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When you're dreaming, it's dangerous to wake up . . . An addictive psychological thriller from David Mark, currently writing "at the top of his game" (Publishers Weekly) Liz Zahavi is desperate. Desperate for her controlling partner, Jay, to stay with her, to actually love her. Desperate to be well again, after a recent diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. Desp When you're dreaming, it's dangerous to wake up . . . An addictive psychological thriller from David Mark, currently writing "at the top of his game" (Publishers Weekly) Liz Zahavi is desperate. Desperate for her controlling partner, Jay, to stay with her, to actually love her. Desperate to be well again, after a recent diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. Desperate to be understood. Private therapy seems like the answer to her prayers, but Liz doesn't even make it to her first appointment. Lost in a maze of country roads, she crashes her car, only to be rescued by a brooding local farmer . . . who just keeps on rescuing her. Attractive and intense, Jude is a dream, and Liz doesn't want to wake up. But four years ago, Jude's perfect, pretty wife died alone in the woods near their house. And as Jude's past boils into the present, threatening to destroy their new happiness, Liz begins to wonder what exactly her new man is capable of . . . and how far he's willing to go.


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When you're dreaming, it's dangerous to wake up . . . An addictive psychological thriller from David Mark, currently writing "at the top of his game" (Publishers Weekly) Liz Zahavi is desperate. Desperate for her controlling partner, Jay, to stay with her, to actually love her. Desperate to be well again, after a recent diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. Desp When you're dreaming, it's dangerous to wake up . . . An addictive psychological thriller from David Mark, currently writing "at the top of his game" (Publishers Weekly) Liz Zahavi is desperate. Desperate for her controlling partner, Jay, to stay with her, to actually love her. Desperate to be well again, after a recent diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. Desperate to be understood. Private therapy seems like the answer to her prayers, but Liz doesn't even make it to her first appointment. Lost in a maze of country roads, she crashes her car, only to be rescued by a brooding local farmer . . . who just keeps on rescuing her. Attractive and intense, Jude is a dream, and Liz doesn't want to wake up. But four years ago, Jude's perfect, pretty wife died alone in the woods near their house. And as Jude's past boils into the present, threatening to destroy their new happiness, Liz begins to wonder what exactly her new man is capable of . . . and how far he's willing to go.

30 review for Suspicious Minds

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paromjit

    David Mark has flourished ever since he let go of his ties to a crime series, letting his imaginative mind run riot in numerous directions, all of them on the darker side of life. Here, it is his characterisation that is stellar, 34 year old Liz Zahavi lives in Durham with her partner, Jay, with a close relationship to her step daughter, 9 year old Anya. Jay is far from a ideal man, he erodes any sense of self esteem Liz might have, providing her with barely enough money to live on. Despite this David Mark has flourished ever since he let go of his ties to a crime series, letting his imaginative mind run riot in numerous directions, all of them on the darker side of life. Here, it is his characterisation that is stellar, 34 year old Liz Zahavi lives in Durham with her partner, Jay, with a close relationship to her step daughter, 9 year old Anya. Jay is far from a ideal man, he erodes any sense of self esteem Liz might have, providing her with barely enough money to live on. Despite this, Liz believes she is lucky to have Jay, she knows she is a difficult person to live with, having been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). This means she is emotionally volatile, swinging from intense highs to lows, her behaviour often impulsive, with a tendency to overshare, paranoid, obsessive and unstable, plagued by disturbed patterns of thinking and perception, with a tendency for self sabotage. To say that she is a hard person to handle is an understatement, this is not a easy mental health issue to live with. The story opens with Liz and Anya in desperate danger, and we go back 8 months to understand how they ended up in this terrifying situation. Liz is making her way to Corbridge for a first appointment with a therapist, only to find herself lost and in a car accident. She is helped by a good looking local farmer, Jude, introducing herself as Betsy, there is an immediate attraction between them. As Liz's relationship breaks down in spectacular and almost tragic circumstances, she goes to live with Jude in what at first appears to be a rural idyll. However, not all is as at seems, there are local rumours that Jude murdered his animal activist wife, Maeve, and hints of a much darker and dangerous side to him. Then there is the local lord of the manor, intent on driving Jude out of his home, by any means necessary, including brutal violence and horrifying intimidation tactics. Given Betsy's BPD, her propensity for self sabotage and growing suspicions of Jude, is their love a doomed affair? Mark does a wonderful job in illustrating what BPD means for a person, the issues that make life hard, but what broke my heart was the desperate and devastating trauma and abuse Betsy has suffered as a child with her drug addict mother, the care and foster homes, the self harm, depression and suicide attempts in her past and how she is so often disbelieved. This is a dark, edgy and entertaining character driven melodrama that turns into an unexpectedly twisted and surprising thriller. Once again the author writes a totally absorbing, riveting, and an unsettling psychological crime read that I am certain many readers will love. Many thanks to Severn House for an ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    34 year old Liz Zahavi, or Betsy as she now prefers to be known, has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). She has no control of her feelings, leading to impulsive behaviour, disturbed patterns of thinking and deception, and sadly, it’s causing constant rows with partner Jay. She’s desperate to hang onto Jay, she gets on really well with his daughter Anya too, and she longs to have a stable relationship, even though he shows little understanding of her illness, constantly criticises her, and con 34 year old Liz Zahavi, or Betsy as she now prefers to be known, has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). She has no control of her feelings, leading to impulsive behaviour, disturbed patterns of thinking and deception, and sadly, it’s causing constant rows with partner Jay. She’s desperate to hang onto Jay, she gets on really well with his daughter Anya too, and she longs to have a stable relationship, even though he shows little understanding of her illness, constantly criticises her, and controls every part of her life. In the hope that she can save her relationship, she arranges to see a private therapist, but driving to her first appointment, she loses her way, and ends up on a lonely country lane, and is involved in a collision with another car, belonging to a local and very aggressive landowner. Local farmer, Jude, comes to her rescue, and she finds she can’t stop thinking about him, he’s so different to Jay, so caring. The great news is, Jude feels the same way about her, and she leaves Jay for him. But of course, everyone has a past, secrets they prefer to bury, and Jude is no exception. Rumours abound about Jude’s violent side, and Betsy begins to question whether Jude’s wife, who was found dead in the woods 4 years ago, really died accidentally, or did Jude have a hand in it. David Mark has a pace and rhythm to his writing that sucks you right in, from the way he brings the countryside to life so vividly, his sensitivity for the landscape, to the nuances of each character. His portrayal of someone suffering from BPD, is faultless, the storyline is gripping, and, though not all the characters are likeable, they fit their roles perfectly, in this compelling psychological thriller. * Thank you to Severn House Publishers for my ARC. I have given an honest unbiased review in exchange *

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: It didn't matter that this was where his last real lover had died. It was their place now. Theirs She saw a tartan blanket, a thermos of tea; triangular sandwiches packed in opaque Tupperware, all plucked from a wicker hamper. She'd visualized him, leaning against the old beech tree, both arms around her like lengths of tarred rope, telling her the names of the plants and plucking stray twigs and silvery catkins from her hair. She saw herself barefoot; dirty-kneed in a ragamuffin dress, EXCERPT: It didn't matter that this was where his last real lover had died. It was their place now. Theirs She saw a tartan blanket, a thermos of tea; triangular sandwiches packed in opaque Tupperware, all plucked from a wicker hamper. She'd visualized him, leaning against the old beech tree, both arms around her like lengths of tarred rope, telling her the names of the plants and plucking stray twigs and silvery catkins from her hair. She saw herself barefoot; dirty-kneed in a ragamuffin dress, a tartan shawl pinned with a sprig of holly. Fantasy, of course, but one of her best... 'Sweet chestnut,' he'd said, slapping a random tree trunk. 'This one's ash. The brambles have bound their branches. They're holding hands, look. And up there; that bracket of mushrooms - they can cure sore throats. Taste OK too. Nice in a stir-fry. They tend to explode if you let the fat get too hot, but I like a meal that offers an element of danger . . . ' Come back, Liz. Liz! Oh for God's sake . . . Betsy!' The words come from within her: a chorus of voices, each gasping as if running out of air. She registers pain, suddenly. Pain and loss and fear. ABOUT 'SUSPICIOUS MINDS': Liz Zahavi is desperate. Desperate for her controlling partner, Jay, to stay with her, to actually love her. Desperate to be well again, after a recent diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. Desperate to be understood. Private therapy seems like the answer to her prayers, but Liz doesn't even make it to her first appointment. Lost in a maze of country roads, she crashes her car, only to be rescued by a brooding local farmer . . . who just keeps on rescuing her. Attractive and intense, Jude is a dream, and Liz doesn't want to wake up. But four years ago, Jude's perfect, pretty wife died alone in the woods near their house. And as Jude's past boils into the present, threatening to destroy their new happiness, Liz begins to wonder what exactly her new man is capable of . . . and how far he's willing to go. MY THOUGHTS: David Mark's writing style is both raw and brutal, and almost poetic. He certainly has a way with words and an innate ability to draw the reader into the scene he has created. His characters are larger than life - they seem to explode from the page and wedge themselves firmly into the reader's mind. Liz Zahavi, legally Elizabeth, but Betsy in her heart, has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. This is a disorder of mood and how a person interacts with others. It is characterized by emotional instability, disturbed patterns of thinking, impulsive behaviour and the tendency to form intense but unstable relationships. Her partner, Jay, is controlling, domineering, almost OCD. Liz, not Betsy, thinks that if she ran past him in flames, his major concern would be that the curtains didn't catch alight. He threatens her, often, telling her that no one else would put up with her,that she cannot survive without him. He erodes her confidence, stamps out any small spark of independence. But she has a good relationship with his young daughter Anya, who sees her as a free spirit, a welcome antidote to her rigid, work obsessed parents. Her family is a nightmare. Her mother was abusive. Her sister thinks she is lucky to have Jay to look after her. Lost and alone she meets Jude, who rescues her from an encounter with Campion, local landowner, bully and worse. I thought of Hitler. And then he just keeps on rescuing her, dismissing her concerns about her BPD, saying that he loves the fire in her, that it should never be dampened or extinguished. And Betsy (not Liz, though Liz will come to visit from time to time) senses something timeless in Jude. He is nurturing and gentle, but there is a sense of darkness and violence lurking beneath. Suspicious Minds is a book that crosses a lot of boundaries. There is a fair bit of darkness and violence in this story. But it is not gratuitous. It fits. It is a story of greed and dominance, of people who use violence and threats as a means to an end, interwoven with a beautiful story of two lost people finding themselves and each other. It is also tempered with a dry wit that had me snorting with laughter at times. I was impressed and will be seeking out other books this author has written. Oh, and just for the record, the cover doesn't do this book justice. ⭐⭐⭐⭐.3 #SuspiciousMinds #NetGalley 'She finds herself furious that she smell of freshly baked scones cannot be trapped in an aerosol and sold as a room deodoriser.' 'Don't overthink it. Don't analyse it to death. Don't deconstruct it, because it might not fit back together again.' 'Long before social media, the world was full of wankers.' THE AUTHOR: David Mark spent more than 15 years as a journalist, including seven years as a crime reporter with The Yorkshire Post—walking the Hull streets that would later become the setting for the Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy novels. He lives in Yorkshire, England. DISCLOSURE Thank you to Severn House via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Suspicious Minds for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ceecee

    Elizabeth (Betsy/Lizzie/Liz) Zahavi is in a relationship with controlling Jay. Recently diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder she arranges an appointment with a therapist. She gets hideously lost on her way, ends up in a remote valley, gets very confused and crashes her car. She is rescued by Jude ... what unfolds over the next year tests Liz to her limits in this extremely well written thriller. First of all, kudos to the author for the way he portrays Liz’s condition with the dreamlik Elizabeth (Betsy/Lizzie/Liz) Zahavi is in a relationship with controlling Jay. Recently diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder she arranges an appointment with a therapist. She gets hideously lost on her way, ends up in a remote valley, gets very confused and crashes her car. She is rescued by Jude ... what unfolds over the next year tests Liz to her limits in this extremely well written thriller. First of all, kudos to the author for the way he portrays Liz’s condition with the dreamlike quality of some of her rambling thoughts and her mood swings which can go from highs to such lows to the degree that she has been suicidal. Liz is immensely likeable, I love her randomness, her lively personality and her humour. Jude is enigmatic so it takes a while to weigh him up but you so want to believe in him. There’s a good mix of characters, some to loathe and fear and some to like and all are well depicted. There’s a dreamlike, weird Gothic vibe to this story which I love with settings that are atmospheric. There are some rich, beautiful and often magical descriptions. The story is full of tension and suspense, there’s malice and cruelty, there are some evil, violent characters who try to get what they want any way they can. The valley becomes a scene from something more akin to the Wild West, you can clearly see who the ‘baddies’ are, you are fairly certain who the ‘goodies’ are and what they are fighting for and why. However, you cannot be sure who is pulling the strings which makes this extremely intriguing but also chilling. The ending is tense, exciting and has an unexpected twist. Overall, I think this is an excellent thriller with a very good plot that enthrals to the end. With thanks to NetGalley and Severn House for the arc for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jannelies

    The word 'intense' doesn't even begin to describe this book. It starts with Lizzy and her stepdaughter in a very frightening situation, and from there the story of how they come to be in the woods together folds back to where Lizzy was not even a year ago. Not happy, but safe nevertheless. Caught in a relationship with someone who is absolutely not respecting her, and mainly needs her to be a cook, a cleaner and a babysitter for his young daughter Anya. Luckily Anya and Lizzy get along fine, som The word 'intense' doesn't even begin to describe this book. It starts with Lizzy and her stepdaughter in a very frightening situation, and from there the story of how they come to be in the woods together folds back to where Lizzy was not even a year ago. Not happy, but safe nevertheless. Caught in a relationship with someone who is absolutely not respecting her, and mainly needs her to be a cook, a cleaner and a babysitter for his young daughter Anya. Luckily Anya and Lizzy get along fine, sometimes too fine according to her boyfriend. All her life Lizzy felt a little different, and now she's diagnosed with BPD, she knows why. Determent to find someone to help her, she makes an appointment with a clinic but on the way, she gets lost. Lost in the country, but also very much lost in her own mind. Although I have no idea how it is to live with (someone who has) BPD, the way David Mark writes about it, I felt very sorry for Lizzy in the first place. It's not easy for her family and friends but I wouldn't want to be so utterly destroyed when getting a little lost on the way to an appointment as Lizzy is. She's rescued, and a whole new life begins. Although... there are forces at work that are set upon destroying this new life. And Lizzy has to fight even harder to maintain what she has now. An excellent, excellent story that shows us that people who are suffering from a mental disease are not crazy or stupid, just different. Lizzy is a great personality. There are some other characters in the book who show that being very rich or from privileged background, won't say you are a good person with the well-being of people and animals in mind. As much as I like the McAvoy series, I'm very happy I got send a digital review copy of this standalone novel. Thanks to Netgalley and Severn House.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Linda Strong

    Liz fights daily to keep her controlling partner, Jay, leaving her. She's recently been diagnosed with BPD - Borderline Personality Disorder. She wants to be well, to be understood, to be loved. Jay talks her into making an appointment to see a therapist, and on her way, Liz gets lost and eventually she runs off the road. Thankfully, she's not badly hurt, but she has no idea where she actually is. A local farmer, Jude, comes to her rescue. There is an instant attraction. Jude is calm, polite, in d Liz fights daily to keep her controlling partner, Jay, leaving her. She's recently been diagnosed with BPD - Borderline Personality Disorder. She wants to be well, to be understood, to be loved. Jay talks her into making an appointment to see a therapist, and on her way, Liz gets lost and eventually she runs off the road. Thankfully, she's not badly hurt, but she has no idea where she actually is. A local farmer, Jude, comes to her rescue. There is an instant attraction. Jude is calm, polite, in direct contrast with Jay who is anything but calm and insists on yelling at her and disparaging anything and everything she does. But Jude also has secrets. Jude's wife died alone in the woods near his home. His past is rearing up and Liza wonders exactly what this new man in her life is capable of doing. Was he responsible for his wife's death? A high level of mystery starts off the story and maintains that pacing until the surprising conclusion. Characters are solidly drawn and not all are what they seem to be. It's well written with twists and turns to keep the reader riveted. Many thanks to the author / Severn House / Netgalley for the digital copy of this psychological thriller. Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    I love the McEvoy series.That said,this one was awful.Reads like a Harlequin romance,as bad and silly as that.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Hannelore Cheney

    Thank you NetGalley and Severn House for the eARC. David Mark has done it again, I absolutely love this author. Liz Zahavi had Borderline Personality Disorder and is in a shaky relationship with Jay, desperate for his love, but he constantly belittles her. The only good thing in the relationship is his little daughter, who loves her. On a trip to her psychiatrist she gets hopefully lost, ends up in a car accident and rested by a farmer. She ends up leaving home and staying with the farmer, Jude. Sh Thank you NetGalley and Severn House for the eARC. David Mark has done it again, I absolutely love this author. Liz Zahavi had Borderline Personality Disorder and is in a shaky relationship with Jay, desperate for his love, but he constantly belittles her. The only good thing in the relationship is his little daughter, who loves her. On a trip to her psychiatrist she gets hopefully lost, ends up in a car accident and rested by a farmer. She ends up leaving home and staying with the farmer, Jude. She falls deeply in love, but her mind keeps playing trips. Is he as good as he seems to be or is he secretly a violent murderer? This is such an intense read! It was disturbing, lyrical and impossible to put down. Liz is not that likeable in the beginning because of her thought processes, but the further I got into the story, the more I admired her. The constant threat the couple gets from some of the villagers is frightening, but Jude refuses to give in to them and Liz becomes a strong, feisty woman despite all odds.I Another great standalone from Mr. Mark; he's become one of those authors I wait for with bated breath please!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bronwyn

    Liz, or Betsy as she now calls herself, has BPD. Desperate for her current partner to love her, and equally desperate to get better, her life changes after she never makes it to her first therapy appointment. Rescued by Jude, seemingly a knight in shining armour compared to her current existence, things start to make a turn for the worse when she is dragged into the murkiness of Jude's past, present and future. I was hooked. I started reading this book this morning and didn't put it down again u Liz, or Betsy as she now calls herself, has BPD. Desperate for her current partner to love her, and equally desperate to get better, her life changes after she never makes it to her first therapy appointment. Rescued by Jude, seemingly a knight in shining armour compared to her current existence, things start to make a turn for the worse when she is dragged into the murkiness of Jude's past, present and future. I was hooked. I started reading this book this morning and didn't put it down again until I had finished it. The description of what was going on inside Betsy's head was so illustrative that it made you question everything about everyone else, and you were really put in her shoes. This does give this book potential to be triggering, so those concerned should read with caution. I have not read a book like this before. I have read about protagonists with paranoia, and protagonists who have mental illnesses, but not to this extent. The author makes you want to root for Betsy as you can see her as the rainbow in a sky of grey clouds, but he also appears to capture the reality of it. You forgive her anyway. I do not have BPD so I cannot advocate for whether it is truly accurate, but it appeared convincing, and it didn't detract from her likability in my opinion. Overall, it was an intriguing and explosive plot and a book that I would definitely recommend to those who enjoy a psychological thriller. Thank you so much to Netgalley and Severn House for the opportunity to review this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tiger

    A standalone from the author of the outstanding Aector McAvoy series, this book was just OK for me. Elizabeth, a sufferer of Borderline Personality Disorder, is in a car accident and taken to refuge by Jude, a young, handsome, reclusive farmer. Over time, Liz learns more about Jude and his questionable past, including the death of his wife. Then as shady, powerful land owners pressure Jude to sell, Liz also sees a very violent side of Jude. Told in chapters from the past, this was a search for t A standalone from the author of the outstanding Aector McAvoy series, this book was just OK for me. Elizabeth, a sufferer of Borderline Personality Disorder, is in a car accident and taken to refuge by Jude, a young, handsome, reclusive farmer. Over time, Liz learns more about Jude and his questionable past, including the death of his wife. Then as shady, powerful land owners pressure Jude to sell, Liz also sees a very violent side of Jude. Told in chapters from the past, this was a search for truth by Liz........who really is Jude ? Not as dark as most of David Mark's work, this was a solid read but lacked that important "Wow" factor that I always look for. Thanks to David Mark, Net Galley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Louise Mullins

    This is a top-notch psychological thriller. Original, compelling, and coated in layers of complex interwoven threads of mystery that by the end appeared so tangled I had no idea where it was heading, who the bad guys were, or what would become of the good. That's why I loved this book. Not only is it richly plotted with fantastic characterisation but is so beautifully descriptive I didn't want to miss one word. This is a top-notch psychological thriller. Original, compelling, and coated in layers of complex interwoven threads of mystery that by the end appeared so tangled I had no idea where it was heading, who the bad guys were, or what would become of the good. That's why I loved this book. Not only is it richly plotted with fantastic characterisation but is so beautifully descriptive I didn't want to miss one word.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Karyn

    I absolutely loved this book. I had not read any previous works by David Mark but I read a great review by a friend on goodreads and she raved about this book. I trust her reviews so I took a chance and I could not have been more thrilled by this thriller! I am a new and true fan. I can’t wait to read David Mark’s next novel.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kath

    Firstly, I have to applaud the author's description of BPD which is the condition that the main character Liz suffers from. He has the struggles that come with this mental health issue down pat in accordance to what I understand about it from my work with sufferers of BPD or EUPD as it is often now known as too. So Liz lives with partner Jay and his daughter Anya. On the face of things they are coping and ticking along OK. But Liz is never far from a crisis and she feels that Jay is getting to t Firstly, I have to applaud the author's description of BPD which is the condition that the main character Liz suffers from. He has the struggles that come with this mental health issue down pat in accordance to what I understand about it from my work with sufferers of BPD or EUPD as it is often now known as too. So Liz lives with partner Jay and his daughter Anya. On the face of things they are coping and ticking along OK. But Liz is never far from a crisis and she feels that Jay is getting to the end of his tether so she makes an appointment with a professional. Sadly she never makes the appointment as she gets a bit too worked up and her journey to the therapist's house is a bit of a disaster, culminating in her getting lost and crashing her car. She's in a bit of a spot until a knight in shining armour comes to her rescue in the form of Jude, a nearby farmer who picks her up, takes her to his to rest and get cleaned up, gets her car sorted, all before dropping her back to her sister's house. It's a short but very intense connection Liz has with Jude, one that she eventually is desperate to return to and it isn't long before Jay gives her reason to do just that. But Jude has a past which also threatens his present and, by association, Liz's too. As she falls deeper both under his spell and into his world, that world gets more and more dangerous. How far will he go to protect what is his and where does Liz fit into that equation? Well... this hit the ground running and didn't let up until the very end. Jam packed with action and intrigue and menace and, well quite a bit of emotion too. Well, that's the nature of BPD. We start with Liz and Anya in peril and then go back a few months to fill in the time that led up to what happened. We learn that Jude is not all he seems, we meet the lord of the manor who was present when Liz had her rash and his wife who both play key roles in what is happening to Jude. And then there's Maeve, Jude's deceased wife whose death is not wholly explained and fingers are still pointing to various people... All the time Liz is just wanting love and safety and security. Whew... what a ride! It's dark and creepy and very character driven. Pacing is slow in parts as the layers build up but follow the narrative well, speeding up as the action gets going. It's hard to read in parts as Liz's story is quite harrowing in places, but at the same time it drew me in so hard that I was powerless to step away. It really did suck me in, only spitting me out at the end, knackered but wholly satisfied. I've read a few of this author's stand alone books and I know he has also written a series and I know I keep saying I will give that a whirl. I am still yet to do that but I will do my best to fit them in between this and his next new book. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Suspicious Minds by David Mark is a multi-layered domestic mystery. Elizabeth "Liz" Zahavi has recently discovered she has Boderline Personality Disorder. But she is placed on a waiting list for treatment. She lives with her boyfriend Jay and does not work outside the home.  After Jay finally agrees to pay for a private counselor, Liz sets up her first appointment. Unfortunately she gets lost in the countryside and crashes into another vehicle on her way to meet the psychologist. This unlucky ser Suspicious Minds by David Mark is a multi-layered domestic mystery. Elizabeth "Liz" Zahavi has recently discovered she has Boderline Personality Disorder. But she is placed on a waiting list for treatment. She lives with her boyfriend Jay and does not work outside the home.  After Jay finally agrees to pay for a private counselor, Liz sets up her first appointment. Unfortunately she gets lost in the countryside and crashes into another vehicle on her way to meet the psychologist. This unlucky series of events ultimately ends up changing her life when she is rescued by Jude Cullen. After a traumatic encounter with Jay, Liz, (who now calls herself Betsy), moves in with Jude. Liz and her sister Carly's childhood was dysfunctional and they eventually ended up in foster care. While Carly mostly has her life together, Liz has not been as lucky. Although not entirely happy living with Jay, she stays with him since she has limited options. Now she has a definitive diagnosis, Liz hopes she can to get her negative thoughts and wild mood swings under control. After her car accident, Liz is intrigued by Jude and she looks forward to his texts. At the same time, she discovers shocking information about Jay and her reaction sets in motion a violent confrontation with him. Jude offers her a quiet place to land in the aftermath and she is happy with their solitary life. However, Betsy is unable to quiet the little voice that keeps telling her he is too good to be true. Jude does have a rather tragic past that he does not talk about. He is also locked in a battle of wills with a wealthy landowner. Betsy continues to push aside her misgivings but she will soon have no choice but to confront Jude about the secrets he is keeping. Their relationship remains fraught and Betsy begins to harbor doubts about her decision to live with him.  Continuing to ignore her misgivings, Jude's issues eventually become a looming problem that are becoming increasingly dangerous. Suspicious Minds is a clever mystery with an interesting cast of characters. Betsy is often her own worst enemy as she tries to protect herself emotionally. Jude is an even-tempered caring man with a mysterious past. With the tension building to an unbearable pitch, David Mark brings this unique domestic mystery to a suspenseful conclusion. An outstanding mystery I highly recommend to fans of the  genre.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer (JC-S)

    ‘Eight months ago… A nice house in a nice neighbourhood.’ Liz Zahavi has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). A diagnostic label that raises more issues than it defines. Liz is desperate for answers: she wants to be understood, she wants to be well; she wants her partner Jay to stay with her (he has threatened to leave plenty of times). Liz hopes that therapy will help, and when Jay agrees to pay for private therapy, she is keen to make it work. After all, Liz thinks she is ‘Eight months ago… A nice house in a nice neighbourhood.’ Liz Zahavi has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). A diagnostic label that raises more issues than it defines. Liz is desperate for answers: she wants to be understood, she wants to be well; she wants her partner Jay to stay with her (he has threatened to leave plenty of times). Liz hopes that therapy will help, and when Jay agrees to pay for private therapy, she is keen to make it work. After all, Liz thinks she is lucky to have Jay in her life and she has a good relationship with her 9-year-old stepdaughter, Anya. An appointment is made, and Liz sets off. But a car crash on the way to her first appointment changes things. Jude, a local farmer, with his own history of tragedy, rescues her. While this story made me uncomfortable in places, I admire the way in which Mr Marks developed Liz’s character. Mr Marks captures the emotional volatility and impulsive behaviour of BPD, which can be a difficult mental health condition to live with. But I kept wanting to step outside the story, to slow it down and get Liz to focus. Can she find happiness? And what about Jude? An unsettling read. Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Severn House Publishers for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes. Jennifer Cameron-Smith

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Brody

    Suspicious Minds by David Mark is a compelling thriller. It features a somewhat unlikely female protagonist in Betsy who is diagnosed with BPD (borderline personality disorder). She has wide mood swings and regularly sabotages herself. As the novel starts, she’s driving to her first appointment with a counselor and gets lost in a rural area. She’s frazzled trying to find her location on the car GPS and then her car gets clipped and thrown off the road by another vehicle. Jude, a rough hewn man w Suspicious Minds by David Mark is a compelling thriller. It features a somewhat unlikely female protagonist in Betsy who is diagnosed with BPD (borderline personality disorder). She has wide mood swings and regularly sabotages herself. As the novel starts, she’s driving to her first appointment with a counselor and gets lost in a rural area. She’s frazzled trying to find her location on the car GPS and then her car gets clipped and thrown off the road by another vehicle. Jude, a rough hewn man with a mysterious past rescues her. The novel revolves around Jude’s protective relationship with his pastoral home and the gentry who oppose him. Betsy is caught in the crossfire. Her suspicious nature forces the reader to question Jude and his past. This is a compelling and well crafted read, quite different from the earlier police procedurals by this author. One similarity is that his male protagonists have intellectual and artistic depths more generally associated with less physically imposing men of action.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    I’m sorry, I really didn’t like this book. I’m afraid it was just too gothic and weird with characters I didn’t care enough about to be interested. Lizzie and her stepdaughter are in a terrifying situation, the story then goes back 8 months to explain how and why they are in this predicament. Lizzie suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder and is in a strange and controlling relationship with Jay. The writing style didn’t engage me and I’m afraid it was all too weird for me and I soon lost in I’m sorry, I really didn’t like this book. I’m afraid it was just too gothic and weird with characters I didn’t care enough about to be interested. Lizzie and her stepdaughter are in a terrifying situation, the story then goes back 8 months to explain how and why they are in this predicament. Lizzie suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder and is in a strange and controlling relationship with Jay. The writing style didn’t engage me and I’m afraid it was all too weird for me and I soon lost interest in finding out.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mary Picken

    You never quite know what you’re going to get from David Mark, and I love that. Because you do know that whatever he offers in his stand-alone novels will be compelling reading and is bound to hold your attention right through the book. There’s richness and depth to his writing, combined with a willingness to go down whatever path the story takes, that makes each book journey a fascinating one. In Suspicious Minds, Mark beautifully portrays Liz Zahavi, a woman living with her controlling partner, You never quite know what you’re going to get from David Mark, and I love that. Because you do know that whatever he offers in his stand-alone novels will be compelling reading and is bound to hold your attention right through the book. There’s richness and depth to his writing, combined with a willingness to go down whatever path the story takes, that makes each book journey a fascinating one. In Suspicious Minds, Mark beautifully portrays Liz Zahavi, a woman living with her controlling partner, Jay and enjoying her relationship with his 9 year old daughter, Anya. Liz is also living with Borderline Personality Disorder, a mental health condition which renders her behaviour unpredictable; her actions are often impulsive and she has a tendency to say what she thinks irrespective of the consequences. Liz knows, because Jay tells her often enough, just how lucky she is that Jay puts up with her. All he asks is that she tries to be a half decent homemaker. So Liz tries her best to be what she is not and makes an appointment with a therapist to appease Jay. On her way to the first appointment, nervous and unsure about what she is doing, she gets lost and muddled by the sat nav and has a car accident. A collision with a rather unpleasant local land owner leaves her distressed and upset until she is rescued by Jude, a brooding, rather good looking, local farmer. There is an immediate and instinctive spark between them and Liz becomes Betsy, a different woman to the one that Jay knows. When Liz lets Jude take over and sort everything out, she feels a strong connection to him and so when her life with Jay implodes spectacularly, it is to Jude that she turns. At this point I wondered whether Mark was going for an intense and emotional romantic drama, but with the Hardy-esque references it was always clear that this relationship was going to have an emotional intensity that would create ripples beyond their solitary existence and that proves to be the case in spades. For Jude is in the midst of a battle and Liz – or Betsy as she now styles herself – finds herself questioning whether she really knows this man at all. Her BPD causes her to second guess everything and when she hears things about Jude that cause her concern, and then she sees what he could be capable of, she begins to wonder what she has got herself into. David Mark has created a great character in Liz/Betsy. A woman whose backstory is traumatic and whose BPD means that she can never quite be sure if what she thinks is related to her mental health condition or is something else entirely. This lends an unsettling and quietly disturbing air to a woman who has so much capacity for joy and love that it is upsetting to see her setbacks caused by self-doubt. Darkness and violence enter her world with hugely distressing consequences until she does not know who to trust or whether she has made the right choice about the man she loves. Verdict: Suspicious Minds is another cracker of a book from David Mark. Dark, absorbing and edgy, this is a psychological thriller that had me wholly in its grasp, not letting go until the last page. For all that though, it’s also clear that Mark is a romantic and that pleases me no end.

  19. 5 out of 5

    A.J. Sefton

    This is a story about mental illness, coercive control and trust. A woman battles her mind and her dominating husband until she finds a lovely fantasy man who seems to good to be true. The book looks at depression and particularly Borderline Personality Disorder and the effects on those around them in great detail. At times the minutiae of email conversations is tedious, even if it is accurate. Often slow in moving forward, the tale contains beautiful, hallucinogenic descriptions of nature that s This is a story about mental illness, coercive control and trust. A woman battles her mind and her dominating husband until she finds a lovely fantasy man who seems to good to be true. The book looks at depression and particularly Borderline Personality Disorder and the effects on those around them in great detail. At times the minutiae of email conversations is tedious, even if it is accurate. Often slow in moving forward, the tale contains beautiful, hallucinogenic descriptions of nature that serve to contrast with the scenes of horror, creating a tense confusion towards the end. ​The book opens with a distressing sequence where a woman and child are in a woodland and are injured. They are being forced to go somewhere against their will. The next chapter begins the disturbing mental slog up to this point, demonstrating that mental illness is not confined to those with a diagnosis. A well written and spellbinding tale for those who like vivid psychological suspense.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    Did Jude rescue Liz/Betsy or did her condemn her to...? This opens with Liz, who also identifies as Betsy, in a terrible situation, along with Anya, the daughter of her partner Jay, and then it moves back in time detail how they got there. Liz has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and is struggling to deal with Jay, who isn't the best guy. She runs off the road while on a trip to see a psychiatrist and is rescued by Jude, a mysterious farmer she falls in love with. She le Did Jude rescue Liz/Betsy or did her condemn her to...? This opens with Liz, who also identifies as Betsy, in a terrible situation, along with Anya, the daughter of her partner Jay, and then it moves back in time detail how they got there. Liz has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and is struggling to deal with Jay, who isn't the best guy. She runs off the road while on a trip to see a psychiatrist and is rescued by Jude, a mysterious farmer she falls in love with. She leave Jay for Jude but then discovers that he's suspected of killing his wife Maeve, the people in the area don't like him, and there's something creepy going on. This gets Gothic. It changes in tone as you read and becomes faster paced so know that you won't get spoilers from me. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A good read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Robin Price

    Cumbria, Northumberland and County Durham, the most northerly counties of England, were once my home, a place I loved, a part of England's green and pleasant land. A vast landscape, ancient and pagan. David Mark brings fear, terror and bloodshed to this ancient land. It permeates every page and is as memorable as the Yorkshire moors of 'Wuthering Heights'. A tiny cast of central characters are written with passion and perfection. The landscape and the characters blend into a darkness that tingles Cumbria, Northumberland and County Durham, the most northerly counties of England, were once my home, a place I loved, a part of England's green and pleasant land. A vast landscape, ancient and pagan. David Mark brings fear, terror and bloodshed to this ancient land. It permeates every page and is as memorable as the Yorkshire moors of 'Wuthering Heights'. A tiny cast of central characters are written with passion and perfection. The landscape and the characters blend into a darkness that tingles with expectation like the moments before a storm. Nobody writes crime thrillers better than this. David Mark deserves bestseller status and fame.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    A kind of psychological thriller with a myriad of characters bringing twists that made you wonder who was doing what and to whom. Elizabeth/Liz/Betsy is diagnosed with BPD and so has erratic behaviour. Living with controlling Jay she sets off but never gets to an appointment but through an accident meets Jude who also has a chequered life. She moved in with him and one wonders whether he is another control freak. Liz ends up in danger but the surprise is in finding who is actually behind the thr A kind of psychological thriller with a myriad of characters bringing twists that made you wonder who was doing what and to whom. Elizabeth/Liz/Betsy is diagnosed with BPD and so has erratic behaviour. Living with controlling Jay she sets off but never gets to an appointment but through an accident meets Jude who also has a chequered life. She moved in with him and one wonders whether he is another control freak. Liz ends up in danger but the surprise is in finding who is actually behind the threats. I just did not relate to the characters so did not totally enjoy the book

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jodell

    Normally this is the type of book I would read yet I couldn't get into it. The Author could have made Betsy so much more compelling and smarter for having BLP but he made her more quacky instead. It disappointed me. Because I'm sure there are many people who have metal illness that are quite clever, smart, and don't walk around being ditzy as she was described in this book. I'm glad the author gave her a man who saw past the mental illness but yet it was not quite enough. Normally this is the type of book I would read yet I couldn't get into it. The Author could have made Betsy so much more compelling and smarter for having BLP but he made her more quacky instead. It disappointed me. Because I'm sure there are many people who have metal illness that are quite clever, smart, and don't walk around being ditzy as she was described in this book. I'm glad the author gave her a man who saw past the mental illness but yet it was not quite enough.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    3.5 stars for me. The first chapter was bang, this is going to be a great story. The next couple of chapters fell away for me but then it seemed to warm up. At moments a dark intriguing tale. The power of the mind can be a dangerous thing. What you believe to be true can be misleading. I enjoyed the little snippets of information which built up to the grand finale, a fabulous ending.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Caron

    A good thriller that started off slow but once it got going I was intrigued to find out the ending and carried on reading it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sue Wallace

    Suspicious minds by David Mark. This was a good read. I had to keep putting it down i did find it slow but readable. Likeable characters. 3*.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bookish

    This kept me guessing all the way to the end.

  28. 4 out of 5

    jerry stales

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

  30. 5 out of 5

    Erwin Willems

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