This short novella is not really the story of Joshua Dawson, a young man with good intentions, but tainted with a backdrop of abuse that shatters his judgement when it comes to helping the children he cares so much about. Rather, it is a story of the doctor who is trying to put the pieces of Joshua together, if they can be put together at all...
Barnes and Noble
The Monster's Mind
The human mind is a strange and wonderful thing, but sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we cannot understand the thoughts the mind thinks, the reactions the mind takes, or the actions the mind commands...The Monster's Mind is the story of a strange intrigue with the complex questions of the demented mind and motives of a killer. It is a tale of the doctor who longs to help him find the normalcy so many of us take for granted, and a terrifying realization that some minds simply cannot be reasoned into making sense at all, even if helping them becomes a futile obsession...
Some reader feedback on The Monster's Mind include:
"Never before has a 'novella' been able to capture such genuine emotion and fear with all the intensity of a 400+-page novel. This book is designed to hit you with a barrage of unnerving psychological issues, and does not shy away from that 'grey-area' of the human mind that many authors simply refuse to go. It really is a great little read, and even if your intentions are to read it over a few sittings, I pretty much guarantee you you'll cover-to-cover it in one! A true thought-provoking, new-age Lecter-style psycho-thriller. Totally recommended! (And I'll be looking forward to the next book from A.J.Conley.) " ~ Wes James, a reader from the U.K.
"I enjoyed reading Ms. Conley's first published work. The book kept me on the edge of my seat and also provoked thought on the issues that often surround our criminal justice system. The chilling and dark ending leaves you asking many questions and encourages deeper thought on mental and emotional illnesses. " ~ Aaron Mahl, a reader from Dayton, Ohio
"It was as if I was looking at a blurry snapshot and could only make out part of the figure on the photograph. I knew disappointments and evils much worse than this were what nurtured and fed the monster..."
Bonnie K. Florea - Author and Book Reviewer
The Monster's Mind is a powerful story that deals with the workings of the human mind, in its most monsterous state. Its depth is intriguing and suspenseful in its depiction of the darkness that lies in the deepest parts of the mind. This is a must read book, that will bring the reader to examining their own thoughts and perhaps bring the reader to thoughts never explored.
Brett Hatten - Film Producer/Director, Grammatics Productions
While A.J. Conley's book may be her first published piece of fiction writing, it is clear that she is a voice to be reckoned with. The short length of the book makes for an easy, one-sitting read, and the gramatics of the writing are near flawless. The characters in the story are excellent metaphores for society. The protagonist, in particular, makes for an unusual and interesting character study in that he/she is nameless but expresses a broad range of feelings and emotions about a subject which is relatively taboo in today's society, mental unstability. The overall read was enjoyable. I'm looking foward to Conley's next book.
Jennifer Brown - Book Reviewer
When we’re staring into the eyes of a monster, when we contemplate someone who’s done something really horrible, do we really consider what has happened to that person to make them do what they do? A.J. Conley has. In her novella, THE MONSTER’S MIND, Conley shows us a criminal named Joshua Dawson. A monster, really. A man who murdered innocent children. What goes on in Joshua’s mind? What monster is really lurking within, and from where did that monster come? The doctor interviewing him intends to find out. It’s the same doctor that stood before a jury and testified that Joshua was not sane, convinced a court that he should not be put to death, but instead has him hospitalized for the criminally insane. Slowly Joshua begins to reveal his monster within and between his sometimes cryptic revelations and the doctor’s researching skills and dedication to the case, the monster takes shape. The doctor begins to wonder: who really was the monster that caused the death of those children? THE MONSTER’S MIND is an intriguing story that explores Conley’s ultimate question, which is that of forgiveness. Conley’s clear intention is to call attention to the “human” of humanity and to make the reader ponder such murky subjects as free will and right and wrong. Conley is clearly an experienced writer. Her grammar is flawless, her writing style clear and concise. Is it a statement that Joshua and the doctor represent all of society and its warring factions of right vs. wrong? Is it a suggestion that in today’s society The Judged (Joshua) have no voice and The Judger (the doctor) is often quick to dole out blame while remaining nameless, faceless? THE MONSTER’S MIND is an easy read and can be finished in one sitting. It is good food for thought about assigning blame to the guilty and hastening to dub someone “monster,” while shocking the reader with an ending that will make her gasp.
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