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The Oedipus Murders by Casey Dorman captivates the reader by using unnerving psychological concepts to unearth a murder mystery.

Synopsis

Could the psychiatrist who is treating the husband of a missing woman be the woman’s murderer?

“A jaw-dropping work of contemporary California noir.” —Best Thrillers

A wealthy businessman and his troubled psychiatrist, who suffers from amnesia, both become suspects in a woman’s murder. The dreams of the woman’s husband and the obsessions of the psychiatrist crisscross in a plot that has the police, a forensic psychologist, a private investigator and the psychiatrist himself wondering who is the real killer. The story has enough twists and turns that the reader, like the characters in the story, is unsure who is the real killer. "The Oedipus Murders"is a book you can’t put down.

“A gripping murder mystery and a fascinating journey through the tricks and tribulations of the head, intelligent, illuminating, and immensely entertaining."
Panayotis Cacoyannis, award-winning author of "The Madness of Grief."

“Recalling the great “erotic thrillers” of the 1980s, Dorman’s "The Oedipus Murders" consistently intrigues, excites and surprises. I was fooled time and again as the twists and turns came at me. And I couldn’t have been more delighted.”
Leslie Bohem, Emmy-award winning screenwriter and producer

When you have a gut feeling that something just isn't right about someone, what do you do? Do you distance yourself and shake the feeling off? Do you look for logical explanations for why someone may act strange? If it is a loved one, chances are that you discard the feeling and chalk it up to a bad day or an illness? But what if it was your boss, a friend or a complete stranger? Bottom line is that you just don't know what someone is capable of, even if you think that you know them better than anyone else...they could have a very dangerous secret just under the surface. Dorman engages readers in this story that has been spun around older concepts of psychological study and the fickle semblance of this thing called trust.


In this story, Regina Bonaventure is the wife of a wealthy man and the daughter of an even wealthier man. When she disappears from a bar one night, everyone is on high alert. As the days go by, the police know that the chances of finding Regina alive are slim, even though the pressure is high and the reward to find Regina's whereabouts is even higher. Lucas Bonaventure, Regina's husband, becomes suspect number one. Lucas has this demeanor that screams psychopath, but no one seems to be able to touch him. There is no evidence of his killing his wife, except the fact that he has started seeing a psychiatrist. The police become suspicious after the psychiatrist becomes professionally and somewhat romantically involved with their own hired specialist, Susan Lin. Not only do they have eyes on Lucas, but now some new evidence has started to showcase the psychiatrist as a man of interest once Regina's body is found. How will the police ever find the real killer when every turn leads them do another mystery and both men have something to hide?


According to lore, Oedipus was a very disturbed Greek king of Thebes. There isn't much within Greek Mythology that isn't disturbing if you think about it, but you can definitely give the creators an A+ for creativity. Oedipus was said to have fulfilled a prophecy, albeit accidentally, where he killed his father and married his mother. His tale symbolizes the flawed nature of humanity and the role one plays in his or her own destiny within the world. Through this tale comes the terminology of the Oedipus Complex which is explored in this story. Dorman's way of introducing these concepts may come across as bizarre or frightful, but it is useful in understanding the patterns for why specific characters are crippled or limited with their physical, psychological, and neurological control. The mind is a powerful tool and can be very dangerous. While the concepts and plot are very strong, Dorman does keep aspects of character development shrouded or hidden until certain peaks within the story. It is understandable, but at the same time, this may or may not cause confusion once the transference scenes appear. One thing is certain...the reader may always think they know who the killer is, but there will always be an inkling of doubt in the back of their mind that they could very well be wrong. The story is well-written with little to no grammatical or spelling errors present and the originality of the story is unparalleled.


An electronic copy of this book was provided to Turning Another Page by Reedsy Discovery and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a five-star rating to The Oedipus Murders by Casey Dorman.

Reviewed by

Turning Another Page is a small web-based business, owned and operated out of San Antonio, Texas. Originally created as an official book blog in November 2014, Turning Another Page has successfully grown to encompass services that can be offered to authors worldwide.

Synopsis

Could the psychiatrist who is treating the husband of a missing woman be the woman’s murderer?

“A jaw-dropping work of contemporary California noir.” —Best Thrillers

A wealthy businessman and his troubled psychiatrist, who suffers from amnesia, both become suspects in a woman’s murder. The dreams of the woman’s husband and the obsessions of the psychiatrist crisscross in a plot that has the police, a forensic psychologist, a private investigator and the psychiatrist himself wondering who is the real killer. The story has enough twists and turns that the reader, like the characters in the story, is unsure who is the real killer. "The Oedipus Murders"is a book you can’t put down.

“A gripping murder mystery and a fascinating journey through the tricks and tribulations of the head, intelligent, illuminating, and immensely entertaining."
Panayotis Cacoyannis, award-winning author of "The Madness of Grief."

“Recalling the great “erotic thrillers” of the 1980s, Dorman’s "The Oedipus Murders" consistently intrigues, excites and surprises. I was fooled time and again as the twists and turns came at me. And I couldn’t have been more delighted.”
Leslie Bohem, Emmy-award winning screenwriter and producer

Chapter 1

Descending through the gray curtain of fog, Regina Bonaventure navigated her white Mercedes down the tortuous curves of the narrow streets of Pelican Hill, guided only by the haloed porch lights softly visible on either side of the road. At the bottom of the hill she turned left into the parking lot of a shopping center, the wet pavement shimmering in the mist-muted glow of the metal halide lights perched atop their tall poles. The high-end mall, which fronted on the Pacific Coast Highway, was home to a collection of women’s and children’s boutiques, a hardware store, a supermarket, and three restaurants.

It was nine at night and the stores were dark, their long low line of attached buildings appearing as black shadows against the hillside. Only the lights from the supermarket and restaurants shone through the fog. Regina was badly in need of a drink.

She and Lucas were regulars at two of the restaurants: the expensive steakhouse and the Southwestern style cantina. She’d never entered the Asian restaurant because Lucas didn’t like Asian food. From what her friends told her, it was a generic, Far Eastern dining spot. They’d also said that the restaurant had an elegant bar, which served a variety of cocktails, including exotic oriental drinks and, of course, wine, which was what she so badly needed at this moment. She parked along the side of the restaurant in the shadows near the back, hoping that no one she knew would see her car. She prayed that none of her friends were inside.

The bar was almost empty, and she ordered a glass of chardonnay. She’d had three glasses before leaving the house. The wine had probably contributed to her argument with Lucas—her wine and his whiskeys. It wasn’t the first time that she had left after one of their alcohol-infused fights. She usually fled to the house of a friend. Lately, though, she had been going to bars, places such as this one, but farther away from home, places where she was not likely to be recognized. Although her visits to bars were driven by fear, she also felt a thrill, entering a strange setting, knowing no one… or usually no one. 

She remembered the night she had run into an old friend, someone she hadn’t seen for years. It had been a strange encounter. The man, whom she had known since childhood—a relationship she remembered with some pain—apparently hadn’t recognized her, although she was sure it was him, despite his portly shape and the well-trimmed beard that he now wore. Later, she found him looking at her, staring, until he finally came over to the bar and sat down next to her, but when she addressed him by his name, he seemed confused. Then, as abruptly as he had come, he left without a word.

That was months ago. She never thought about it again except when she entered a bar by herself, as she had tonight. A quick look around told her that there was no one here whom she recognized. She breathed more easily and thought about why she was here.

Lucas was a bully. But he had been her father’s choice and Regina had always done what her father had wanted her to do. Bertram Knowles, her father, whose oil company, with its platforms dotting the Santa Barbara coastline and stretching all the way to Huntington Beach, had sold his self-built business to Exxon Mobile for billions, retiring at the age of forty-two. He’d raised his only child as a princess, especially after her mother died when she was thirteen. At college she’d lived the protected life of a sorority girl, majoring in Romance Languages with vague thoughts of a career in international journalism or fashion advertising. She expected something to materialize through her father’s connections. But when she graduated, her father told her that it was time for her to marry; time to give him a grandchild.

She and Lucas had never had a child. Her doctors told her that she was fertile. Lucas refused to submit to an examination. 

She signaled the waiter to bring her a second chardonnay.

“The man at the end of the bar would like to pay for your drink,” the tall Eurasian bartender said, nodding toward her left.

She looked down the bar. An early-thirties blonde-haired man smiled at her, then winked. He wasn’t bad looking, she thought, well dressed in a light blue sport coat, open-necked shirt, and dark slacks. He looked well built and younger than her. He could be a businessman or a golfer, topping off a day at the office or at the nearby country club with a drink before heading home, someone hoping for a little action to spice up a dreary life. He caught her eye then raised his glass in her direction. He was drinking what appeared to be whiskey. She smiled back but shook her head. “I’ll pay for my own,” she told the bartender, “but thank him.” She wasn’t about to be picked up in a bar, not this close to home, not by someone who winked at her. She shuddered.

Was it time to return home? If she drank many more glasses of wine, she might have difficulty driving, especially in this fog. She’d have one more drink. She downed the rest of her glass in one gulp, then signaled the bartender for another. The man at the end of the bar held up his glass and raised his eyebrows as if in question. She ignored him. Even a second glass of wine had not heightened his appeal.

She sipped the third glass more slowly. Maybe Lucas would have gone to bed. He often retired early when he’d had too many whiskeys, and she was sure that he’d kept drinking after she’d left. But now she needed to use the restroom. Better do it before heading home, she thought. She left her drink half finished and headed for the restroom at the back of the restaurant.

When she returned, she noticed that the man at the end of the bar had gone. She relaxed a little. He looked harmless, but his friendliness had made her uncomfortable.

In the near blackness outside the restaurant, she fumbled with her key, almost dropping her purse. She hadn’t realized how drunk she was. Finally opening the car door, she sat behind the wheel and, with some unsteadiness in her aim, touched a finger to the starter button. The car purred to life, the lights blinking on automatically. She sat for a moment to steady her head. Was she really OK to drive? Startled by a sound behind her, she turned. She stiffened in terror at the face looming at her from the back seat, the hand raised in a closed fist. Before she could utter a cry, the fist slammed into her cheek, knocking her unconscious.

Her assailant climbed out of the car. He pulled the unconscious woman from the driver’s seat, then opened the back door and thrust her limp body onto the back seat. Closing the rear door, he got behind the wheel and backed away from the building and then headed out onto the fog-shrouded ribbon of the Pacific Coast Highway.



About the author

Casey Dorman is a former university professor and dean, a psychologist, a literary review editor, an essayist, and the author of ten novels. His novels borrow from his background as a psychologist and neuroscientist. His mystery, "The Oedipus Murders," explores the intricacies of a killer’s mind view profile

Published on September 12, 2019

Published by Black Rose Writing

70000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Mystery & crime

Reviewed by

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