"Killer Career" by Morgan Mandel (Choice One Publishing Company) made me hold my breath as I read some of the scenes tucked in the pages. It is a real thriller - a page turner that is hard to put down. However, unfortunately images don't go away as you turn out the light for a night's sleep. Perhaps it is best read during the day.

It is the story of July McGuire, a lawyer with a booming practice, who suddenly discovers she would rather be writing.

She decides this after she attends The Love to Murder Mystery Conference and meets presenter, Tyler Jensen, a New York Times bestselling author.

She felt every word he said was addressed to her as he encouraged those in the audience to follow her dreams.

Julie decides right then to take the leap and follow her dream. She then informs her partner of six years, Dade Donovan, that she will be leaving their practice to begin her writing career.

This is a blow to Dade, who then realizes he has been in love with her during their time together - but, of course, never mentioned it.

However, it is Tyler Jensen, who will raise the hair on the back of your neck. He is a true psychopath and he sets his sights on Julie.

He thinks he is in love with her and is determined to have her. Julie accepts him as her mentor, thus putting herself at risk without knowing it.

At first, Mandel makes us wonder, does Jensen just write about these murders in his best sellers, or is he perpetrating them? It is up to the reader to make the decision.

The ups and downs of the read will entrap you. The warm and fuzzy parts - followed by the horror of Jensen's actions.

If you are a murder mystery buff - this book is for you.

Morgan lives in Arlington Heights, Ill., but we suspect she vacations in the north as she mentions an item she bought at Loon Land Trading Company in Minocqua and a vacation with her partner, Dade, at his cottage on Big Arbor Vitae Lake.

She is past president of Chicago-North RWA; presently serves as Library Liaison of Midwest Mystery Writers of America (MWMWA); belongs to Sisters in Crime and Electronically Published Internet connection (EPIC).

She enjoys country music, arts and craft shows, loves her husband and dog, Rascal, and her secret vice is playing penny slots.

In the works is a new book - "Forever Young" - a thriller about aging.

The 298-page Killer Career sells for $13.95. It is available at Amazon.Com, Bn.Com, Fictionwise,Com and at Book World in Minocqua and Book World in Eagle River.

She will be signing books at the Minocqua store on Oct. 10 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and in Eagle River tomorrow, Oct. 3, from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

It's worth a visit just to meet her.

Joyce Laabs can be reached at

features@lakelandtimes.com.