The Mysterious Bookshop

Waltzer, James, Of Sound Mind

A slow-boil, modern noir, Of Sound Mind finds audiometry technician Richard Keene settling into his new, center-city apartment just as he reaches his thirtieth birthday. Formerly confined to a mental institution, Richard struggles to adapt to a world of adult freedom. He possesses abnormally acute powers of hearing and suffers from claustrophobia, yet he feels unleashed to dare fate in high places — in short, he is a bundle of neuroses.

When he believes he hears a strangulation murder committed behind the closed door of a neighboring apartment in his high-rise, Richard confronts a chance for redemption that he knew would come someday. For the incident eerily parallels the defining experience of his childhood, the night he heard — through the walls of his row house — the death struggle of the little girl next door.

But just how reliable are Richard’s perceptions?