Mind Trap

By: Matt Cost

From award-winning author Matt Cost comes a thriller that Bruce Robert Coffin says is “a twisted and chilling tale of control and manipulation. The ultimate ‘what if’ on steroids.”


Something evil is lurking in the streets of Port Essex. A missing girl. Violent attacks. It is up to Private Investigator Clay Wolfe, his partner Baylee Baker, and a colorful assortment of friends to get to the bottom of these odious occurrences before it is too late. Mind Trap is a thrilling ride set in a small Maine town with rich characters and shocking plot twists that will keep the reader rapt within the pages.

Based on 21 Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars Another action packed Clay Wolfe Series

Matt Cost writes a thrilling mysterious tale with Mind Trap. This book is part of the A Clay Wolfe / Port Essex Mystery Book series, and this is volume two. Clay and his partner, Baylee, are private detectives. Wolfe moved to this new town, Port Essex, to start a new life, and get out of the big city of Boston. However, his new home town is anything but quiet. A new case has hit their desks, and they are racing against time to find a missing girl. The town was small, but it was one that everyone seemed to know about the goings on, but then, there were the secrets behind closed doors. The kind of secrets that gave to innuendo, and gossiping. This was not just another case for Clay, and it was a trigger for Baylee, but they were determined to get to the bottom of all the things that were happening, and one of them was knowing who Martha Abbott and her daughter Jenna were. Absolutely chilling, with twists around every corner. An emotional rollercoaster. Both thrilling and intriguing, all the way to the end. This read is more than just words on a page. A very unpredictable story, my favorite kind! Mind Trap is a definite recommendation by Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews. I read this book to give my unbiased and honest review. Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews recommends that anyone who reads this book, to also write a review.

April 19, 2023

5.0 out of 5 stars Action-Packed Thriller

Clay Wolf is hired by a recently divorced man to find his missing daughter. The said man’s ex-wife has received an awakening of sorts and is lost deep in a cult-like life. Wolf has mere days to find the girl, save the mom, and figure out the plans of the cultists. Relying on his friends, his colleague Baylee Baker and others, Wolf makes some disturbing and shocking discoveries that could end a small town if he is wrong. Matt Cost weaves a complex story providing the listener with an understated plot and character actions. Carefully weaving the intense and exciting story using vivid imagery and reflective dialogue, Cost allows the listener to become immersed in the story. He is slow and deliberate in character development, throwing in some unexpected plot twists to capture and hold the attention of listeners. The narrator, Jason Arnold, delivers a strong performance using subtle yet rich voices for each character. His pacing is deliberate, and he speaks clearly. He is versatile and articulate. He vividly brings the character of Wolf to life. This is an interesting and thrilling mystery to read and enjoy! There were no issues with the quality or production of this audiobook.

December 12, 2021

5.0 out of 5 stars Timely

Clay and company are having a hard time with their new case. They need to find a man’s missing daughter. (And, by extension, her mother.) There are also vigilantes going after minorities which they are targeting for ethnicity, religion, and sexual preference. It will take all kinds of help (some from unexpected sources) to find the truth. This book is timely and thought-provoking. Maybe we should think about what the author has to say. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Traveling Cloak
November 19, 2021

4.0 out of 5 stars A Nice, Cozy-ish Mystery Thriller

Mind Trap is the second installment in veteran author Matt Cost’s ClayWolfe/Port Essex Mystery series (though each can be read as a standalone). You might also know Cost’s other works, the Goff Langdon Mainely Mystery series. The author clearly has found a niche in the light mystery/thriller genre, and after reading two of his books I can say the writing reflects that fact. (I reviewed the first book in the series, Wolfe Trap, earlier this year). This book is extremely character-driven. Starting with Clay Wolfe, the MC, who owns a private investigation company and has a bit of a hero complex; his partner in crime, Baylee, who has deep personal issues of her own and is now part-owner of the company; Crystal, their foul-mouthed assistant with an attitude; Marie, Clay’s close friend and local journalist; and Clay’s best friend and ex-special forces soldier, Westy. Cost clearly put a lot of deliberate work into giving each character a very distinct personality and history. A crew like this feels very standard for this type of story: the wannabe hero running at the danger when everyone else is running away, the person who is hiding from their past, the assistant who does not care what you think, the reporter always digging for information, and the ex-military officer who has all the guns and is hankering for a fight. The characters were all interesting and brought a different view to the story, which is something I really enjoyed about the book. The plot is pretty typical mystery/thriller. A man hires Clay to investigate his missing daughter, and, of course, nothing is as it seems. There are lots of moving parts, and a cult culture is discovered. There are a few twists (nothing over the top), but I do have to say certain parts of the narrative did keep me guessing most of the book. I definitely enjoyed Cost’s writing style, which I found to be both similar and different to the first book. With Wolfe Trap I got big noir vibes: back-alley encounters, smokey bar meetings, after hours action. Mind Trap, however, feels much more cozy, East Coast mystery. I would not go so far to say that it is a straight up cozy mystery, but the charms of the sub-genre really come through. Also, I always have to compliment an author when I can tell they know how to write. Cost sets the scene really well in the first few chapters of the book – describing the setting, detailing the characters, lining up plot lines – with the ease of a professional. It never feels like an info dump, but it gives the reader all the information needed to continue in the story and is intriguing enough to draw their interest. Mind Trap a nice book to read. It is a thriller mystery that is full of genre tropes. I do not say that with a negative connotation, because I have learned that with these types of books I find a lot of comfort in that. There is something satisfactory in knowing exactly what I am getting into in reading a book, especially after reading so much epic fantasy during the course of my reading year. Mind Trap is what they are not: a light, fun, interesting read. If you are looking for a book like that to supplement your colossal TBR, a break from the grandiose, I definitely recommend checking out Mind Trap.

October 7, 2021

4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling and Suspenseful

The gang is back – the second in the series featuring Clay Wolfe, Professional Investigator (because that happens to be what they call it in Maine); his partner, the beautiful and extremely capable Baylee; retired octogenarian and solicitor Gene, who also happens to be Clay’s Grandpops; and a posse of hard-drinking, colorful, and willingly-endangered friends and collaborators. The case this time centers on the most evil of institutions – a white supremacist group so tightly wound with nonsensical quasi-religious dogma, blind devotion and enforced mind-control that it can only be described as a cult. As Clay and his team search for a missing woman and her daughter, bodies begin to pile up and the insidious horror of the truly close-minded – now organized, manic, and heavily armed – suddenly looms against the backdrop of the once peaceful coastal town of Port Essex. As in his previous work, the author manages to interweave chilling and escalating plot details, unexpected twists, violent deaths and near-deaths, constant suspense and taut action scenes with the wonderful camaraderie and further development of the characters comprising the Wolfe team (Wolfe pack?). Thoroughly recommended for anyone who enjoys great detective fiction, I devoured this book in one sitting, and am looking forward to the next installment. A great big thank you to the author for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.

Sandy S.
October 6, 2021

4.0 out of 5 stars twisty and intriguing

MIND TRAP is the second instalment in Matt Cost’s contemporary, adult CLAY WOLFE/PORT ESSEX mystery, crime, suspense, thriller series focusing on former Boston homicide detective turned private investigator Clay Wolfe. Told from several third person perspectives MIND TRAP follows PI Clay Wolfe as he is hired by a former resident of Port Essex Doug Abbott to locate his missing fifteen year old daughter Jenna, and by association his soon to be ex wife Martha but as Clay and his business partner Baylee Baker begin to follow the clues our hero discovers there is more to the story than anyone could have ever imagined. Several racial, homophobic, and misogynistic motivated attacks against the people of Port Essex reveal a hidden darkness that is about to spiral out of control, a darkness directly connected to Clay’s latest investigation, and the town of Port Essex. The secondary and supporting characters include the return of Clay’s grandfather, former attorney Gene Wolfe; Clay’s assistant Baylee Baker; former Navy SEAL Weston ‘Westy’ Beck.; journalist Marie Cloutier and her fiancée Denise, Clay’s new receptionist Crystal Landry, real estate agent David Charles, bank VP Al Gorman, and bartender Darcy. The requisite evil has many faces. MIND TRAP is a story of secrets and lies, power and control, vengeance and extremist ideology. The fast paced premise is twisty and intriguing; the characters are energetic, colorful and determined.

October 6, 2021

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Series

Mind Trap is the second book in this series about Clay Wolfe and Baylee Baker, partners in a PI firm in Port Essex, Maine. Although interesting, this plot was a bit unbelievable in this age of 24 hours news and social media. However, I really enjoyed the characters and look forward to the next book – Mouse Trap. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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