Double Minds

by Terri Blackstock

Paperback, 2009



Call number




Zondervan (2009), Edition: Original, 336 pages

Original publication date



The young girl with the Bohemian style was on the floor where she'd fallen, between Parker's computer case and her file cabinet. She wore a long, flowing skirt-lavender, the color of calm-and camel-colored Uggs. She lay on her back, her long, wavy blonde hair matted with blood. For struggling singer/songwriter Parker James, the music business has just turned deadly. Her desk in the reception area of a busy recording studio has become a crime scene, and Parker finds herself drawn into a mystery where nothing is as it seems. Unraveling the truth puts her own life at risk when she uncovers high-level industry corruption and is terrorized by a menacing stalker. As the danger escalates, Parker begins to question her dreams, her future, and even her faith. Double Minds is a double treat-combining a compelling suspense novel with an inside look at the world of the Christian music industry in Nashville. Terri Blackstock grabs readers at page one and keeps them riveted until the final plot twist is untangled.… (more)


Audie Award (Finalist — 2010)


Original language


Physical description

336 p.; 8.63 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member smilingsally
This is one terrific book with a fascinating plot, well-rounded characters, a steady pace, a few twists and turns, and a satisfying ending. What more could a reader want? I began reading it this morning, and I did not stop until I finished it. I did not want to stop!

The protagonist, Parker James,
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is a female Christian song writer who lives in Nashville. I learned so much about the Christian music industry: song writing, photographing the album cover and publicity shots, recording a CD, contracts, going out on tour, performing, and the interaction between singer and band. Parker's brother is a police officer, and the reader is treated to a glimpse inside the minds of officers as they work to solve a crime.

Without being "preachy" appropriate biblical references are interspersed throughout the novel. Study questions are at the back of the book. This is a winner, and I give it a big thumbs up!
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LibraryThing member DLKeur
Yawn. Very yawn. You want someone to kill the protag. Please. Spare us having to suffer this self-saturated character.
LibraryThing member Barb_H
I listened to an audio book version. Terri is a terrific Christian author. This story was a pleasure to listen to.
LibraryThing member JenniferRobb
Overall it is a good story. The main underlying theme is what constitutes success and what are you willing to sacrifice for that success. Subplots involve intellectual property (in the form of song lyrics and music) and family dynamics.

I thought the part about Pete James naming his children for
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guitars was cute.

Parker James has a songwriting talent, but her voice is not the voice of a typical Christian singer, so she licenses her songs to Serene Stephens, a long-time friend. Serene gets a chance to go big-time but only if she tones down the Christianity in her songs. She convinces Parker to change the lyrics by promising her a chance to sing 3 original songs during an intermission during the concert.

I think Parker makes many bad choices throughout the novel. First, she seems to think she has some idea of investigating because she helped her brother, Gibson, study for the police exam that allowed him to obtain his current position of homicide inspector. So she's constantly questioning him, going against his advice by contacting witnesses and people of interest in the case after Brenna Evans is shot at the studio where Parker works. She also seems to find out information but then not pass it on to him--at least not until she's checked into it herself.

Second, she wants some semblance of stardom for herself as a performer, not just as a songwriter. She allows Serene to convince her to rewrite lyrics to be more secular because Serene promises her stage time on the tour. She lets her family work late nights with her in the studio when many have day jobs they also have to do. (Though I am glad that her family is close-knit and that they are willing to help her to reach her dream.) Parker seems to think God's opening all these doors for her and doing so by having her de-emphasize his influence in her songs. That just didn't sit well with me.

Third, she is a doormat. She doesn't stand up for herself. She allows the press to think she was the one killed because she's worried Brenna's family and friends will find out about her death from the TV reporters. (Never mind that her own family and friends will now think that she's dead and will hear about it on TV.) She doesn't fight for Serene to get treatment for her anorexia. (And yes, I do know that no one can force someone to get help for something like this if they don't want it. But I do feel like Parker enabled Serene at times both with this and with changing her career. She never refused to provide songs for Serene to record if Serene didn't seek help--now, to be fair, I don't know the details of the contract Parker had with Serene, and I don't want Parker to break her contracted word--but . . .) She doesn't fight for studio time she's entitled to because she's concerned about getting it as a perk of her job and disturbing the paying customer--despite the fact that the paying customer hadn't reserved the time he was using. She gives in to Serene's (and her team's) demands to tone down the Christianity in her songs and changes the message in the songs. She doesn't want to take Tenniere and Evans to court over the song she thinks was stolen from her because she doesn't want the world to see Christians duking it out in a secular court. She gives up a beloved song, and changes the wording, to give Serene a replacement song for the one that was stolen to try to appease Serene and her label. There are more instances, but these are the ones that stick out most.

Serene, I think turns out to be a true friend to Parker, but there are lots of bumps along the road and I wondered if their friendship would survive at times.

Daniel--I was glad to see how that turned out.

I didn't fully guess who the culprit was though I had my suspicions about who it did turn out to be. There were enough red herrings to keep me guessing and enough evidence to make me suspect the culprit.
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LibraryThing member lamb521
Title: Double Minds
Author: Terri Blackstock
Pages: 318
Year: 2009
Publisher: Zondervan
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
Parker James is a young woman with a God-given gift of writing Christian songs. Her best friend is an up-and-coming star in the Christian music world who sings the songs Parker writes.
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Parker longs to have a singing career of her own but has been told her vocal sound is “different.” Parker works as a receptionist at a recording studio to earn money, as well as studio time to record her own album. She is determined to be a singer. The studio is open 24 hours a day. One day the young, college intern, who fills in for Parker, is shot and killed while sitting at the receptionist desk. Was Parker the intended target?
Parker’s brother is one of the detectives investigating the murder. He asks Parker to keep out of it, but she doesn’t always listen. She keeps asking questions while trying to prepare her album for an upcoming tour she will be making with her best friend. Then, as Parker is listening to the radio, another Christian artist is singing one of Parker’s songs! The song has been stolen, but can Parker provide definitive proof that this is the case? Is this theft related to the murder?
I loved Parker’s dedication to her craft and calling from God. The goal of her writing songs was for God’s glory and to bring people to God. Sometimes that goal got overtaken by her personal ambition, but she realizes her mistake and mends her ways. Parker is a strong, Christian woman in an industry that claims to be Christian but isn’t always portraying those values. Parker also is an excellent example of putting others before herself, trying to live as the Bible tells us to live.
Note: The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.
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