The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Monday, September 30, 2013

A Tainted Mind by Tamsen Schultz

Title:  A Tainted Mind
Author:  Tamsen Schultz
Publisher:  Booktrope
Release Date:  April 17, 2013
Pages:  326
A Tainted Mind by Tamsen Schultz
About the Book:  OBSESSED with her job as a medical examiner and lead consultant with the FBI, Dr. Vivienne ‘Vivi’ DeMarco is a woman running from her own demons. And finding the remains of a body on the side of a road in rural upstate New York wasn’t part of her plan. FRUSTRATED that the ghosts from his past won’t leave him alone, Ian MacAllister makes for a reluctant Deputy Chief of Police of Windsor, New York. But as more victims are discovered, all women that bear a shocking resemblance to Dr. DeMarco, he knows he’ll need to call on all the skills he learned as an Army Ranger if he wants to keep her safe. DENIED over and over again of the one thing he desires most, a killer may have finally reached his breaking point. The only question that remains is, will he take Vivi and Ian with him?

Wanda's Review:  While traveling through upstate New York, Dr. Vivienne DeMarco stumbles upon the remains of a woman in a rural area. Deputy Police Chief Ian McAlister asks Viv for her help to investigate the crime. At first Viv refuses, but reluctantly stays on when it appears they have a serial killer in the area, as more victims are discovered. And is it just coincidental that these women all resemble Viv?

Viv started college when she was sixteen, and she became a Professor, a Cop, an ME, FBI Consultant, and a Psychologist by the age of twenty eight. Viv felt socially awkward. She had always felt her value was measured by how much work she did, how many murderers she apprehended, and how many families she reunited. 

Ian was more than a small town cop. He exuded a commanding confidence. Ian needed help solving this crime spree and Viv was more than qualified. He saw an amazing woman filled with intrigue when he looked at Viv, and he was immediately attracted to her. And the story unfolds with interesting twists along the way. 

The author did a wonderful job getting into the minds of the expertly drawn characters - multi dimensional and authentic personalities. This book had an interesting premise, but unfortunately I wasn't able to stay engaged in the storyline. There was an entourage of characters and a complicated plot moving in too many directions. I found myself confused at times and it diminished my enjoyment.

Ending on a positive note - this book had to take a lot of deep thought to have such a cleverly written plot. My rating is 3.5 stars. 
I was given a copy of this book from LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program in exchange for an honest review.

My reviews are also posted on

About the Author:  Tamsen Schultz is the author of The Puppeteer and “American Kin” (a short story published in Line Zero Magazine) and is a three-time finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association annual competition. She worked in the field of international conflict resolution and co-founded a non-profit prior to attending law school. Since graduating, she has worked as a corporate attorney and, like most real lawyers, she spends a disproportionate amount of time thinking about what it might be like to do something else. She lives in Northern California in a house full of males including her husband, two sons, a cat, a dog, and a gender-neutral, but well-stocked, wine rack. A Tainted Mind is her second novel and her third, These Sorrows We See, is tentatively scheduled for release in late 2013.