Jeff Resnick was busy living his life in Brooklyn when two determined street thugs took all that away. A baseball bat to the head will do that to you. Suddenly, Resnick’s existence is turned upside down. Unable to work, he reluctantly agrees to pull up stakes and move in with his estranged brother Richard—at least until the head trauma heals. The living arrangements are far from ideal, but what bothers Resnick more are the visions that won’t stop coming. Images of a deer being hung and slaughtered taunt him, and he wants to know why. He spots a connection when a banker is found murdered in much the same style. The problem is that he knows more about the killing than the papers reveal, and it’s the bits he’s gleaned from intuition that prompt him to launch his own investigation into the murder.
MURDER ON THE MIND by L.L. Bartlett is the first book in The Jeff Resnick Mystery Series and I thought it was a great start. The writing is good and the book held my interest throughout. In terms of the story, it was complex and suspenseful. The added element of the paranormal made it even more enjoyable for me.
I found the character of Jeff Resnick to be very likeable. I sympathized with his plight and the fact he kept trying to do more than the doctors recommended. I think most of us can relate to that. If you’re active and independent, you want to stay that way. I also loved his brother and live-in girlfriend. They were each given their own space to develop, and had very different takes on Jeff’s newly found psychic powers. While Jeff’s brother Richard has a hard time believing they exist, Brenda seems to embrace the entire notion, and comes in handy as a friend and sounding board. She also intercedes when there’s problems, and serves as a much needed buffer.
The pacing is taut, the surprises many, and the clash between law enforcement and the man searching for the smoking gun inevitable. MURDER ON THE MIND kept me guessing and that’s what I expect from a good thriller. But there were also a lot of moments that were downright poignant. It added a lot of depth to this very original story. I very much liked L.L. Bartlett’s writing style. While descriptive, there was an earthiness to it that kept it flowing in the right direction. Because of all of the above, I definitely recommend MURDER ON THE MIND. It’s a different take on the genre and I always reward unique. So if you’re a mystery lover who’s looking for a series to get lost in, this is one to keep in mind.