From the Mind of a Witch, by Bruce Perrin [Review]

          The mind sleuth series from Bruce Perrin is filled with original plots, psychological investigations, and richly drawn characters. They are also exceptionally well-written, making them a pleasure to read. The Mind of a Witch is no exception. You think you can guess where a book is going? Good luck. This is one of the most original plots I can remember.

          The book tracks two stories, which don’t intersect as much as I would have liked, but one of the recurring characters in the series, Sam “Doc” Price (a psychology expert) is the link between them. The main story involves a murder played out in brilliant detail in chapter 1. The suspected killer is the high priestess of a coven of modern witches and the murder happens during a group ceremony in a deserted farm. Several prominent members of the local business community (and members of the coven) all point the finger at Della, the head witch.

Learning about Della’s history and breaking apart the twisted facts of the case is the job of Rebecca, a former FBI agent and now Private Investigator, hired by Della’s sister to dig into the case because Della’s defense team isn’t doing a great job. Rebecca, and her trusty sidekick, Gus, try to unravel the facts. During the case, Sam gives them a psychological-related explanation. It’s far out – but it just might be right.

No spoilers here, but the main plot moves along rapidly toward an exciting conclusion, but even there the reader will be surprised by all the turns of events. Meanwhile, there’s another plot that I won’t describe since part of the fun of the read is to figure out what’s happening and how it ties in to the characters. It’s another unique twist, with plenty of unexpected turns. In many ways, the secondary plot is not a sub-plot as much as a totally separate story, which has its own fantastic medical/psychological twists.

Getting into the two plots takes a little work after the exciting murder scene in chapter 1, but keep with it. By the halfway mark, you’ll be rushing to get to the end.

There are a few head-scratching moments, where the reader is left to wonder how “that” happened, including at the very end. There are a few resolutions that are not entirely explained, and a few explanations that I was waiting for that never came – particularly in the secondary plot. The author also threw in a few false leads, including one that seemed to make it impossible for the thing to have happened the way you think it happened, but then in the end it was a big “never mind.” These issues prevent the book from achieving a 5-star level, and most of them could have been fixed. And, as noted, the second plot doesn’t ever tie in to the main plot, other than the intersection with Sam’s life. That was disappointing. But these blemishes are relatively minor and do not detract from an enjoyable read.

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