Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Shadowed Mind by Julie Cave

The Shadowed Mind by Julie Cave is a new mystery crime novel, in which the heroine, an ex- FBI agent, must solve the case of a serial killer whose eugenics enthusiasm drives him to target the homeless, the sick, and the drug addicted in order to deliver the warped message of the need for society to maintain the integrity of the gene pool by wiping out those deemed as weak or mentally and/ or physically inferior.
A big strength of this book are its well thought out sub-plots, realistic characters such as Dinah, the main character of this story, faces an ongoing battle with alcoholism, together with the grief of the death of her husband and young son, and the loss of her prestigious job at the FBI, is depicted as a real human being with very real problems, and is not a perfect, idealistic out of touch heroine. Another character, Ella, a lonely and isolated, tired woman must deal with the draining effects and painful emotions of caring for her aged father with alzheimers. Pehaps many readers can relate to the plight of Ella.
 The title: "The Shadowed Mind" has many meanings, one of which refers to the dark recesses of the criminal side of human mind (which takes hold when one rejects the grace of God).  Another meaning refers to the sickness which takes control of one's intellect or personality as in the case of mental illness or degenerative organic disease of the brain. And another reference could refer to the shadows of painful memories that intrude as a result of the consequences of traumatic events and circumstances.   While this is a fictional novel, the author, Julie Cave provides authentic details woven throughout to add realism.  Furthermore, indepth information and actual historical background is provided into the eugenics movement as well as the catalyst behind it: the drift from a Christian society into a society based on naturalism and evolution, in which human beings are no longer depicted as being made in the image of God, but rather simply as animals, in which the motto: "the survival of the fittest" must apply. Additionally, the link between the dangers of naturalism and Hitler, as well as imposed euthenasia is clearly drawn. Not only is this an entertaining, fast paced action mystery, but it also delivers an important message as well, about the sanctity of human life. One main downside of this story is the unresolved ending, where the reader must wait for yet another novel in this series to see the corrupt senator get justice for his deeds.  Also the story behind Cage, which the reader is kept in suspense for the entire book, is somewhat anti-climactic, when the reader learns that he is hiding the fact that  is in a multi-racial marriage, and that he had some traumatic experiences with a previous work partner that betrayed his trust. The main message of the novel can me summed up: without God, we are doomed to live in the shadows, without the light of God, our world both on a wide scale as well as personal level, is subjected to shadows and pain, imperfections and injustice.  Without God, we as a society and as individuals, can not get beyond the shadows that threaten to prevail.

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