32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 26 June 2013
Great twists, one of only a few books within its genre that generates and maintains suspense throughout. The author allows just enough details scattered within the narration to let you feel like the detective too, and review the evidence alongside the heroin of the story; Lizzy Gardner.
Having said that the it never feels predictable or, which so often becomes the case when trying to be unpredictable and exciting in story telling, lose plausibility or credibility.
Really enjoyed the format of seemingly separate cases all eventually falling into place.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This is the third book in the Lizzy Gardner series, and to really appreciate the past traumas of the characters and their actions I wouldn't recommend reading this as a stand alone book. Having thought the first book Abducted (The Lizzy Gardner Series #1 1) was a good start to the series but it needed a little polish, to the disappointing and lacklustre second novel Dead Weight (The Lizzy Gardner Series #2 2), to this, the third book which I did pick up with a little trepidation after the last offering. I can safely say that T.R. Ragan has really hit her stride with this book, and shows she has grown as an author considerably. This was by far the best book of the three for me.
There is plenty of suspense and action in the book, and I never felt that any parts were unnecessary or filler as I did during the second instalment. I enjoyed the different cases that are investigated throughout the book and although are all seemingly unrelated, they left you with the feeling that something just wasn't right about them. There was a good balance of dropping a clue to pique your curiosity, but not enough was given away too quickly, or easily so that you would guess the outcome thirty pages in.
Hayley and Jessica both go through some serious changes, and I'm looking forward to the ramifications of these changes being explored further in the next book. As always, both girls are great supporting characters that add a realness to the story as they struggle to deal with the darkness that comes with being associated with Lizzy. Hayley again steals the show, can't that poor girl catch a break?? :(
The Lovebird killer is a crazy as you would expect, and his actions were described in just enough detail to give you chills, but never tipped over into the comically grotesque.
This was definitely one of the best thrillers I have read in awhile, all the clues and loose ends were tied up satisfyingly and I'm looking forward to more from this author.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
I have read all three of the Lizzy Gardner books. I was not overly enthusiastic about the first. The characters did not really ring true to me and the story line felt rather farfetched but for all that it was not a bad read. However, by the time I got to A Dark Mind, these reservations had been completely put to one side and meeting this rather unlikely cast of characters for the third time felt like putting on an old and familiar article of clothing. Having said that, this is a standalone book in that you do not have to have read the preceding books to make sense of it, although it does help to know the back ground to Lizzy and her friends and to understand the references to what went before.
You have to say that Lizzy is nothing if not unlucky. In real life serial killers are a rare breed. However, not so in fiction and particularly in Lizzy Gardner's life where she seems to run into one at every turn. As Brittany, her niece says to her at one point `Why do all the lunatics in the world go after you?' This is a question which the reader will be asking themselves too! This time around the killer is a character known as the Lovebird Killer, who has a real downer on couples who are obviously in love and who specialises in kidnapping and torturing them.
Hayley, Lizzy's assistant, has been released from goal after assaulting her abuser in the last book in a way which will have made male readers wince. She teams up with Jessica, the other helper, and they both manage to behave in a quite reckless fashion, not just in the serial killer case, but in other cases the team have on their books. Meanwhile Jared, Lizzy's Beau, is also working on the Lovebird Killer case and gets caught up in the action.
This is a fast moving and a fun read, despite the rather dark overtones. There is little doubt that, in general, and despite the perils along the way, things are going to work out out well although there was a nasty little twist in the tail of this one. Quite a light read which I got through in a couple of days and which most readers will find entertaining provided they can suspend disbelief. The next Lizzy tale will certainly be on my reading list.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Lizzy Gardener has come along way from "abducted", T R Ragan's introduction to the P.I. character whose roots came from a childhood drama. Now in her distinguished career as a PI, she is moving from strength to strength. This is the third in the Lizzy Gardener.A serial killer is terrorizing Sacramento, seeking out married couples and torturing them. The ordeal brings back memories of Lizzy's own earlier experiences, as she barely escaped a serial killer's clutches only years ago. Sacramento residents are hiding from this new threat, seemingly paralyzed by fear, Lizzy however is compelled to go after the aptly named "Lovebird Killer" Its as if he can't stand the idea of people in love.
Another routine workers' compensation case suddenly leads her hot onto the killer's 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.
To reveal any more would be a grave mistake but the reader is kept on their toes from beginning to end - this is a really good vivid read from an author that was only first published in 2012 - great thriller - great author Highly recommended
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Private Investigator Lizzy Gardner lives with her FBI boyfriend Jared Shayne and is paranoid about a serial killer who kidnapped her years before, even though he is now dead. Working on a compensation case for a couple, she is perturbed to hear that the wife has been murdered and the husband is now under arrest on suspicion of homicide. (Apparently, these things frequently happen in America.) Meanwhile, her beau is working an ongoing case involving another serial killer, dubbed the Lovebird Killer on account of him targeting happy couples. Oh, and teenager, Hayley, recently released from a Juvenile Correction Centre for cutting off a man's willy (he had it sown back on) and burning `Child Rapist' onto his chest, is living in her house under her supervision.
With Gardner's assistant Jessica on stakeout duty elsewhere, a man breaks into what he thinks is her empty house. Confronted by a knife wielding Hayley he manages to escape, but the trio begin to wonder whether there's a connection between the unsuccessful burglary, this serial killer and the Estate Agent, a man she believes to be innocent.
This is the third book to involve Lizzy Gardner and whilst I haven't read the pervious offerings, you won't have to either, as the narrative doesn't rely on what went before. The strongest character, and star of the story, is Hayley, a streetwise teen who seems to know far more than she should and continually orders around put upon Jessica, who has more on her plate when she falls for a `beyond handsome' builder whilst watching someone for a client. The only surprise will be if you don't guess what's going on with this little side issue.
Though I'm not usually a fan of novels that flit between time periods, this is done here in a sparing manner and does set the scene at the very start. The rest is chronological, with dates and locations given so the reader knows where everyone is. The perpetrator is also given his own chapters and some do paint a rather vivid picture of something you wouldn't want to see. Though the culmination is run-of-the-mill stuff (but still exciting nonetheless), the final chapter - and each one is preceded by a quote from a real serial killer, which, though disturbing, makes it scary to realise there are people out there who enjoy doing such things - is actually quite sad and something I didn't envisage. Mind you, it means we know what will be part of the fourth book.
Moreover, that is the sign of a decent premise and product. Okay, the serial killer is the mainstay of crime and thrillers (as is the protagonist having their own demons to excise) but it's the way the background and plot weave in and out that makes something readable or otherwise. This one had me wondering who was behind all these gruesome murders. That the answer is staring straight at you when you think it might be someone else makes it even better.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 29 June 2013
Great suspense book which you will find hard to put down once you start reading. The plot is brilliant and really keeps you guessing about the identity of the killer, I changed my mind constantly through out book as to who the killer was. Give this book a read an see if you can see the twists and turns coming, I didn't.
Private Investigator and serial killer survivor Lizzy Gardner makes her third appearance and I am happy to say that author TG Ragan is back on track after a disappointing (for me) second book.
Lizzy is still haunted by her past, as most of us would be if a serial killer had tried to bump us off, but she and boyfriend, Federal Agent Jared Shayne. are trying to get on with their lives. A couple of "unrelated" investigations enter stage right, which are never as simple as they should be, and the rollercoaster car begins to move up the track.
I don't want to say too much about the story as I found it interesting with moments of excitement, sadness and surprise and wouldn't want to spoil it for anyone else.
I have read the previous 2 "Lizzy" books and will be keeping my eye out for the 4th.
This was a very enjoyable detective/thriller which kept me occupied for several hours. It is not often that I read a book in one sitting but this one pulled me in and kept hold right to the end.
on 4 April 2014
Lizy gardner Trilogy - free download
The first book i found interesting though hard to keep track on everything that was happening. There were too many story lines on the go. With Lizzy's sister Cathy, niece Brittany, Jessica, Hayley and Jared...........
Had forgotten the first book and soldiered on with this one. Found this harder to keep track on all the story lines and couldnt work out the point of it at all. Would have assisted if a precise were appended at the beginning.
A dark mind.
Not to be beaten, i would get this one out of the way. Hard work!!! If i had to put book down, found it very difficult to carry on without going back over several pages to see what was happening and with whom. Tommy's role in this book is a mystery. What i found hardest was separating all the different aspects of this book. Was glad to get to the end, disappointing as it was!
on 30 August 2014
Once again T.R. Ragan reaches the mark. A fast paced thriller and a sweet romance twist thrown in; what's not to love? I found the quotes very interesting at the beginning of each chapter as they helped me to understand how a serial killer views themselves. I liked the way it all tied up and T.R. Ragan didn't leave a single loose end as some thrillers have. The characters behaved in natural ways I almost felt like I was there while the events unfolded. The most interesting part was near the climax at the end when even the quotes would put fear in your heart at some of the colder more calculating ones. There was never a dull moment in this book. I felt like I physically was unable to put it down. The story was unique and didn't remind me of anything. NOTE: This book is a bit gruesome so if you dislike gore I recommend you don't read it.
on 24 February 2015
Having only recently discovered this series, I am now reading them all. I enjoyed the 1st one was relatively impressed with the 2nd but couldn't help but think where can the 3rd one go. I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. It wasn't only the storyline itself that made it better than the previous 2 it was the all so clever little clues, I also liked the way that the quotes from true crime were from both sides of the Atlantic. This gives everyone a chance to work out what is happening. A gruesome whodunnit which I thoroughly enjoyed, Number 4 downloaded and ready to read.Before I start it I am going to google the author of one of the quotes as I had never heard of them until I read A Dark Mind.