5.0 out of 5 stars A great cast of characters in a fast-paced psychological thriller. April 23, 2013
By Autumn Blues Reviews
The Chabot Park Strangler is on the loose and two young females have fallen victim to a deranged and sick perpetrator. And Dr. Abbie Adler is running out of time, while she searches her mind for clues as to who it might be.
Not the conventional thriller, Tortured Memory centers around Dr. Abbie Adler, a psychiatrist trained in the sexual abuse of children. Her choice of career comes from her own past of having been abused by her own father, who still tracks her in her adulthood like a predator, adding to the stress and bringing her own past traumas to the surface. Both victims of the Chabot Park Strangler were her clients, which leads Abbie to suspect she may know who the killer might be.
Dealing with her own past and PTSD, Abbie also has visits with Richard Haus, who is her mentor and therapist, helping her deal with her own traumatic past, but who later becomes a suspect in his own sons killing. Richard's son a Psychopath who through much regret Abbie took on as a client, mostly as a favor. While on the side lines is David, Abbie's husband who tries to keep it all together, while Abbie has more than one mental breakdown and ends up suffering from trauma induced amnesia.
There are many suspects throughout this story, leaving the reader at the edge of their seat trying to gather clues as to who the killer might be. What I liked most about this story is the professional insight one gets into the minds of the psychopath and narcissistic personalities, as well as other mental disorders, which are clear and precise. Given Dr. Gold's background of not being in the mental disease/disorder category, leading me to believe he might have chosen the wrong profession. One thing I can say without a doubt is that Dr Gold is a great writer, who takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of suspense and madness. Tortured Memory makes a great screenplay for a movie and I would highly recommend Dr. Gold consider a submission.
Description: Dr. Abbie Adler had chosen general, child, and adolescent psychiatrist to treat sexually abused girls. As a victim of such abuse herself, Abbie’s insights make her an effective therapist. In addition, her practice includes adult patients and provides group and individual therapy for a broad range of psychiatric problems including depression, personality disorders, psychopathy, and malignant narcissism.
On a December evening, the Berkeley Police find Abbie sitting in her car at Inspiration Point overlooking the East Bay of San Francisco. She’s bruised and catatonic. They transport her to Brier Hospital where they admit her to the psychiatric ward. The nature of her condition, and its cause, remain a mystery. After standard treatments fail, her psychiatrist recommends electroshock therapy. Finally, she awakens but remembers nothing of the month preceding. In addition, she discovers significant memory gaps from the past few years.
Abbie had been treating two victims of the Chabot rapist who targeted girls and as she’s making progress in their care, unbelievably, someone abducts and strangles them. Their deaths devastate Abbie.
During Abbie’s difficult recovery, memories of past events gradually return. They are fragmentary and torture her with memory flashes and nightmares. Gradually, she begins to suspect that one of her adult patients may be the strangler. When the police find Abbie’s prime suspect brutally murdered, both she and the police are befuddled. Abbie struggles to discover the identity of the strangler and those who may be abetting his actions. Will he/they get away with it?