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The Mask of Sanity by Jacob M. Appel

The Mask of Sanity

by Jacob M. Appel

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Doctor Balint, upright citizen and prominent physician, is a serial killer. The book is publicized as getting inside the mind of a sociopath. Well, he is definitely not a sociopath as his killings are not impulsive and are well planned. He really is not even a psychopath – he is killing for revenge.

However the book is still really good. Appel goes inside the head of this man who has been wronged as he thinks through how he is going to kill his wife’s lover and how to cover it up. Lots of suspense. And the ending – I felt like I was on a speeding bullet train that abruptly stopped. Like slamming me into a brick wall. ( )
  BettyTaylor56 | Jun 16, 2017 |
I really enjoyed this book. Well written, easy to read, and th main character was interested and likeable in a weird way. I was a bit let down by the finale (basically the last sentence). I don't know why, it just didn't seem like the right ending for me. ( )
  jenny_acc | May 23, 2017 |
I was very pleased to receive a hard copy of this book (thank you, thank you!) for my enjoyment. Having read several of Appel’s books, I was anxious to start this newest one, and disappointed I definitely was not. This very fast-paced medical thriller was exactly what I love, as a retired nurse practitioner. Dr. Jeremy Balint seemed on the outside like a very dedicated physician, well-liked by his colleagues and friends. The story starts with the background of Jeremy’s current situation in his marriage and career, but soon takes a huge turn when he discovers his wife in the arms of a fellow-physician. His mind then goes in an ugly direction, working endlessly to end this peer’s life. It is all very easy for him, practicing as he moves towards his goal, on other lives. The book has an ending that leaves room for wonder, so I would love to see a follow-up in the future. Thanks, Dr. Appel - another book well-done. ( )
  annwelton | May 20, 2017 |
This is a story about a serial killer named Doctor Balint. Thankfully, it does not emphasize the goriness of the crimes, but focuses on the rationale Balint used to self-justify murder. Balint experienced life events that could be troubling to any of us, but that could, also, be overcome, or avoided, with empathy for others. He had no empathy and mocked the sensitivities of people around him. After all, his was a life of successes. He had been popular in school, had a good job and money, all of it coming to him easily due to his good looks and high intelligence. Balint was a man to be envied. Only his wife saw the self-centered unempathetic persona.

While the story is, interesting and kept me reading, it was the final twist at the end that made the book memorable. With everything going his way, Balint being free of blame for the murders he committed and destined to live happily ever after with an attractive new wife, it happened.

The ending left me stunned and locked in wonderment hours later. I won’t spoil the story by getting into any particulars about the ending. It’s too good a read and I don’t want to deprive anyone’s reading pleasure. But, if you want to be entranced by a book that compels you to keep reading, and that leaves you pondering after it’s finished, this is the book for you. ( )
  ronploude | May 14, 2017 |
Thank you to Jacob M. Appel for providing me with a copy of The Mask of Sanity in exchange for an honest review. This is the first book I have read by this author and it will not be the last. The novel can be categorized as a psychological thriller about a serial killer who does not fit the mold of a criminal. What makes this book fascinating is that the author puts you in the mind of the killer so that the reader can observe how a sociopath feels about taking innocent lives. The cat-and-mouse between the police and the killer keeps the reader's attention throughout the book. The ending is written in such a manner that a sequel could be a possibility. I look forward to reading more of Jacob Appel's previous books. Highly recommended. ( )
  carole888fort | May 11, 2017 |
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Killing, Balint discovered, was the easy part.
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