Of Sound Mind - James M Waltzer

Welcome to the world of Richard Keene, anti-hero, audiometric technician, would be runner (if not for that knee injury) but suffering from extreme acute hearing and sensitivity..."An ultrasensitivity to sounds has defined him as long as he can remember" When he hears a number of thuds and bangs from an adjacent apartment Richard cannot help but think that a terrible crime has been committed and sets out to bring it to the attention of the local Philadelphia police in the shape of Lieutenant Oliver..."who can't be certain whether Richard is a jilted suitor, a genius of sorts, a nutcase, or just someone who's seen too many movies."

 

I really loved this story; it created the perfect balance of a crime story with a flawed but very human hero, a hero with a disability that he is able to control and use to his advantage. Richard sets out on his quest to expose the charming and self-possessed Dr. Davis Braun as the person responsible for the disappearance of the attractive Eleanor Carson. This journey will offer him the opportunity to address an incident from his childhood and to understand his own obsessive almost suicidal character. What I found so readable about the authors style was his ability to present the story as a crime novel that did not take itself too seriously. Having said that there were many poignant, sad and memorable moments and in particular the character of Lieutenant Oliver a heart broken man who lost his wife to cancer and his beloved daughter Cassie in a road accident..."The utter helplessness of it all, the infuriating helplessness. Just like that Cassie was gone, and he was left with himself, a husk of the father, the husband, the police officer who gripped life with both hands and his tender regard for it."

 

The writing flowed, the story flowed, and the ending was both unexpected yet highly appropriate, with many memorable quotes...."Balance, he has learned, is a state of mind that can easily become imbalanced." Many thanks to the good people at Medallion Press who supplied me with a gratis copy of this wonderful, funny, emotional tale with a heart of gold....a highly enjoyable 5 star read!