Set in Houston, Texas, A Cold Mind by David Lindsey will keep you at the edge of your seat from page one. As homicide detective Stuart Haydon investigates multiple deaths of high priced call girls, he tries to determine if their deaths are linked. Are these deaths a suicide pact or are these women acquiring some sort of fatal disease associated with their line of work? I some evil maniac targeting these women in some deranged plot or is someone trying to make a statement? He considers all of these questions as he interviews neighbors and friends of the victims. Evidence brought forth during the post-mortem examinations reveals very little in the form of clues.
As more women are found dead, Detective Hayden is forced to bring his work home with him. He works tirelessly to gather information, and stays in constant contact with the pathologist, Vanstraten, who is performing the autopsies on each victim. At first they are frustrated. They can find nothing to help them figure out why these girls are dying. There is no common denominator connecting the victims. Some of the women have drugs in their system, others don’t. Some of the women are in their 40’s, others in their 20’s. Some knew each other, and yet not all of them.
Only one factor seems to connect all of the cases. Statements made by the friends of each girl imply that she was very sick for a few days prior to death. They all complained of headache, vomiting, and muscle ache. So together, Hayden and Vanstraten work blindly to test for diseases with these symptoms. They check for polio, tetanus, and viral encephalitis, all to no avail, when finally one of the tests they run comes up positive. Rabies. But how? These weren’t street prostitiutes living in deplorable conditions. They were very wealthy women living the high life. Why would this virus be targeting only the luxury escorts in the town? Did one girl have a pet that harbored the virus and then the others came into contact with it? Is there one man who was spreading the disease unknowingly without getting sick himself? Throughout the novel Detective Haydon fights to answer all of these questions. When he finally figures out what it is that is really happening, even he is chilled that any killer can have such A Cold Mind.
This superior novel is amazingly suspenseful. The possibility that something like this could become reality is evident. The characters come to life almost immediately, dragging the reader into the plot as thought they are stading at the crime scene.