The Heat of the Moon
Sandra Parshall

Poisoned Pen Press
Hardcover/278 pages
ISBN: 1-59058-256-x
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"Memory is a storehouse of the real and imagined…"

"There are no clear cut villains or evils, just the seamless tapestry of raw human emotion and reality…"

The greatest mysteries lie inside us buried in our memories.

In the waiting room of the veterinary clinic where she, Dr. Rachel Goddard clutches to her the wet little girl terrified by her dog''s accident and her mother''s disappearance, opening the flood gates to memories that threaten to unbalance her mind and destroy her life. Her new boss, Dr. Luke Campbell, wakes her from the dream when he gently pulls her back to reality away from the image of two little girls clinging together alone and frightened in a thunderstorm, the younger girl calling desperately for her mother.

Besieged by nightmares that once haunted her childhood and early teens, Rachel looks for answers and finds disapproval and quiet reproach from her mother, Judith Goddard, well known and respected psychiatrist, and her sister, Michelle, psychiatrist in training. Unable to turn to her close knit family, Rachel searches alone to discover who she really is and where she fits in the fabric of her family to uncover truths that catapult her into a life she has been trained to forget.

Memory is a storehouse of the real and imagined and Sandra Parshall ventures into its labyrinthine corridors in The Heat of the Moon with a story so real and intriguing it captures and holds the reader spellbound. All the characters, even the brief appearances of animals and the little girl who sets off the spark that burns slowly and inexorably like a Pennsylvania coal mine fire, are finely drawn and richly realized. The lure of Rachel''s search is seductively compelling in a palpable three dimensional world.

Unlike many psychological thrillers, The Heat of the Moon is written with a deft and gentle touch that never veers into sentimentality or melodramatic clichés. Its quiet desperation and Machiavellian twists and turns subtly weave a strong spell that is utterly provocative and insidiously wondrous. There are no clear cut villains or evils, just the seamless tapestry of raw human emotion and reality intricately drawn.

Reviewer: J. M. Cornwell