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A Dark Mind (Lizzy Gardner #3) by T.R. Ragan

A Dark Mind (Lizzy Gardner #3)
by T.R. Ragan
official site | goodreads

Format: Kindle, Netgalley
Published: June 18th, 2013 by Thomas & Mercer
Genre: Adult, thriller/mystery/suspense

Amazon | Kindle | Book Depository

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. -Goodreads


‘I’m the darkness when you’re afraid. I’m the screams you hear in your sleep. I’m the creak in the other room when you’re all alone.’ (loc.2636)

With a serial killer hitting close to home, Lizzy Gardner and friends fight to get to the bottom of the murders. Through the eyes of A Dark Mind, we’re taken through the abysmal pit of the passion of death.

“If he couldn’t love and be loved, why should anyone else?” (loc.321)

I found this book very suspenseful! Any book that can have me staying up to finish it at five in the morning is aces in my book; I couldn’t put it down! I became anxious, with each chapter, to find out what the Lovebird killer was up to next as he turned his focus on Lizzy Gardner for ruining his idol, Spiderman. A lot of things that happened in this book also made me want to read the first two books, because it looks like a lot has happened to Lizzy to make her so paranoid and jumpy, but this book is also good being read out of the series. I admit I was a bit confused and frustrated when the timeline kept jumping back and forth, but it really made a lot of sense in the end, as it explained the Lovebird killer’s attitude and actions. Another thing that got a little frustrating were the sheer amount of people in the book; there became so many names that I had to sit and think for a moment on who the person was before moving on. This probably could be remedied by reading the first two books and getting to know the main characters better first.

“...he listened from the kitchen and was surprised to hear them talking about one of the boys having a dark mind.
  A dark mind.(loc.993)

After I got used to the book’s structure, with it’s multiple point of views and characters, I easily became engaged in each person’s storyline. The author, T.R. Ragan, does a great job in description and characterization because I could feel the characters emotions and see their actions as if they were real. Everybody was different and had a different background, and they all worked for this book. I enjoyed seeing Lizzy’s growth and empowerment from being constantly scared to standing her ground and staying determined to find the killer. I also liked Hayley (although I don’t know here that well yet,) softening her rough spirit towards people she normally wouldn’t have thought to get along with; her character really reminded me of Lisbeth Salander from Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy. The ending, dealing with Hayley is brutal! I know I want to read more about that!

In all, I am stoked both to read the first two books of this series, and to read whatever comes next. This book, personally, was right up my ally as I recall “serial killer week” in my psychology class, years ago in university, was the most exciting week. A Dark Mind delves into the soul of a serial killer and helps us analyze how the person got that way, and even let’s us see the world through their eyes. I recommend this book to those who love a good thriller with suspense and intrigue.

First Line: “John Robinson loved the way his fingers felt, entwined with hers.” (loc.36)
Last Line: “Fuck you all.” (loc.4887)


“And it was all chaos, broken glass, and regret from there on.” (loc.99)

“One of the reasons the FBI would never catch him was because he knew how to change things up every once in a while.” (loc.317)

“‘The people who don’t listen to their instincts are the ones who end up in trouble... or worse.’” (loc.1102)

Mother, Mother, Mother.
Everything had been perfect until the day he found her in the barn.” (loc.1913)

“Lizzy Gardner was going to suffer for her bad behavior. No more silly cat-and-mouse games. She would die, but not before he strategized long and hard over her demise.” (loc.2939)

Galley provided by NetGalley via Thomas & Mercer (AmazonPublishing)

*Quotes are from uncorrected advanced galleys and may change before going to press. Please refer to the final printed book for official quotes.

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