The Beating Heart of a Mind

Bullied to death in the boardroom?

Private Investigator Rebecca Marte doubted it. Since when would the president and CEO of a highly successful company find the criticisms of his subordinates so destructive to his self-image that he would commit suicide? That, however, was what her new client, Nicole Veles, claimed.

Nicole painted a toxic, if not criminal, picture of defamation leading up to the man’s death. His problems were more than just the company’s bottom line. They ranged from public ridicule of some of his out-of-date marketing concepts that had been leaked to the press to a police report from a young man who claimed the president and CEO had propositioned him. And after his demise, one of his most vocal detractors ascended to his position. That was enough to raise Rebecca’s suspicions. She took the job.

But as she began her investigation, hints that Nicole’s beliefs were tainted by her history became difficult for Rebecca to ignore. Two years earlier, Nicole had been kidnapped, and she still bore the mental and emotional scars of abuse and captivity. She’d cut all connections to her friends and fled her past by relocating to Colorado where no one knew her. She took a job where long-term relationships were impossible, save one stubborn older woman who wouldn’t take no for an answer … and who just happened to be the wife of the suicide victim.

When everyone else thought the man’s death, while tragic, was just the consequence of high-pressure business and depression over the loss of the company he had founded, could Rebecca trust anything to the contrary that her new client told her?

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Editorial Reviews

A solidly crafted mystery set in a high-flying corporate world.

I must say, I´m very impressed by Mr. Perrin and his ability to plot a clever mystery for his characters to solve. In book six of ´Mind Sleuth´, his determined protagonist, PI Rebecca Marte, must attempt to solve an apparent suicide brought on by bullying. But, naturally, not everything is as it first seems. The man who killed himself is the president of a very successful company, and Nicole, the person employing her, has a dark past and, possibly, can´t be trusted. Will Rebecca, with her ability to psychologically analysis the crime and the possible perpetrators, find the answers she´s looking for?

As with all of the three books I have enjoyed by this author, there is plenty of suspense in this solidly crafted mystery. The focus is kept on the plot and a small number of central characters, Rebecca (the protagonist) being the most fleshed out and interesting. In fact, she´s the sort of person (smart, unwavering) it´s difficult not to root for. The author also works confidently with speech, using it as a tool to develop the twists of the plot and the personality of the characters.

So, if you enjoy a good psychological thriller, you´ll get a lot from Mr. Perrin´s set of books. Personally, I don´t think you have to enjoy them in order; they work well as standalone novels, but if you are looking for a set of books to throw yourself into, the Mind Sleuth books are worth a go. I think most readers will enjoy following Rebecca and seeing her formidable detective skills at work.

A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review

The Beating Heart of a Mind adds to the blossoming Mind Sleuth series with a vivid story of corporate pressures, marital discord, suicide, and a mystery. These lead P.I. Rebecca Marte on a complicated journey to uncover the motivations behind the bullying in the boardroom that ultimately leads to the company president’s death.
Rebecca's new client (a friend of the dead man's wife, Nicole Veles) paints a vivid picture of the influences that led to the president's demise and the succession of his most virulent opponent. Once Rebecca accepts the job, however, she comes to perceive that her new client's psychological history may have contributed to the woman’s suspicions more than the facts of the case.
As Rebecca delves into a series of events that expose the underbelly of interpersonal and business relationships, she comes to believe that the truth lies hidden among the fabrications truly believed and those constructed solely to deceive.
As with his previous mysteries, Bruce M. Perrin excels in an investigative profile that is as much a psychological analysis as a detective’s deductions. 
The story unfolds a sense of discovery and insights about business processes, interpersonal relationships, and professional and personal defamation, introducing moral and ethical conundrums on all sides.
Tension is well-developed, whether it's psychological revelations that involve Rebecca more deeply in her client's life than she'd imagined, the wedge between client and investigator driven home by the victim’s wife, or the probe of a business structure that supports dangerous undercurrents.
The Beating Heart of a Mind is highly recommended for mystery libraries and readers, but its strength goes beyond the usual whodunit. Ideally, it will also be enjoyed by business readers and used as discussion material in book clubs devoted to novels of psychological, business, and social inspection, as well.

D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer
Midwest Book Review

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