"Skull Session" is certainly one of the most original thrillers I've read recently. Mr. Hecht is certainly a master of unique characterizations and neurological information. Although I think the book is really "Over-rated" by the majority of literary critics, it IS a great read. Sometimes the dialogue is a little repetitive, and some of the scenarios are a little too lengthy to help maintain the suspense, but overall "Skull Session" is a worthwhile read.
There are many superlative characterizations. Of course, the leading characters of Paul and Lia are rich and provocative; sympathetic and believable; tragic and heroic. Along with them are some really excellent supporting characters, the most effective being Morgan Ford, the detective who becomes embroiled in the complex plot involving the vandalism of a wealthy woman's historic lodge and the mysterious disappearances of several teenagers. Mo (as he is called) has a disturbing past, and carries this along with the weight of his divorce. His insecurities, the desire for female companionship again, and his mania over resolving the case in his own "renegade" manner is intelligent and gripping. His ultimate fate, however, is a very disturbing part of the book that I wish Hecht had redirected, although it does have a tremendous emotional impact. Also very interesting is Heather Mason, a teenage girl with severe emotional problems who provides clues in the case, in spite of her parent's objections. Peter Rizal, a macho cop, is also quite well-drawn. Royce, Aunt Vivien, Demory Corrigan, Janet Skoglund, Mark Skoglund, the list could go on---there are richly drawn characters, which is what makes this book so rewarding in the long run. The only reason I didn't give it five stars is it's a little too lengthy and I really hated what happens with Morgan Ford. But, hey, what the Hecht? This is a very good book!