Our Reviews for The Shine from a Girl in the Lake by Richard Schwindt
October 22, 2022
Schwindt’s ability to create a suspenseful story allows the reader to vicariously walk with Professor Kurelek as he experiences one assault after another.
In Book 6 of the Magnolia Bluff Crime Chronicles, an elusive and sadistic murderer emerges to terrorize the faculty and students of Burnet College.
Suspicion falls on Dr. Michael Kurelek, clinical psychologist and archer.
Tormented by grief, and a secret that could destroy his academic standing, he is determined to turn the tables.
Someone in Magnolia Bluff is killing without remorse, but Kurelek is now the hunter.
Review by Linda Pirtle:
Every profession has its own code, but there is one honored by all who deal with patients, clients, or students. It is a simple one: Do no Harm. Author Richard Schwindt skillfully portrays the internal battle an educator/clinical psychologist experiences when his female clients/students are being murdered by a serial killer.
Professor Michael Kurelek, understands the devastating consequences a wrongful accusation can have on a person’s life. He hails from Michigan where he experienced such an accusation. To begin a new life, he has moved to Magnolia Bluff situated in the Texas Hill Country to teach psychology at Burnet College.
He also has a private practice which he operates out of his office at the college. Not only does the professor acquire new colleagues at work, he also acquires new acquaintances within the community at large: Detective Reece Sovern with the Magnolia Police Department, Librarian Caroline McCluskey, Father Lee Gorman, and a good drinking buddy and confidant Jack Rice.
Kurelek is determined to find the murderer and to give closure to the families of the young female victims enrolled at Burnet College. He has never envisioned himself as a detective, but has agreed to assist Detective Reece Sovern with the Magnolia Police Department. Like all excellent educators, Kurelek realizes he must move inside the mind of a killer. To do so, he visits the public library.
He acknowledged that while it “might be possible to get ahead of Sovern. . .Caroline McCluskey would always be the smartest person in the room.” So, when he visits the library in search of a book on puzzles and pattern recognition, he was surprised when she suggested that he read “Uncommon Therapy” by Jay Haley on the work of Milton Erickson. Handing it to him, she said, “. . .carry it around with you for a few days and see what it does for you.” In the end, the reader learns that it was good advice for the professor.
Schwindt’s ability to create a suspenseful story allows the reader to vicariously walk with Professor Kurelek as he experiences one assault after another – both physical and emotional — working with Detective Sovern to identify the culprit intent on lavishing his victims with a large diamond ring before he rapes and kills them.
Is the killer someone he knows? After all, Magnolia Bluff is a small town where everyone knows everyone. Will he be able to prevent another death? It is indeed a race to catch the killer before he strikes again. Will Kurelek ever again be able to completely trust his instincts? Maybe. Maybe not.
Review by Caleb Pirtle III:
I read a lot of mysteries. I digest a lot of plots along the way. But I never read mysteries while sitting on the edge of my chair. I have now. Richard Schwindt did it to me. I read The Shine from a Girl in the Lake while perched nervously and uneasy on the edge of my seat.
It was not unlike watching a slow burn horror movie, one that Schwindt wrote, directed, and filmed, one whose cleverly crafted scenes are disturbing and fascinating and impossible to forget.
Dr. Michael Kurelek has a blemish on his past. It’s dark. No one knows what it is. He’s not telling. In The Shine from a Girl in the Lake, book 6 of the Magnolia Bluff Crime Chronicles, Dr. Kurelek has escaped to a small college in the Texas Hill Country town. He’s a professor of psychology. He’s also has a private practice.
It’s a quiet town. It’s a peaceful town. It’s a perfect retreat for him. Then one of his patients, a lovely young coed at the college, dies.
Is it suicide?
He is a prime suspect. And the web of suspicion grows even darker when a second patient dies violently. She’s also a coed. She’s also one of his patients. Then comes the death of a third. Kurelek is connected to them all. The noose tightens.
But is the psychotic killer finished? Has he exacted his final revenge? Or is he just beginning? Michael Kurelek has one hope to clear himself.
He must find the stalker, the man who dates and then murders beautiful women before his own personal guilt suffocates him.
Had he failed the young women?
Had he failed to see or understand the dangers hiding in their own lives?
Schwindt has written a stunning mystery that drives deep into the twisted chambers of the human mind, ripping the covers away to reveal the evil that dwells there.
His story captures the drama, the fear, the guilt wrapped in the secrets embedded within the conscience of those who choose to live in small-town Texas.
Two truths are paramount. People die in all sorts of ways in Magnolia Bluff, and sooner or later, almost everyone in town will solve a crime or become the victim.
Please click HERE to find The Shine from a Girl in the Lake on Amazon.