Here’s a look at Freud’s Revenge, a murder mystery that’ll keep you reading late into the night.

What sets Freud’s Revenge apart from other books in the genre is its author, PJ Adams. An experienced psychotherapist, her knowledge of and exposure to a variety of disorders brings a refreshing take on murder mysteries. Sure, there’s a murder, and suspects, and police jibber jabber, and everything else you’d expect in a murder mystery. However, there’s far more emphasis on the interactions and relationships between characters, rather than the murder itself. Adams goes through the motions of laying a groundwork for the investigation into a horrific crime, but her focus on body language, facial expressions, and psychological profiles gives this story an air of authenticity that isn’t normally found in your run-of-the-mill mystery novel. With the murder taking place in a southern California mental health clinic, the stage is set for a journey through the minds of a perfectly-sized cast of characters.

The first 1/5th of the story introduces the reader to the clinic employees and patients, subtly exploring their idiosyncrasies by way of providing bits of back story from each character’s life. Just when you feel like you’re starting to know these people, the actual murder takes place, a terrifically violent act ripe for the psychological pickings.

The rest of the narrative primarily focuses on police interviews, and the psychosomatic effects they have on various employees and patients. As previously stated, Adams puts intense focus on body language, painting a vivid image of subtle tics, shifts in weight, the location of hands, the changing color of skin, and many other aspects of body language and byproducts of mental thought processes. These details give readers an insight into the investigations that “normal” conversation would leave out, allowing the reader to feel out the suspects for themselves.

Your chances of figuring out who the murderer is prior to the dénouement are low; Adams only drops one subtle clue that can even remotely give you an answer. She’s done a great job in this department…even with entire sections of the book being openly told through the eyes of the murderer, it’s unlikely you’ll figure out who’s responsible prior to the big reveal. It all culminates with a tense showdown that’ll leave you short of breath.

Freud’s Revenge starts out a little slow as it introduces you to the characters, but once the murder takes place, the book shifts into overdrive and doesn’t let up until the very end. This freshman effort by PJ Adams is well worth the price of admission; I very highly recommend you check it out, as well as any future novels she releases.