Book Review: Mind Games by Nancy Mehl

mind games nancy mehl book review


Kaely Quinn's talents as an FBI behavior analyst are impossible to ignore, no matter how unorthodox her methods. But when a reporter outs her as the daughter of an infamous serial killer, she's demoted to field agent and transferred to St. Louis.

When the same reporter who ruined her career claims to have received an anonymous poem predicting a string of murders, ending with Kaely's, the reporter's ulterior motives bring his claim into question. But when a body is found that fits the poem's predictions, the threat is undeniable, and the FBI sends Special Agent Noah Hunter to St. Louis.

Initially resentful of the assignment, Noah is surprised at how quickly his respect for Kaely grows, despite her oddities. But with a brazen serial killer who breaks all the normal patterns on the loose, Noah and Kaely are tested to their limits to catch the murderer before anyone else--including Kaely herself--is killed.

  • Genre: Christian Suspense

  • Published: 12/4/2018

  • Pages: 336

  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishing

  • Goodreads Rating: 4.46

mind games nancy mehl book review
It was time. Let the mind games begin.
— "The Killer"

Why I Chose This Book

I love a good crime thriller. They keep you on the edge of your seat until your at the very end. I was thrilled to see that Bethany House Publishing chose this book as their book of the month to review.

First Initial Thoughts

Kaely is a young woman who has a constant reminder of her past on her shoulder. Her father was a serial killer and was caught when she was very young. She struggled with the fact that yet she loved her father she never really knew him. She joined the FBI in hopes to escape her past and catch bad guys like her father. I felt for Kaely because she always kept people at distant. She was always deep in her work. I think it was due to the fact that she never got over her past.

The “killer” in this book, is introduced in the beginning. He is angry for Kaely knowing about her father and not doing anything about it. Did Kaely really know her father was a serial killer before being caught?

Acosta, a reporter has been pestering Kaely for a while. Mostly for an interview - being a daughter of a serial killer. He gets a letter in the mail from the “killer” stating that he is planning to kill 6 people including Kaely for what she has done. I found him to be kind of a slime ball reporter. Although deep down I think he just wanted a break in his career- and was willing to do whatever to achieve that.

FBI agent Noah Hunter and Kaely start working on the case to figure out who this mastermind killer is. I liked Noah though he was kind of flat in the beginning. I think this is done on purpose in the beginning.


What I liked about the setting is that it took place in Missouri. I haven’t read too many crime novels that took place in Missouri. Also, the atmosphere really reminded me of the first season of True Detective for some reason. It had a very eerie and haunting feel to it.

Some wounds are too deep to heal, or too deep to heal quickly. In addition, many memories are simply painful, and there is no healing to be done. The saying ‘time heals all wounds’ is false. Time heals most wounds. The rest are hidden behind this door.
— Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

Final Thoughts

I am kind of picky with crime novels. I often find that either the author doesn’t do her research on law enforcement and the story line just seems unrealistic; or the author does do her research but the story line can be kind of “dry”. Nancy definitely did do her research -especially with Kaely’s career and what it entails. However, there are some mishaps in the story that wouldn’t really fly in the law enforcement field but hey, it’s a story.

I thought Nancy was very creative with the story and the murder plot. It reminded me of all the crime shows that I use to watch (CSI, Bones, etc.) back when they were popular. I also don’t think the story line was too creepy. Though there were some scary/creepy parts I wouldn’t put them on the level of some crime TV shows out there.

I was also surprised by who the murderer was. I won’t spoil anything but the clues were there from the start. I like it when stories do that. You find out who the killer is at the end- and then realize all the little details throughout the book that point to that.

I also really liked Noah and Kaely working together. I thought they were a good team. I found Kaely to be an interesting character. She was very bright - that is for sure. She could read someone almost instantly. She also had to learn that what her father did was not her fault and her past doesn’t define her.

I also think she had to learn why God allows bad things to happen. Why are there serial killers on this earth? It’s a question that we still try to answer today. But I think Kaely and like the rest of us have to understand what God has in store for us. And it’s not always going to be sunshine and roses. But God will always be in the forefront. Ready to help you heal and move on.

Usually in crime novels - you get some romance thrown in. Though in this one, even though there was an attraction it wasn’t the main focus. This book is the first one in the series, so maybe Kaely and Noah’s relationship develops more.

Would I Recommend?

Yes. While I didn’t absolutely love it, it was an enjoyable read. I could definitely see someone that is more interested in Crime novels would enjoy it.

You can purchase the book —-> HERE

Are you a fan of psychological/crime novels? If so, share your favorites below in the comments!

I also wanted to let you know there will be only one blog post next week on Thursday (the 27th) due to the holidays. There will be one more post this week before the holidays!

the caffeinated bibliophile

NOTE: I was sent a copy of this book to review by the publisher. All opinions are my own.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Christmas giveaway! I am giving away bookish items and two of my favorite books from this year! Check it out now and enter —> HERE

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