back and read it as well.
The characters are simple, but real: the frazzled caretaker whose dad has Alzheimer's; the serial killer with twisted morals; the strong, silent cop with a hidden past; the recovering alcoholic on the brink of relapse.
The author depicts Dinah's struggle with alcohol addiction with gripping realism. The level of stress that slowly builds over the chapters leading to Dinah's tragic setback causes the reader to agonize and empathize with her despair. The shock and trauma that trigger her insatiable desire for drink fill the reader with compassion. Dinah wisely paves her road to recovery with the well-worn stones of personal accountability and spiritual growth. She is never "cured," but she does make progress.
As a pure murder mystery, the book fails. There aren't any clues that could possibly lead the reader to solve the mystery; and the only promising leads are all red herrings. Even Sherlock Holmes would have been frustrated with this case.
One glaring erratum: John Barnett is erroneously referred to as John Tennant in the first sentence of chapter 18 on page 230.
Is it possible to write a fictional story about the ethical cesspool of eugenics from the perspective of a Christian worldview without getting preachy or boring? Julie Cave had me convinced that she had done it in The Shadowed Mind. I was about 75% through the book before the long, lecture paragraphs and scripture quotations appeared. For the Christian audience, it was a refreshing reminder of how valuable all life is to our Creator. Those who do not embrace the Christian worldview may find the book overly pedantic.
I look forward to reading other books by Julie Cave. The Christian publishing world is blessed to have such an engaging author.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from New Leaf Publishing as part of their blogger review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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