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The Mask of Sanity by Jacob M. Appel
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The Mask of Sanity

by Jacob M. Appel

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was a little slow going in the beginning for me, but partway in I just couldn't stop reading! The mask of sanity is very well written and I would definitely recommend it! ( )
  Taysmama | Mar 16, 2017 |
4/5 stars

An interesting take on murder, seen from the killer's perspective. Mask of Sanity explores the psychological progression during the planning stages and execution of the murders, as the killer expresses his doubts and fears, laughs internally at the police investigation, and selfishly manipulates his family and acquaintances. The writing sometimes comes across as cold and clinical, but so is the main character. It was interesting to see the reactions of his wife, family and friends to the murders, and how it affected their relationships with him. He thinks he hasn't changed, but you can see the changes reflected in those around him as he has committed himself and carried out the heinous deeds.

Summary: Highly recommended to readers interested in criminal psychology.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book on LibraryThing, in exchange for a fair review. Cross-posted on GoodReads and LibraryThing. ( )
  SukiSu | Mar 14, 2017 |
"The Mask of Sanity" is the story of Jeremy Balint and his quest to murder Warren Sugarman; his colleague and the man having an affair with Balint's wife. Balint his revealed to be a sociopath almost right from the first page. Novels about sociopaths have always earned my undivided attention. Mr Appel has captured the mindset wonderfully. That being said, there are small details that don't make sense, and the ending is very "happily ever after" esque - minus the green ribbon on the door at the very end - but this doesn't take away from the overall experience. In my personal records, it's a 4.5/5. I can't wait until I have a physical copy. ( )
  illidarilibrarian | Mar 13, 2017 |
Wow! I loved this book. The characters were real and intense. The story is believable. I literally couldn't put this book down. I was actually cheering the killer when he got away with each murder. Which is weird. This book enthralls and entertains. I loved the main character, Jeremy Balint. It is a dark murder thriller which unfolds slowly, but surely, towards an end that was not expected. This book gets you inside the mind of a killer. To know how he thinks. And why he does what he does. But it does it in a way that is realistic and enjoyable. ( )
  somethingblanc | Mar 1, 2017 |
When Jeremy Balint discovers that his wife is having an affair with a coworker of his whom he has known for a long time, he rationalizes the best way to deal with it while also protecting his status quo (after all, he needs to protect his children) is to eliminate his wife's lover. Acting strategically and without any empathy, Jeremy, a successful and respected cardiologist with presumed ethical principles, a loyal son, and a devoted father of two young daughters switches persona and effortlessly takes on the role of a cold and calculating serial killer from behind a mask of sanity. He uses random victims as collateral damage in order to conceal his main target and direct any potential police attention away from him.
Rather than the third person narrative the author used, I think I would have preferred Jeremy's first-person perspective, which I believe could have been even more powerful. However, the sparse writing style nicely complemented the protagonist's character. I felt as detached about the killings as the protagonist did. I assume that was the intention, therefore, well done. There was one scene involving a face-off between Jeremy and his wife where I started to question Jeremy's reaction and behavior. There was no gory violence. Instead, it was quite humorous in parts. Reading a lot of psychological thrillers, I think I've become too conditioned to the inevitable twist that these books tend to have lately. I saw the potential for (what I thought) would have been a really good one here, but the author didn't go down that route. The ending left readers hanging a bit and encouraged you to come up with your own interpretation.
Overall, this was a compelling character portrayal of a high-functioning sociopath, which effectively showed the thought processes of a very intriguing and fascinating mind, and which was darkly entertaining.
I received an ARC via NetGalley. ( )
  Pet12 | Feb 17, 2017 |
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Killing, Balint discovered, was the easy part.
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