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Disordered Minds

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,590 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews
When a local councillor and an anthropologist re-investigate the controversial murder conviction of a mentally retarded 20-year-old, they're unprepared for the disturbing facts that come to light--and the personal demons with which they must come to terms.
Paperback, 544 pages
Published December 7th 2004 by Berkley (first published January 1st 2003)
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Mar 30, 2010 martin rated it liked it
I can understand why there are some negative opinions about this book. It is not her best - not least because the twists and turns are so complicated and the ending lacks the satisfaction of the more normal "villain is found and gets punished" we are so used to. Also, the interesting main characters in the first part of the book, Jonathan, George and Andrew seem to fade away completely in the second half only to re-appear at the very end. Jonathan's metamorphosis from self-loathing to self accep ...more
Apr 22, 2014 Bill rated it it was amazing
Excellent 'mystery' by Minette Walters. I think she is one of the unique mystery writers I've ever read. Each story I've read is uniquie in its own right and covers different aspects of human behaviour. In this story, two investigators, one a university professor and the other a town councillor, Jonathan and George, delve into the past to try and prove that a convicted murderer, a young man with mental difficulties, who committed suicide in prison, was, in fact, innocent of the murder. The trail ...more
Feb 05, 2015 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was wary about reading this book, primarily because crime is a genre I've never read before, especially adult crime and secondly because lots of people have said that this isn't one of Minette Walters' better books. I'm glad I decided to start this though because from page 1, I was pulled in and engaged with the plot, the characters and the mystery.

Jonathan Hughes and Georgina Gardener are two amateur investigators who are convinced of Howard Stamp's (a man with mental disabilities who was co
Maria João Fernandes
"Como o meu pai tanto gostava de dizer, que se pode esperar de um porco senão grunhidos?"

Minette Walters conta-nos uma história que aconteceu há mais de 30 anos, intercalando a narração do passado e do presente, com excertos de livros, relatórios policiais e emails trocados pelos envolvidos.

Estamos em 2003 e as provas de um crime de 1970 não são credíveis, os relatos das testemunhas não podem ser provados e a verdade é quase impossível de ser estabelecida. Apesar disso, um homem foi condenado.

Nov 25, 2013 Jan rated it liked it
I normally love, love, love Minette Walters books, however, this one, not so much, in fact it took me weeks to get into this. I would start and stop, not until several chapters did it actually get interesting. However, once you get past Chapter 3, one actually does get interested.

Story, a young anthropologist Jon, is working on a book, he joins up finally with George, who is also working on the same story. George and Jon do not like each other, and George is actually a she! Jon is of mixed blood
Maggie James
Dec 12, 2013 Maggie James rated it it was ok
Disordered Minds is only the second book by Minette Walters that I've read, and for me it didn't compare with 'The Sculptress'. It's certainly aptly named; disordered minds run amok in this book, from Jonathan, who's desperately conflicted about his skin colour and position within British society, through George, a woman fixated on her father, to Louise, obsessed with her dead childhood friend.

For me, the book is too long; at just short of 600 pages, it might have been much improved by judicious
Judith Yeabsley
Sep 30, 2014 Judith Yeabsley rated it really liked it
I chose this as my plane book for travelling to the UK although it is not something I would normally read. I have read other Minette Walters and enjoyed them but not raved. This was a great plane read as it was pacy with plenty of twists and turns. Slow to start but once the engine was revving it was away.
Mar 11, 2014 Julie rated it liked it
I'm surprised that I didn't like this as much as I had hoped, given its promising beginning. A Minette Walters book is always a delightful trip down the rabbit hole -- you never know what to expect and the sudden twists and turns leave you delightedly woozy. This one, however, did not deliver the expected pleasures. It was almost tedious at times, with the endless repetition of minutiae about the crimes. It felt almost like Nancy Drew mystery -- too crisp, too clean.

Nevertheless, Walters' inimit
Jan 19, 2016 Olivermagnus rated it liked it
As this novel opens, psychologist, Jonathan Hughes, has published a book titled Disordered Minds that re-examines murder convictions of the past. Among them is the case of Howard Stamp, convicted more than thirty years ago of the murder of his grandmother despite a lack of any firm evidence. In Hughes' view, Howard was sent to jail because of his general oddity -- educationally subnormal, he suffered from the same cleft palate that afflicted his grandmother and had, like her, some difficulty exp ...more
Mar 22, 2014 Mike rated it liked it
I started listening to this on audio last weekend while travelling back and forth from my home city of Dunedin, to Christchurch. We didn't get all the way through it, so I finished reading it last night, using the copy we had at home. My records show that I first read it in 2003, but I remembered virtually nothing of it. It has Walters' usual blunt style of presenting a contrast between 'civilised' people and those who live in a more impoverished class.
I don't think it's one of Walters' best; t
Dec 09, 2015 Lukerik rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Thinking some of the problems with this novel might be down to my copy being an uncorrected proof of the first edition, and armed with this monstrosity from page 208:

"She drove to the Smugglers Inn at Osmington Mill, to the east of Dorchester, which had been built in the thirteenth century, beside a stream, in a cleft between two swooping downlands that rose to meet the spectacular Jurassic cliffs of the Dorset coast."

I went looking for the published version to see if it had been corrected. It h
Jan 16, 2016 Eadie rated it liked it
This was my second read by Minette Walters. The first one I read was The Dark Room which I thoroughly enjoyed. This book had great potential with a good plot but Minette was unable to carry it off. The book was a slow read for me as the story and characters got very convoluted and confusing. In the end, the reader is left to assume who the killer was as the murder was not fully resolved. I will, however, read some more of her works as I think this was just a misfire.
Isobel Blackthorn
Dec 31, 2015 Isobel Blackthorn rated it liked it
A good fast-paced read.
Nenia Campbell

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This was my work read although I've been neglecting it because we finally got cable in the break room and the lure of shitty reality TV is hard to resist. The first book of hers I read was THE DARK ROOM, and it was interesting, and, I think, better than this one.

The premise of DISORDERED MINDS is intriguing. It starts off with two thirteen year old girls experiencing a rape. Then there's an excerpt from Johnathan Hughes' book, about
Aug 17, 2007 Bitty rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This was not my favorite of Minette Walters' books, but it was packed with the psychological mystery that I liked in all of the other ones.
Jul 06, 2015 Mel rated it really liked it
I sometimes find Minette a bit too graphic in her murders, but this one especially appealed to me as it dealt with a cold case from an "anthropological" standpoint via Dr. Jonathon and Councillor George. They are unusual collaborators and I enjoyed their repartee along with the e mails posted by their publisher Andrew to be utterly charming. I liked following Jonathon and George as they interviewed neighbors and finally saw through the local's stories who were trying to get them off the
Van de achterflap: In 1970 werd de twintigjarige verstandelijk gehandicapte Howard Stamp veroordeeld voor de moord op zijn grootmoeder Grace Jeffries. De veroordeling was destijds gebaseerd op omstreden bewijs en de later ingetrokken bekentenis van de verdachte. Drie jaar later stierf Stamp, tot zelfmoord gedreven door zelfhaat en het getreiter van de andere gevangen. Maar was Stamp wel schuldig?

Dertig jaar later stuit Jonathan Hughes, een antropoloog gespecialiseerd in maatschappelijke stereoty
Nov 13, 2009 Reinhold rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, thriller
Jonathan Hughes ist Sachbuchautor der ein Buch über Justizirrtümer herausbrachte. Das Buch wurde ein Riesenerfolg - und ein in diesem Buch beschriebener Fall zieht ihn aber auch andere in deren Bann. Ein junger, mit einer Hasenscharte entstellter, Mann - der Außenseiter Howard Stamp - wurde vor 30 Jahren für ein Verbrechen verurteilt, das er bestimmt nicht begangen hat. Warum sollte er die einzige Person ermordet haben, die ihn Verstand und ihm über seine Probleme hinweghalf - vor allem wenn man ...more
Dec 05, 2011 Joseph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Minette Walters has the uncanny ability to turn a simple plot into an intrinsic and complex one with as little characters as possible - not that it's any bad, that's just the way I have come to look at her writing style after reading two books of hers now.

Within the context of 'murder mystery' genre, Walters's 'Disordered Minds' was quite good. However, hers isn't the blood and gore type of horror but rather the kind committed by unsuspected peoples in unexpected circumstances in a neighbourhoo
Jun 29, 2012 Kermit rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Im Nachhinein hatte ich mir wohl bei all dem Lob über diese Autorin etwas mehr von ihrem Schreibstil erwartet. Er ist keinesfalls das, was ich im klassischen Sinne unter "schlecht" verstehe. Die Autorin schreibt flüssig, anschaulich und vor allem Beschreibungen und Gespräche fand ich sehr gelungen. Aber trotz dieser guten Grundlage konnte sie mich in entscheidenden Momenten einfach nicht mitreißen. Action und Emotionen gingen leider fast das ganze Buch über völlig an mir vorbei und ich wurde das ...more
Apr 15, 2015 Karschtl rated it really liked it
Shelves: darkish, bc, read-in-2012
A cold case that is investigated again more than 30 years later. In the beginning the book pretends to be a non-fictional book, citing real-life cases where ppl were being wrongfully sentenced for murder. One of these cases - the one of Howard Stamp murdering his beloved grandmother - is then given a closer inspection.
There are a lot of issues discussed in this book, not only that of mobbing between teens (preferably mobbing disabled ppl), but also (sexual) abuse in the family. On top of that th
Jan 07, 2016 Susanna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Minette Waltersia kehutaan psykologisen dekkarigenren kuningattareksi, mut... mä en vaan saa näistä oikein mitään irti. Nää on monesti todella pitkästyttäviä ja Waltersin tyyli keskeyttää teksti vähän väliä sanomalehtileikkeillä, kirjeillä yms silpulla käy hermoille. Ei tässäkään ollut mitään jännittävää, lähinnä kyse oli pitkäpiimäisestä spekuloinnista siitä kuka teki ja mitä ja miksi. Okei, päähenkilöiden suhteen piti kyllä lopussa yllättyä, mutta kohtuullinen loppu ei riittänyt korvaamaan alu ...more
Apr 10, 2009 Louise rated it really liked it
"In 1970 Howard Stamp, a retarded twenty-year-old, was convicted on disputed evidence of brutally murdering his grandmother in her Dorset home. Less than three years later he was dead, driven to suicide by self-hatred and relentless bullying by other prisoners.

When anthropologist Dr. Jonathan Hughes re-examines Stamp's case for a book on injustice, his research into the written evidence leads him to believe that Stamp was wrongly convicted. But is the forgotten story of one friendless young man
Eve Kay
Jun 14, 2015 Eve Kay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book started out promising, had a very boring and in my point of view irrelevant middle and ended pretty much how I was not expecting it to. I was more interested in the solving of the murder than the relationships of the characters. The murder part of the book was very exciting though and was enough to have me hooked on. So I did enjoy this book and sometimes it doesn't matter if I know where the story is going if I just feel that it's what I want.
Liz Gray
Dec 22, 2015 Liz Gray rated it it was ok
I was SO disappointed by this book. I've read most of Walters' mysteries, which are usually tightly plotted and peopled with interesting characters, and this was nothing like any of the others. It is disjointed, repetitive, and leaves many loose ends untied. The extensive use of letters and emails to tell much of the story is ineffective and distracting.
Linda Stewart
Jun 23, 2009 Linda Stewart rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: British Murder Mystery Lovers
A British murder mystery that delves into the psychology of its characters in intricate and fascinating ways. The story is told through letters, emails, police reports, sample book chapters and more. Reading this book challenges the reader to recall details and events of the characters lives in order to piece together the truth of rather horrific events, with the Iraqi war as background. Intriguing on multiple levels, this novel asks the reader to work hard to discover truths, any truths. George ...more
Aileen Bernadette Urquhart
Oct 09, 2014 Aileen Bernadette Urquhart rated it really liked it
Shelves: 21st-century
Mystery/crime, a lot of which is written as emails and official documents. Not fantastic literature, then, but a gripping mystery. Tempted to give it 3 stars, as it was hard to follow, (maybe my addled brain) and characters were not developed, but I was really hooked. So 4 stars it is.
Oct 19, 2014 Monica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely "how to solve a cold case" book. Super interesting characters, a fascinating, creepy story, a gripping style, everything that you need if you are into this genre. I didnt give it a 4, because the novel still has some loose ends solved in a rather forced manner (mostly toward the ending). But otherwise, a page turner.
Stuart Aken
Oct 29, 2010 Stuart Aken rated it liked it
• DISORDERED MINDS by Minette Walters, Macmillan
421 pps. 29 chaps. 140,000 words
Crime novel written from multi-viewpoint using letters, e-mails and reports to highlight and convey certain aspects of the case. Centres on two murders, only one of which is known at the outset, the other slowly becoming known. Opens with a history of some factual murder cases with unsound court hearings, some of which resulted in convictions being overturned. The book is well written and the characters, whilst idio
Ann Deane
Dec 11, 2013 Ann Deane marked it as to-read
Recommends it for: Lovers of analytical crime novels
Quite a complicated plot with the usual end of book twist that you are not quite expecting. Disturbing in that it deals in part with the taboo subjects of incest and child molestation. Despite this, I kept reading, hoping for a satisfactory working out of the plot. The central characters , Dr George Gardener and Jonathan Hughes never really gained my sympathy, with all their neuroses. The attempt to bring the writing into the 21st century with copies of e mails I found unlikely, but maybe that ...more
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Minette Walters (born 26 September 1949) is a British mystery writer. After studying at Trevelyan College, University of Durham, she began writing in 1987 with The Ice House, which was published in 1992. She followed this with The Sculptress (1993), which received the 1994 Edgar Award for Best Novel. She has been published in 35 countries and won many awards.

The Sculptress has been adapted for tel
More about Minette Walters...

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