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State of Mind

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A professor of abnormal psychology, Jeffrey Clayton struggles with a dark past. Twenty-five years before, Jeffrey and his mother and sister fled his tyrannical father - a man who was later suspected in the heinous murder of a young student. Though the father was never charged, he committed suicide. Or so it seemed. Since then Jeffrey's mother and his sister, Susan, have co A professor of abnormal psychology, Jeffrey Clayton struggles with a dark past. Twenty-five years before, Jeffrey and his mother and sister fled his tyrannical father - a man who was later suspected in the heinous murder of a young student. Though the father was never charged, he committed suicide. Or so it seemed. Since then Jeffrey's mother and his sister, Susan, have concealed themselves in the remote tangled swamps of the Upper Keys, where Susan creates word games for Miami Magazine. But someone has sent her a cryptic note. Once deciphered, it carries a terrifying message: I have found you. At the same time, a serial killer has invaded a community whose citizens seek a haven of old-fashioned values. And one new-fashioned guarantee: unconditional safety. But no one is safe from this intruder - who murders young girls in unspeakable ways. Is Jeffrey Clayton's father the source of this latest killing spree? The authorities think so - and they present Jeffrey with an ultimatum: Find the butcher responsible for the newborn spate of carnage. Find your father.


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A professor of abnormal psychology, Jeffrey Clayton struggles with a dark past. Twenty-five years before, Jeffrey and his mother and sister fled his tyrannical father - a man who was later suspected in the heinous murder of a young student. Though the father was never charged, he committed suicide. Or so it seemed. Since then Jeffrey's mother and his sister, Susan, have co A professor of abnormal psychology, Jeffrey Clayton struggles with a dark past. Twenty-five years before, Jeffrey and his mother and sister fled his tyrannical father - a man who was later suspected in the heinous murder of a young student. Though the father was never charged, he committed suicide. Or so it seemed. Since then Jeffrey's mother and his sister, Susan, have concealed themselves in the remote tangled swamps of the Upper Keys, where Susan creates word games for Miami Magazine. But someone has sent her a cryptic note. Once deciphered, it carries a terrifying message: I have found you. At the same time, a serial killer has invaded a community whose citizens seek a haven of old-fashioned values. And one new-fashioned guarantee: unconditional safety. But no one is safe from this intruder - who murders young girls in unspeakable ways. Is Jeffrey Clayton's father the source of this latest killing spree? The authorities think so - and they present Jeffrey with an ultimatum: Find the butcher responsible for the newborn spate of carnage. Find your father.

30 review for State of Mind

  1. 4 out of 5

    Majo's Library.

    Deftly drawn, the plot is riveting, the pace is unrelenting, the dialogue scalpel sharp. The most intricately plotted and fully characterized novel yet in Katzenbach's admirable series Deftly drawn, the plot is riveting, the pace is unrelenting, the dialogue scalpel sharp. The most intricately plotted and fully characterized novel yet in Katzenbach's admirable series

  2. 5 out of 5

    Eric_W

    Read both State of Mind and The Analyst together so I guess this is kidn of a joint review. Both of these page-turning thrillers have an element of the Kafkaesque to them. State of Mind takes place sometime in the near future at a rurally located university of some 25,000 students. Jeffrey Clayton teaches Abnormal Psychology, keeps a loaded pistol under his desk in the lecture hall, and like most other teachers has a metal detector at the entrance to his classroom. Classrooms have bulletproof wi Read both State of Mind and The Analyst together so I guess this is kidn of a joint review. Both of these page-turning thrillers have an element of the Kafkaesque to them. State of Mind takes place sometime in the near future at a rurally located university of some 25,000 students. Jeffrey Clayton teaches Abnormal Psychology, keeps a loaded pistol under his desk in the lecture hall, and like most other teachers has a metal detector at the entrance to his classroom. Classrooms have bulletproof windows, students set fire to classrooms to avoid having to take exams, and campus police, a branch of the state police, never travel alone and wear riot gear.. A recent experiment with guard dogs being let loose in vacant classrooms seemed to have helped the vandalism problem, but their howling can be distracting. About half the student population was thought to carry guns, but fortunately they were located in a mainly rural town where the Student Health Service might expect only a dozen rapes and stabbings on a weekend. Urban areas were much worse. Clayton is approached by a well-armed man who identifies himself as an agent of state security from the new Western Territory, a semi-fascist area that wants to become the fifty-first state. This man, who calls himself Martin, knows a great deal of Clayton's work with the FBI as a man able to track down serial killers. He also knows a great deal about Clayton's past. It turns out that Jeffrey's father, whom he thought had died in a car crash years before, is alive, living in the new state, and murdering young women. What could be better cover than "white, educated, artioulate, professional academic, married with a lovely family. They, of course, were the critical piece, you know. The ultimate in camouflage." Years before, Jeffrey, his sister, Susan, and mother, Diana, had fled and hidden from the father because of his predelictions. This removed his camouflage requiring his creation of a new identity and fmily. Now he has begun to stalk Susan, a puzzle expert, and Diana in Florida, also. What better place for him now to hide out than a new state where fear has been eliminated. Martin and the territory officials are desperate to locate and kill the unknown man who they fear will destroy the psychological rational for their new state and the basis for their supression of basic civil liberties in the name of safety and freedom from fear. Jeffrey realizes he has become the bait to trap his father. Soon begins a cat and mouse game between Peter Curtin, Jeffrey's father, as he is now known, and his old family. What makes the book particularly interesting is the tension between the old, free, violence-ridden world, and the new, safe, unfree territory that may be actually more susceptible to violence than the old. Both State of Mind and The Analyst have a Kafkaesque quality to them, more so the latter, especially in the beginning. They also involve families allied in a nefarious plot.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Patti

    Slowest thriller I've ever read. Slowest thriller I've ever read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    As always, you keep yourself to the edge.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marc de Brujo at Lattlay Fottfoy

    This book took me completely off guard and brought me back to conversations I had with an old girlfriend regarding killers. She was a spree killer buff and taught me the differences between them and serial killers, admittedly a dark subject. I had no idea what this book was about I just grabbed it mostly because of its red and black cover as we were being ushered out of what this place considers a library. Honestly prior to scanning the inside covers I had no idea of this author finding out he d This book took me completely off guard and brought me back to conversations I had with an old girlfriend regarding killers. She was a spree killer buff and taught me the differences between them and serial killers, admittedly a dark subject. I had no idea what this book was about I just grabbed it mostly because of its red and black cover as we were being ushered out of what this place considers a library. Honestly prior to scanning the inside covers I had no idea of this author finding out he did Harts War and others Id run across, I have his name now and will read all his work. State of Mind starts out in a world with its roots firmly planted in ours much the way 1984 was. The major difference that no offense to my time in Ogden, I can see happening, is violence and drugs become as acceptable and norm as the true amount of meat in a fast food hamburger. You want to hate it, not to have it and to flush it down the toilet but you cannot as its hold on you is too great. Could this be a foreshadowing of things to come? The anthesis to making America great again? The character development and my favorite part of books, is superb in this story and the second reason i couldnt put the book down. Diana, the mother, was an inspiring woman. Filled with amazing maternal instincts and a sixth sense swept her children away from their brilliant but twisted father as young children. Having been too young to remember much they grew up to be athletic, intelligent and precocious adults both with a bit of a dark side. The book is filled with flourishing prose and a spell binding story that examines family relationships in an interesting a true to form manner. This combined with the origins of the 51st state creates a world of intrigue and wonder with unseen plot twists. Does the apple truly fall far from the tree? The ending magnificently opens the possibility of another story, is there one please let me know!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Asmaa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Well the novel is brilliantly written, gives you a detailed near to an image description of a life of easy killings. What I didn't like is the way it devalues lifes like a Hollywood movie full of hatered and pistols. Otherwise, I liked the idea of an educated killer, that I wished his conversations lasted longer. Well the novel is brilliantly written, gives you a detailed near to an image description of a life of easy killings. What I didn't like is the way it devalues lifes like a Hollywood movie full of hatered and pistols. Otherwise, I liked the idea of an educated killer, that I wished his conversations lasted longer.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Micha Goebig

    It’s solid entertainment. Though I’m a little surprised that someone would write a near-future scenario in 1997 where there are no cell phones. Granted, it would have been hard to predict how dependent we would be on our phones, but half of Europe was constantly carrying their Nokia mobiles already at that time.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Agustina

    A complicated plot full of family drama and the necesity to solve murders. Apart from being a thriller novel, "State of Mind", talks about a country full of violence and insecurity. In that world Katzenbach presents a new state that promises zero crime. Althoug it's a engaging story sometimes i felt that it was boring and slow A complicated plot full of family drama and the necesity to solve murders. Apart from being a thriller novel, "State of Mind", talks about a country full of violence and insecurity. In that world Katzenbach presents a new state that promises zero crime. Althoug it's a engaging story sometimes i felt that it was boring and slow

  9. 5 out of 5

    Just-Moni

    Good storyline, quite predictable ending. Way too much unnecessary description for character development. The book was good enough, but it felt that at least 30% of it wasn't necessary for the actual storytelling. Good storyline, quite predictable ending. Way too much unnecessary description for character development. The book was good enough, but it felt that at least 30% of it wasn't necessary for the actual storytelling.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Florencio Rustrián Monroy

    Not his best book, not his worst either. I think that it starts with a very energetic rythm and as you continue diving in the story, it starts becoming a little bit slower. Still, a great book if you don't really know what to read and if you are willing to read an entertaining story. Not his best book, not his worst either. I think that it starts with a very energetic rythm and as you continue diving in the story, it starts becoming a little bit slower. Still, a great book if you don't really know what to read and if you are willing to read an entertaining story.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

    I wasn't expecting that final. I wasn't expecting that final.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mariano

    One of the best books by John Katzenbach

  13. 5 out of 5

    Roberto Ruiz

    One of Katzenbach top works. Good story, good narrative and manages to stay credible for the whole tale.

  14. 4 out of 5

    ANDREASNADU

    4.5 stars

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alejandro Barragan

    Boring

  16. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Just could not get into this one.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Isabel

    I wish I could give this book 3.5 stars. I liked it, but I honestly expected something else. A world even more violent than the one we live in today. A place where no one is able to walk on their own, even in the middle of the day, and usually with a weapon. It's a sad picture, one that happens in certain places yes, but that I believe and hope won't become a common reality. Somewhere in the West, a direction that always has represented possibility a new State has been formed. A place where peop I wish I could give this book 3.5 stars. I liked it, but I honestly expected something else. A world even more violent than the one we live in today. A place where no one is able to walk on their own, even in the middle of the day, and usually with a weapon. It's a sad picture, one that happens in certain places yes, but that I believe and hope won't become a common reality. Somewhere in the West, a direction that always has represented possibility a new State has been formed. A place where people can "once again" feel free, secure, but where liberty is a relative thing. The promises this new State offers are being shaken by one of the worst killers known. Help is needed and urgently. Since money and resources are not an issue the best is called in to help. The best being the closest person to the killer, his own son. It took some chapters for me to get hooked into the story, once there, it wasn't easy to stop reading. As other Katzenbach novels, this is a well written thriller that keeps you guessing how is he going to wrap it, who will be the victim and who will deliver justice. But there was something that prevented the book from captivating me. I guess I was expecting more "mind games" and more insight into Professor Clayton's mind.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jonkonfui

    It is intriguing trying to find out the reason why an editor chooses a given quotation from a review to place at the cover of a book. Obviously it is to sell more, but why precisely that quotation and not another one? In the edition of the State of Mind copy I have read the editor chose the quotation: "a non-stop action (book)"... I would love to ask this reviewer three things basically: -are you related to John Katzenbach? -could you please define "action"? -what book did you read? I consider this It is intriguing trying to find out the reason why an editor chooses a given quotation from a review to place at the cover of a book. Obviously it is to sell more, but why precisely that quotation and not another one? In the edition of the State of Mind copy I have read the editor chose the quotation: "a non-stop action (book)"... I would love to ask this reviewer three things basically: -are you related to John Katzenbach? -could you please define "action"? -what book did you read? I consider this book full of flaws, first the story is set in a nearby future but the author does not create a believable future. The reader has the impression that what he/she reads occurs in the 90´s. The idea of the almighty killer, that can do whatever he wants whenever he wants it, no matter if he announces it in advance since there is no one who can stop him because he is the smartest guy around is old, boring. The book makes no sense at all. There is too much introspection to try to make the motivations of the characters believable but there is nothing to understand because everything is completely incoherent. No action at all, no suspense. The story goes nowhere and it takes too many pages to get there.

  19. 4 out of 5

    VLynch

    Finally finished this books. How much are we truly like our parents? If we hate our parents do we hate traits we carry from our parents? It's an interesting concept and storyline with a side storyline of a "perfectly safe community". Would you give up your freedom for the "illusion" of safety? It was a slow read for me, after finishing it I can say I enjoyed the storylines. I enjoyed the females characters much more than the males, but I actually think that was the writers intention. I find myse Finally finished this books. How much are we truly like our parents? If we hate our parents do we hate traits we carry from our parents? It's an interesting concept and storyline with a side storyline of a "perfectly safe community". Would you give up your freedom for the "illusion" of safety? It was a slow read for me, after finishing it I can say I enjoyed the storylines. I enjoyed the females characters much more than the males, but I actually think that was the writers intention. I find myself thinking about the book after finishing it and debating if I like demise of one of the women. Very interesting book, just a slower read then I prefer.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    This was a great psychological thriller. When Jeffrey Clayton, a professor of abnormal psychology at a university, is hired by the government to find a killer, his past is opened up. Basically the story is about a killer who for many years has been killing young woman and leaves no clues. This man was the father of Jeffrey and had been a suspect in a murder when Jeffrey was just nine years old. At the time, his mother knowing her husband was evil, escaped with her son and daughter and started a This was a great psychological thriller. When Jeffrey Clayton, a professor of abnormal psychology at a university, is hired by the government to find a killer, his past is opened up. Basically the story is about a killer who for many years has been killing young woman and leaves no clues. This man was the father of Jeffrey and had been a suspect in a murder when Jeffrey was just nine years old. At the time, his mother knowing her husband was evil, escaped with her son and daughter and started a new life. Twenty-five years later her evil husband has finally found her and the terrifying game of fear, discovery and vengeance is unleashed.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Peggy Walker

    I was very disappointed in this book. I had read "A Madman's Tale" and had found it an interesting read. In this book, however, the author is combining a story about the descent of American society into omnipresent urban crime with the story of a serial killer related to most of the main characters. The idea of a 51st state developed as a tightly regulated haven of safety from the crime rampant in the America described in the book is actually very interesting. I wish that had been the main focus I was very disappointed in this book. I had read "A Madman's Tale" and had found it an interesting read. In this book, however, the author is combining a story about the descent of American society into omnipresent urban crime with the story of a serial killer related to most of the main characters. The idea of a 51st state developed as a tightly regulated haven of safety from the crime rampant in the America described in the book is actually very interesting. I wish that had been the main focus, because it could have been fascinating in a Brave New World sort of way.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nola

    This book has an interesting mystery/thriller plot with a few extra twists to make it more exciting (and creepier). To add to the plot, though, it also asks the question: "Would you voluntarily give up your freedom for safety?" It is set sometime in the near future, well, 1997 future. Those who don't like sci fi shouldn't be put off by this because it is a world much like our own. There are some holes in the "world building" in the futurist part of the book which bothered me, but I have been acc This book has an interesting mystery/thriller plot with a few extra twists to make it more exciting (and creepier). To add to the plot, though, it also asks the question: "Would you voluntarily give up your freedom for safety?" It is set sometime in the near future, well, 1997 future. Those who don't like sci fi shouldn't be put off by this because it is a world much like our own. There are some holes in the "world building" in the futurist part of the book which bothered me, but I have been accused of over thinking things.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    I picked this up because I liked another book that I had read by John Katzenbach. Had I known what it was about I doubt I would have read it. It involves a man trying to track down his estranged father who was thought dead and is suspected to be a sadistic serial killer. I am not a fan of this kind of thing but fortunately there is not a whole lot of the graphic violence and more on the lead up to solving the case. I think that Katzenbach is a talented writer, but this book is just not my style.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Teresinha

    It definitely doesn't touch the footfingers of "THe Psicoanalyst" but it is good. State 51 structure, policies and philosophy is quite interesting. Curtain family is quite thrilling. Diana is more than a super hero. Jeffrey Clayton could've been much better "Dead Profesor" when dealing with his father. Theory says they are psichological experts, so know how to handle them, what motivates them. He doesn't take advantage of it at all. It definitely doesn't touch the footfingers of "THe Psicoanalyst" but it is good. State 51 structure, policies and philosophy is quite interesting. Curtain family is quite thrilling. Diana is more than a super hero. Jeffrey Clayton could've been much better "Dead Profesor" when dealing with his father. Theory says they are psichological experts, so know how to handle them, what motivates them. He doesn't take advantage of it at all.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Clau Reyes

    I don't know how to feel about this book. Katzenbach has this thing with his books, where sometimes it goes so fast and you're so into it, but it also goes slow, and you feel the need to rest for a while before continue. For some reason I felt the latter a lot with this book, I don't know, maybe is the season, maybe the fact that I have so much to read... who knows. I did enjoy it thou, specially the ending. I don't know how to feel about this book. Katzenbach has this thing with his books, where sometimes it goes so fast and you're so into it, but it also goes slow, and you feel the need to rest for a while before continue. For some reason I felt the latter a lot with this book, I don't know, maybe is the season, maybe the fact that I have so much to read... who knows. I did enjoy it thou, specially the ending.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Peg n Lon

    This is the 3rd book I've read by this author. This is the least gripping but still a good read. Mother/daughter and son try to find the killer that is stalking all three and the culprit is surprising. The three main characters are all believable even if cold in their interrelationships. The setting of the 51st state is intriguing. This is the 3rd book I've read by this author. This is the least gripping but still a good read. Mother/daughter and son try to find the killer that is stalking all three and the culprit is surprising. The three main characters are all believable even if cold in their interrelationships. The setting of the 51st state is intriguing.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Daniella Murillo

    Exciting to read. First half of the book was a bit tedious for me, because I don't know, I somehow expected it to have way more deaths and stuff, but it's probably just me. I mean, Katzenbach gave us a lot of girls killed, but we weren't actually there when the killings occurred if you know what I mean. I just expected a tiny bit more. Amazing book tho. Exciting to read. First half of the book was a bit tedious for me, because I don't know, I somehow expected it to have way more deaths and stuff, but it's probably just me. I mean, Katzenbach gave us a lot of girls killed, but we weren't actually there when the killings occurred if you know what I mean. I just expected a tiny bit more. Amazing book tho.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    This is a brilliant book. It's gripping. When i start read it, I can't stop. It's spectacular, I realy like it. The intelligence of the autor is everywhere, the most thorough details are perfects. I recomend it a million times. This is a brilliant book. It's gripping. When i start read it, I can't stop. It's spectacular, I realy like it. The intelligence of the autor is everywhere, the most thorough details are perfects. I recomend it a million times.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ivana Jerez

    Mindblowing, absolutely loved it. I wanted to finish it, but at the same time felt that if I did, I would want more, and I definitely do. Five stars, no doubt, and absolutely deserved it. A standing ovation from myself. I SO want to know what happens next... Jeffrey, Susan, I already miss you.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    Loved this, very different

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