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THE BOOK OF DAYS

by Steve Rasnic Tem

Book of Days audio coverUnabridged Narration by Nathan Lowell: Run Time 8 hours & 6 minutes

Steve's second novel, The Book of Days consists of a short story told each day by a man trying to talk himself back to sanity. A kind of literary sampler quilt, these daily inventions emulate the styles of everything from traditional ghost stories to the works of O?Henry and James Whitcomb Riley, from westerns to fifties science fiction to boy?s own adventure stories. As a sequence illustrating the narrator?s deep internal struggle, these dark stories take on additional weight, making each one a sharp shock that builds to an electrifying whole.

Praise for The Book of Days:

A finalist for the International Horror Guild Award in the novel category. ?Steve Tem possesses both the guts and the ability to try about anything with his fiction and his best work (like ?The Man on the Ceiling? co-written with Melanie Tem) is often that which strays farthest from the oft-trod trail . . . In Tem?s skilled hands, the intangible is made tangible through metaphor and imagery. [Here] he transcends his own gimmick to achieve a work that is both intriguing and inspirational.? ? Paula Guran, Cemetery Dance

?This contemplative odyssey is easily one of the more risk-taking and rewarding books of fantasy published this year.? ? Publishers Weekly

On the audiobook: "BOOK OF DAYS by Steve Rasnic Tem has elements of horror, fantasy, and even romance to it, but it's really a poetic homage to childhood itself, when we conjured entire worlds out of sticks in mud, and the future held limitless promise....Prepare for an unusual experience that is also, in a magical way, familiar. Narrator Nathan Lowell is ideal to voice the character, as he possesses the right sense of timing and tone, knowing just when the sentences need to flow together like a poem." -- Audiobooks Today

You may listen to a sample of this audiobook by going to the ordering website.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER DIRECTLY FROM CROSSROADS

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Note that The Book of Days is also available as an ebook. See the ebook section below for more informatiuon.

SLAIN IN THE SPIRIT

By Melanie Tem

Slain In The Spirit audio coverUnabridged narration by Ann Richardson: Run time 7 hours and 20 minutes

Leila Blackwell suffers from keratitis, a condition that, coupled with prior eye problems, is slowly robbing her of her sight. Nevertheless, she stubbornly tries to maintain a "normal" lifestyle, often forsaking the companionship of her lover Cathy to act independently, as any fully sighted person might do. It's thus that she finds herself alone in a public rest room when a familiar male voice penetrates the silence, saying, "Don't be afraid, I won't hurt you."

Leila finds herself kidnapped and confined in a basement, slowly and steadily losing her site, as she is forced to engage in a batlle of wills with a man who beleives he is acting to save her soul. Through a series of harrowing escapes and confrontations with obstacles both real and self-imposed, Leila must try to survive to reach freedom, and her life, without losing her sanity in the process.

You may listen to a sample of this audiobook by going to the ordering website.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER DIRECTLY FROM CROSSROADS

CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AUDIBLE.COM

Note that Slain In The Spirit is also available as an ebook. See the ebook section below for more informatiuon.

Click here for the Little Miss Zombie interview with Melanie.

Click here to visit the website of the narrator Ann M. Richardson.

INVISIBLE

By Steve Rasnic Tem

InvisibleUnabridged narration by Terry Daniel: Run time 7 hours

This is the author's first all-audio short story collection, containing a selection of science fiction and horror short stories hand-picked by the author for Speaking Volumes.

Watch and listen to the preview on YouTube 

"[Tem's] stories have the compression of poetry. He is able to create rapidly a mood of menace and revulsion." -- Publisher's Weekly

Contents:

Among the Old, Celestial Inventory, The Disease Artist, Head Explosions, In These Final Days of Sales, Origami Bird, Out Late in the Park, Taking Down the Tree, Invisible, Mirror Man, The Strangers, The Company You Keep, Underground, Mouths, The World Recalled, Yesterday

Order directly from the publisher. Available as CDs or as an MP3 download:

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Scattered comments on some of the individual short stories:

"Celestial Inventory"--"Genuine strangeness from one of our most interesting horror writers." -- Dumars Reviews 14

"The Strangers"--"it'll affect the way you look at milk cartons from here on out" -- Locus

"In These Final Days of Sales" ? winner of the Bram Stoker Award

"Origami Bird" ? "a jewel," Charles de Lint in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction

"Out Late in the Park" ? "Where others would see inevitability as the horror, Tem sees uncertainty. Part of his genius lies in an ability to zero in on our deepest fears, turn them inside out, and offer them back to us in a surreal and very effective way." Paula Guran

"The Company You Keep"?"as surrealist in its method as a painting by Magritte . . . one of Tem's best stories ever -- which raises the issue regarding the human condition today in a stunning manner. It's quite a brilliant allegory." Michael Arnzen, The Goreletter

"In These Final Days of Sales"--"[An] enigmatic but strangely beautiful, surreal yet personal journey through a life of self-salesmanship." ? Chizine

EXCERPT

Over the past few months something painful and awkward had come into the light. Ray was never quite able to define it, and of course did not feel he could check out this perception with anyone else. It would be an odd thing to say, and he knew he had a reputation for saying odd things, although no one had actually told him so.

There were days he could barely stand to open his eyes. Something in the atmosphere, perhaps, that stung the cornea. Every object he looked at was outlined in bright white light. A brilliance he was not supposed to see, a visibility not meant for him. These haloing strokes appeared hesitant, as if part of an unsure painting.

It was the kind of light he imagined you would see at the end of the world: a sad, quiet fading of form and color, as if all earthly materials were dissolving from a mass failure of conviction.

Although he did not expect confirmation of his anxieties, or really want one, Ray listened to the hourly radio weather reports, noting the announcer's tone when he spoke words such as "overcast," "upper atmosphere," and "visibility." There was anxiety in the slight, random trembling of the otherwise smooth voice. Did the weatherman hold something back? The answers were all there, he suspected, floating through the air, hiding in the aftertaste of water, momentarily visible in the bright, painful regions of reflected sun, if one only knew the right way to see, to taste, to hear.

He called his wife two or three times during the day to see how she was feeling, thinking she might be sensing something similar, but he was unable to ask her directly. At some point they'd stopped authenticating each other's sadder perceptions about their places in the universe.

At least in the office there were few windows, and the predictable lines of the cubicles were comfortably familiar. Weather ceased to be a factor once he arrived at work.

Anyone up for lunch? Ray had waited an hour or so for someone to make the invitation. He normally timed his work so he could be available any time between noon and one.

He stood up in his cubicle. Several other heads popped up out of the maze of short, upholstered partitions, like prairie dogs out of their holes. The others waved to the speaker?Marty, a lead programmer?and grabbed their coats. After an awkward pause with Marty staring straight at him, Ray tentatively raised a hand and waved as well. Marty's expression didn't change. He couldn't have missed Ray's intention.

Ray saved his work, jotted down some notes, stood and slipped on his coat. He got to the elevators just as the doors were closing. His coworkers stared out at him without recognition. No one tried to stop the doors. He waved again, said, "Hey!" He ran down four flights to the lobby. He almost ran over a woman on the second floor landing. He stopped to apologize but could see the distaste in her eyes (or was it pity?). Out of breath, he reached the outside doors. He watched as they pulled away, all of them jammed into Marty's green Ford. How did they get out there so quickly? Again he waved as the car swung past the entrance and out the driveway. A woman from another office scooted by him and out the door. It suddenly embarrassed him that she'd seen him with his hand up, waving to no one, greeting nothing as if nothing might wave back, and he lowered it.

He went back upstairs to his cubicle, hoping no one had seen him return. He went back to work on the day's projects, not thinking to remove his coat. From time to time hunger pains stroked his belly like nervous fingers. He had a lunch in the office refrigerator?he always had a lunch in the office refrigerator?but he didn't bother to go get it.

The sky outside went from a misty white to a deep blue, then to grays and oranges, as if painted on an enormous turning disk. He did not learn this from looking out the window but saw it reflected in his computer screen. Days passed in this awkwardly glimpsed view of the world. He could feel his hands on the keyboard begin the painful petrifaction that must surely lead to transparency. At some point Marty and the others wandered past as they returned from lunch, louder than usual. Marty eventually brought some papers by for Ray to look at. There was no mention of the missed lunch. Ray thought perhaps his intentions had been misunderstood. They were all well-meaning people here. The world was full of well-meaning people. It wasn't their fault he didn't know how to conduct himself.

At the end of the day he took the stairs down to the parking lot, leaving fifteen minutes early. He did this every day. It was unlikely he'd be fired for such an offense, but he somewhat enjoyed imagining the possibility. Perhaps an announcement would be made. Perhaps he would be forced to exit through the reception area carrying his box of meager belongings as other employees stood and watched. Would any of them wish him well in his future endeavors?

Outside the air shimmered with possibility. He did his best to ignore it.

© Steve Rasnic Tem

Reader Bio

Terry Daniel specializes in voice overs for commercials, Internet podcasts, books and various business projects. He is one of the most recognized voice talents in the industry and has worked commercially for Apple Computers, Sprint, Lifetime Fitness, United Way, Hallmark, McDonalds, and Great Clips, among hundreds of others. Terry?s voice over career began more than 15 years ago when he started working as a radio host for a program called "The Movie Guys." He has also worked as a professional D.J. for a smooth jazz station and an alternative rock station. Terry has received professional recognition from the nationally-based Society Association of Voice Over Artists (SAVOA).  For more information, please visit Terry's website at www.universalvoicetalent.com.

EBOOKS

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IN CONCERT

In Concert ebook

Available 30 Days Exclusively for the Nook

Through arrangement with Barnes&Noble an ebook version of our 2010 Centipede Press book, collecting all our short story collaborations, is available for 30 days exclusively for the Nook- http://tinyurl.com/83yex7j. Previously only available as a rare $70 hardcover, this ebook version containing the text of all the stories is $3.99. After the 30 day period it will be released for the Kindle & all other reading devices. In Concert received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

From Booklist- Their exuberant dual creativity has yielded a smorgasbord of jarringly original ideas that cross genres from horror to sf to mainstream fiction. Tem aficionados will celebrate their rich collaboration, while newcomers to their joint work will enjoy being introduced to two of speculative fiction's most gifted authors.

THE FAR SIDE OF THE LAKE

The Far Side of The Lake

Since his stories first began appearing in print in the late 1970s, Steve Rasnic Tem has established himself as one of the most prolific and respected voices in modern supernatural fiction. Although his work has been classed as many things?science fiction, horror, fantasy?Tem himself believes that ?the vast majority of my fiction concerns in some way the idea of ghosts and the power of the past?. 

Tem?s stories are rooted in a present-day world which, on the surface, appears normal and even safe; a world in which characters go on holiday, attend reunions, pick up children from school, and try to do their jobs as best they can. A closer look, however, reveals a world in which real and imaginary horrors are forever lurking at the edges of vision, ready to reach out and embrace those whose grasp of reality and the ordinary pleasures of life and love is tenuous at best, and slipping more each day.

It is also a world in which the past is a constant companion; no more so than in Tem?s stories of Charlie Goode, gathered together here in their entirety for the first time. Charlie, now retired, is forced to confront his own mortality as the past?his own, and that of others?becomes a reality more solid, more urgent, and more hungry than the present. In attempting to make sense of the threads of his life, Charlie comes to realise, as Tem does, that there is both knowledge and discovery in the power of the past. 

The title story, ?The Far Side of the Lake? was published in this collection for the first time. 

A scatter of comments on the individual stories:

 "Crutches"--"an unforgettable surrealistic nightmare" -- Washington Post Book World 

"The Sky Come Down to Earth"--"No one has written so well of the inward spirit of the unwanted child since Shirley Jackson." -- Stephen King 

 "Leaks"--winner of the British Fantasy Award

Click HERE to order directly from Ash-Tree Press

Note: the special limited hardcover edition is also still available from Ash-Tree Press.

Click HERE to order from Amazon for the Kindle

 

THE ICE DOWNSTREAM

The Ice Downstream

Nineteen tales of dark, psychological horror from the pen of one of the modern masters of dark Fiction, award-winning author Melanie Tem.  This is her first solo short story collection.

Contents include:

The Ice Downstream / Sitting with the Driver / The Rock / The Co-op / Secrets / Daddy's Side / Loving Delia / Aspen Graffiti / Chameleon / The Better Half / Memento Mori / Trail of Crumbs / Pandorette's Mother / Pele / Cousin Claudine / Fry Day

This eBook is available in MOBI (Kindle) EPUB (Sony / Nook / iPad / Kobo) PDF (Adobe) and PRC (Mobipocket) formats.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER DIRECTLY FROM CROSSROAD

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Among the Living

AMONG THE LIVING

Among the LivingSteve Rasnic Tem's novelette about memory, illusion, and diverging realities.

Eric should have never answered the phone. He knew it was his brother or his mother--they were the only ones who ever called. But Marie's fingertips on his back were gently insistent urging him to answer . . . And so begins Eric's journey back into his past where memory is as unreliable as the ghosts who walk there insisting that they are the real ones. Part of the Delirium Novella Series. See the reviews on Goodreads.

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Among the Living 

SLAIN IN THE SPIRIT

By Melanie Tem

Slain in the Spirit ebookLeila Blackwell suffers from keratitis, a condition that, coupled with prior eye problems, is slowly robbing her of her sight. Nevertheless, she stubbornly tries to maintain a "normal" lifestyle, often forsaking the companionship of her lover Cathy to act independently, as any fully sighted person might do. It's thus that she finds herself alone in a public rest room when a familiar male voice penetrates the silence, saying, "Don't be afraid, I won't hurt you."

Leila finds herself kidnapped and confined in a basement, slowly and steadily losing her site, as she is forced to engage in a batlle of wills with a man who beleives he is acting to save her soul. Through a series of harrowing escapes and confrontations with obstacles both real and self-imposed, Leila must try to survive to reach freedom, and her life, without losing her sanity in the process.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER DIRECTLY FROM CROSSROADS

CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON FOR THE KINDLE

CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM BARNES&NOBLE FOR THE NOOK

CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE IBOOK FROM iTUNES

Note that Slain In The Spirit is also available as an audiobook. See the audiobook section for more information.

Click here for the Little Miss Zombie interview with Melanie.

EXCAVATION

By Steve Rasnic Tem

Excavation ebook coverArchaeologist Reed Taylor is called back to his hometown of Simpson Creeks, Kentucky?a town devastated by the collapse of a coal waste dam?to dig into the earth now covering his family?s old farm, and the bodies of his mother and father. But in a terrifying rendezvous with his own past he discovers that his memories of the dead are not only palpable, but capable of fantastic transformation.

A Bram Stoker Award Finalist.

Praise for Excavation:

"Tem's extraordinary skill with words and images, as well as his tendency to write about the human qualities that really count, make this first novel a publishing event worth noting." -- Twilight Zone Magazine

"Excavation is the first novel by Steve Rasnic Tem, a Colorado fabulist whose richly imagined tales of psychological and ghostly terrors have for several years appeared in genre magazines and anthologies. Stylistically akin to Ramsey Campbell and Charles L. Grant, Tem is a meticulous writer whose short stories evince uncommon care in creation of character and evocation of place. Happily, Tem has brought these strengths to the longer form; Excavation is a fine, sometimes scary novel.

Its focal character is Reed Taylor, a graduate student in archaeology who lives in Denver with his wife and two children. Indecisive, fearful, and prone to psychosomatic illness, Reed is an ineffectual father and husband who grows daily more remote from his family. His night thoughts are dominated by memories of Simpson Creeks, the country hamlet where he grew up. Reed's young life was dominated by his father, a 'hard- drinking, swearing, brutish bear of a man' who tyranized Reed and his mother. Father, mother, and a sister perished in a flood caused by the collapse of a coal waste dam. Reed, who had run away from home two months earlier, escaped the flood. But he cannot escape his past, the source of his incompleteness as an adult. Now, ten years later, Reed is compelled to return home to excavate his homesite.

Although Reed is the protagonist of Tem's novel, its real star is Simpson Creeks. It is a dead town, wasted literally and spiritually by the ravages of a rapacious coal company. But its spirit is alive with 'an old, rich hate.' By the time Reed gets home, horror has already come to Simpson Creeks. Things are going 'subtly wrong ... No one thing so obvious, but the accumulation of little events' - - an unnatural early morning fog, hulking shadows in the woods, visions of a ghostly woman with flaming hair, and strange scratchings from deep within the slab upon which the town sits. Reed's story parallels that of the survivors of the flood, whose guilt at conspiring in the evisceration of their land is buried as surely as the bodies of the dead. And, just as surely, both shall rise.

The consistency of the novel's imagery, which is primarily based on water and strata: 'the layers. Death upon death."; the psychological insight into characters, major and minor, and the vivid evocation of the spirit of Simpson Creeks, raise Excavation far above the level of most first novels. But ultimately, the power of this novel flows from its coherence; it is constructed like a fine watch, and at the end, as the psyches of its guilt-ridden characters and the raging heart of its locale merge, Excavation attains a powerful, unusually moving climax." -- Michael A. Morrison in Fantasy Review

"Tem is a stylistic master in the vein of Ramsey Campbell." -- R.M. in West Coast Review of Books

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The Book of Days

by Steve Rasnic Tem

Book of Days ebook coverThe author?s second novel, The Book of Days consists of a short story told each day by a man trying to talk himself back to sanity. A kind of literary sampler quilt, these daily inventions emulate the styles of everything from traditional ghost stories to the works of O?Henry and James Whitcomb Riley, from westerns to fifties science fiction to boy?s own adventure stories. As a sequence illustrating the narrator?s deep internal struggle, these dark stories take on additional weight, making each one a sharp shock that builds to an electrifying whole.

A finalist for the International Horror Guild Award.

Praise for The Book of Days:

?Steve Tem possesses both the guts and the ability to try about anything with his fiction and his best work (like ?The Man on the Ceiling? co-written with Melanie Tem) is often that which strays farthest from the oft-trod trail . . . In Tem?s skilled hands, the intangible is made tangible through metaphor and imagery. [Here] he transcends his own gimmick to achieve a work that is both intriguing and inspirational.? ? Paula Guran, Cemetery Dance

?This contemplative odyssey is easily one of the more risk-taking and rewarding books of fantasy published this year.? ? Publishers Weekly

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Note that The Book of Daysis also available as an audio book. See the audiobook section above for more informatiuon.

A sampling is available on the Fantastic Metropolis website: The Book of Days

An interview conducted by Jeff Vandermeer on the Fantastic Metropolis website: Steve Rasnic Tem Interview

BLOOD MOON

By Melanie Tem

Blood Moon ebook cover

Melanie Tem's rare early novel, originally published only in England by The Women's Press.

Things happen when Greg is around...all kinds of things bet broken, yet you can't relaly say he's destructive because you never see him break anything. Other kids are getting hurt or getting into trouble all the time, yet you can't put your finger on just what he does...it's as if he spends all his energy being furious withthe world; anger is the only consistent thing he's ever had and he'll hold on to it with a vengeance.

Praise for Blood Moon:

"When Breanne Novak adopts eleven-year-old Greg, she knows she has troubles ahead. But Greg has an uncanny ability to *make things happen* and Breanne soon realises that she had been totally unprepared for the full impact of the struggle about to rock her life.

Melanie Tem is a social worker who deals with abused and neglected children, and this forms the basic theme of this novel. The title suggest a cheap run-of-the-mill horror novel, but it goes far beyond that. Breanne is an unmarried young woman who lives in a love-hate relationship with her father Andy. She adopts an 11-year old boy, Greg, who has already been kicked out by several foster families. People are scared of Greg, strange things happen when he's around, things get broken without him really touching them. Greg likes to fantasize about happenings, and in real adolescent dreams, he sees himself as someone with deadly mental superpowers. This creates at the same time a self-destructive feeling of guilt for him. Greg desperately wants real human contact, but at the same time he rejects it subconsciously, as does Andy. There are no cheap thrills in Blood Moon, no horrible murders, no secondary characters introduced just to be killed off. The suspense is created by the psychological and dangerous dance the three protagonists do around each other, and which threatens to become deadly when Breanne gets pregnant and Greg wants to identify himself with the coming baby. A rather bloody but well handled finale for a stylish psychological horror novel." -- Eddy C. Bertin, Cerberus (Belgium)

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Melanie Tem featured at DU Today: Melanie Tem

Read Melanie's story "The Psychic Magic Show" online: The Psychic Magic Show.

DAUGHTERS

By Melanie Tem and Steve Rasnic Tem

Daughters coverHigh adventure fantasy by the co-authors of The Man On The Ceiling.

Four diverse characters collide in an ancient world of darkness and magic: the amazon Gwynn, the princess Evonna, the wizard Alden, and the beast Thet. Out of that collision comes an unforgettable novel of endings and reconciliations, the death of magic and the birth of technology, and the eternal struggle between darkness and light.

Highborn Evonna is unhappy with her constricted choices and troubled by her brother Alden?s dabblings in wizardry. In the great city that is her home, where nothing unplanned ever happens, something has gone terribly wrong. Everywhere are signs of chaos and creeping madness, rumors of plague, and intimations of worse to come. But what can Evonna or Alden do? The answer comes unexpectedly, with the terrifying visit of the subhuman Thet and the sudden appearance of the amazon Gwynn, who harbors a shocking secret. Together, the four unlikely companions bring unimagined change to the city? and are themselves changed in unimaginable ways.

Yet the chaos continues to spread. Desperate, our heroes leave their dying home and embark on a hellish journey to the far mountains. There they will come face-to-face with a malignant darkness determined to forever unbalance the world? a darkness as insane as it is evil.

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Read the Dark Echo interview with the Tems: The Tem Interview

Read the interview 'Partners In Wonder' on IROSF

PRODIGAL

by Melanie Tem

Prodigal ebook coverHer brother Ethan is dead. then why does he visit and why does he leave the doors open for Lucy and her sisters -- doors that whisper of the place that claimed Ethan's body and mind?

"Don't be afraid, Lucy."

The world of sleepy houses and glimmering summer lawns is losing its hold on Lucy Brill. Her parents don't have the answers - they don't even have the questions. ethan has changed everything. Ethan, whose drug-racked body lies in the morgue...Ethan, who beckons Lucy to follow.

"Welcome, Lucy, Welcome."

Lucy will follow, blinded by light, her head filled with anger. lucy Brill is going away...to the place that took her brother's life, where evil waits with open arms.

"Melanie Tem may well be the literary successor to Shirley Jackson and be destined to become the new queen of high-quality, psychologically disturbing horror fiction."-Dan Simmons, author of SUMMER OF NIGHT.

With its deep-rooted, quease-making, profoundly disturbing generator cranking away at efficiency deep under the surface, Prodigal is quite a good novel edging toward greatness. Probably one could apply the same comparison to the writer.

-- Edward Bryant, Locus, July 1991

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Click here to read  the review at Too Much Horror Fiction.

WHAT YOU REMEMBER I DID

by Janet Berliner & Melanie Tem

ebook coverWhat You Remember I Did is a Baby Boomer love story, full of the complications of adult life. Struggles such as estranged children, an ailing mother, an ex-husband, grandkids, and the kinds of deep secrets that life brings. For Nan Jenssen and Matthew Mullen, it's a recipe for passion and conflict.

Nan is a middle-aged tennis coach at an upstate New York community college and spends her evenings watching old movies with her mother, who is slowly slipping into dementia. Then a co-worker sets Nan up on a date with Matt, the incoming poet-in-residence. He's handsome in a James Mason way and very intelligent, but Nan senses something beneath that surface. Of course, she's been sensing that with every man since her husband of more than twenty years confessed that he was gay and left her.

In Matt's case, the secret he's hiding is that he has an estranged son who has accused him of abuse based on "recovered" memories. Since Matt won't talk about it, Nan finds the son's therapist and poses as a new patient to find out if the woman is brainwashing her patients, or if Matt really is abusive. What follows spins Nan's world out of control, and puts her own ailing mother's life in danger. All because the therapist has a secret so dark, she keeps it even from herself.

Click here to read  the Goodreads review.

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