Book Review: 'A Dark Mind: Visions' by K.C. Eckels
Midwesterner author K. C. Eckels is a young writer whose prior books are children's books - TWO DADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE, TWO MOMS ARE BTTER THAN ONE, and two BUCKY books. She has a degree in Psychology and has an avid interest in the study of serial killers - their personalities and the triggers that alters their thoughts from apparent normal citizens to serial killers.
Authors who have the foresight to offer a zinger at the beginning of the novel, not a prologue or a foreword but a simple statement that magnetizes a reader's imagination, are author's form whom we come to expect major achievements. Before A DARK MIND begins, K.C. places before our eyes the following: "He pinches himself. He is awake. This is real, but how? He is home, in his bathroom, on his knees, his wife just outside the door. The news is reporting a murder. Two young girls. He saw them... He saw it all." Add to that the grace notes of paranormal aspects and the suggestion that we are in for a probing exploration of unknown spaces is nearly guaranteed. Certainly in the case of K.C. Eckels that is the case.
The synopsis supplied by the author is a fine distillation of the major points: `Dustin Furlong's a well-respected pillar of the community and a loving father and husband. However, there's another side of his mind he keeps hidden from the ones he loves--a dark side that exists in complete contrast to the peace and tranquility he craves. In this dark side, he fantasizes about making love to women, making them moan, and then snuffing the life out of them. It's a murderous affair but one that only happens in his mind. Things change when he hears that two young women have been found dead--and right where his most recent murderous romp had happened in his dream the night before. Naturally he fears the worst. Meanwhile, the police investigation into the murders is going nowhere. Dustin reaches out to a beloved local priest about his concerns, but gets no answers. As his wife notices an inexplicable change in him, he can't help but wonder what beast lives inside him. This is a steamy paranormal thriller.'
K.C.'s writing style is at once literate and intoxicating as she demonstrate in the opening paragraphs: `As he stares out his window he embraces a calm like no other, a peaceful surrender of all that he was; and now he is reborn. For a moment he clings to this calm like he is clinging to his very last breath, hoping another will come yet knowing he will never breathe again. A quiet storm is brewing deep within him. He knows only one thing can pacify the urge, and yet not being able to act upon it until the time is right. As he turns from the window he sees his masterpiece once again. He breaths in the beauty of his creation and relishes the moment death brought him to life. Dustin Furlong is no ordinary man, yet day-to-day he walks through life among the masses, masquerading as a devoted husband, hardworking insurance agent and a devout Christian. No one would ever suspect or believe the torture which resides in his heart and mind. He moves through life like an award winning actor, playing his part with unrivaled perfection.
From the outside he appears to have it all: devastating good looks; dark brown, wavy hair; piercing aquamarine eyes with green flecks; chiseled features found only in the magazines; and an athletic build he works tirelessly to attain. Inside though, lives a dark secret he can no longer hide. The darkness which enters his mind is what nightmares are made of.'
Very strong debut novel and from all indications there will, hopefully, be more of these book that bear witness to K.C.'s work in psychology and her fascination with serial killers. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, September 15, 2020