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The Halo Effect (MIRA) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 2005

4.2 out of 5 stars 116 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The mutilated body of a prostitute in a nun's habit, her pubic hair shaved into a cross, appears on page one of this suspense thriller, making it plain that Rose's latest (after Sheet Music) is not for the squeamish. The novel is the first in a new series featuring the Butterfield Institute, a Manhattan sex therapy clinic employing psychiatrist Dr. Morgan Snow. One of Morgan's patients, the clever and selective call girl Cleo Thane, has written a memoir full of thinly disguised portraits of her clients, powerful men with odd fantasies and fetishes. She leaves this potentially explosive manuscript with Dr. Snow and then misses several appointments, causing Morgan to suspect foul play. Yet NYPD Det. Noah Jordain and his team, diligently pursuing leads in what's become a gory, ritualistic series of prostitute murders, have no evidence that Cleo, whose clientele puts her in a class by herself, might be a victim. Noah and Morgan are drawn to each other, but when Morgan can't persuade Noah to devote more effort to the search for Cleo, she determines to go undercover and meet Cleo's principal clients herself. Ill-equipped for this masquerade, Morgan is soon in over her head and in peril. The mystery takes second place to the catalogue of sexual eccentricities, but Cleo is an engaging guide to the world of dysfunction Rose painstakingly constructs.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"M.J. Rose is great." -- New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich

"Potentially explosive . . . [Dr. Morgan Snow] is an engaging guide to the world of dysfunction that Rose painstakingly constructs." (Publishers Weekly" -- z

Product Details

  • Series: MIRA
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Mira (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778321975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778321972
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,237,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother's favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice... books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Please visit her blog, Museum of Mysteries at http://www.mjrose.com/blog/

Her photo was taken by Judith Pushett utilizing an old relic: a turn-of-the-century 11 x 14 inch wood camera.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

Her most recent novel THE COLLECTOR OF DYING BREATHS (Atria/S&S) was chosen as an Indie Next Pick and her next novel, THE WITCH OF PAINTED SORROWS will be released March 2015.

Rose's work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the '80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors - Authorbuzz.com

The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose's novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and currently serves, with Lee Child, as the organization's co-president..

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Dr. Morgan Snow, the protagonist of this first installment in M.J. Rose's new series of Butterfield Institute novels, is a perceptive therapist and a newly divorced mother, an expert in sexuality with, at least in recent years, more theoretical knowledge of the subject than hands-on experience. She is troubled still by an unusually sad childhood--details of which drip into the narrative of The Halo Effect--from which she emerged scarred with abandonment issues. Morgan is a fully realized, multi-dimensional, wholly likeable character. And she is an unlikely amateur sleuth, which is part of the charm of Rose's new series: criminal suspense has not found a home before in the halls of a sex therapy clinic.

Morgan, who has worked with the police in past cases, becomes involved again when a serial killer begins murdering prostitutes and posing them, in death, in a series of religiously significant, grotesque tableaux. Dr. Snow numbers many prostitutes--both incarcerated and not--among her patients, so the crimes are of especial concern for her. But what is most alarming is the recent disappearance of one of her favorites: call girl Cleo Thane has enjoyed an almost Mayflower-Madamish level of success but may have put her career and person in jeopardy by writing a tell-nearly-all book about her high-powered clients.

The Halo Effect is not your usual suspense novel. Not only is the occupation of its principal sleuth unconventional, but Rose's writing is somehow similarly unexpected. She eschews hackneyed expression while bathing her subjects in rich description. See, for example, her oblique description of the (sub-)eponymous Butterfield Institute: "There is a small brass plaque on the outside of the building, identifying it but giving little else away: The Butterfield Institute.
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Format: Paperback
Psychologist and sex therapist Morgan Snow's favorite client is wealthy prostitute Cleo Thane who has recently sold a tell-all book. When Cleo vanishes and a serial killer begins dressing prostitutes as nuns and ritually murdering them, Morgan decides to investigate. Of course, she can't tell the police about the confidences Cleo shared with her in therapy, but she can use what she learned, what she knows about people, and what she discovers in Cleo's manuscript to help her.

Morgan goes undercover at the club which serves as a front for Cleo's prostitution ring. Pretending to be a temporary replacement for the missing Cleo, Morgan meets with Cleo's regular clients--the ones written up in her book and with the most to lose if their secrets are revealed. Could one of these wealthy and powerful men be behind the murders? Meanwhile, Morgan struggles with her own issues--a recently ended marriage, a daughter who seeks to follow Morgan's mother's career in acting--a career that destroyed her mother, and a too-sexy police officer who just might be using his attractiveness to get at secrets that Morgan must protect.

I could imagine the editors reading this book proposal and getting excited. Sex worker, check. Has to go undercover as a prostitute, check. Weird serial killer, check. Strong writing ability, check. It's all here, but for me, at least, it doesn't hang together as well as I had hoped. I had several problems with this book. First, the mystery is too obvious. That's not always bad because it can increase the suspense when the reader knows the killer and the protagonist doesnt, but in this case, it made Morgan seem stupid. Second, author M. J. Rose held back on the eroticism.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was a mostly enjoyable read, the first book in a thriller series, although M. J. Rose's voice is always problematic for me. In some books it grates so much that I have to stop reading, but I was able to get through this one.

The heroine/narrator spends an awful lot of time in early chapters explaining herself to the reader--and not all of it is relevant to the story. The heroine also does some rather stupid things which mostly seem to be more for the author's convenience in moving the plot along rather than a genuine outgrowth of her character and motivations. But the story starts cranking after awhile, and there's an interesting hook up between the heroine and another character. I wound up enjoying it enough to buy the next book in the series.

However, Ms. Rose clearly did not do sufficient forensic research on blood coagulation. Perhaps only a forensic nerd like myself would give a darn. If I could give this a 2.5 I would.
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Format: Paperback
I started this novel last night and finished it today. I could not put this book down. It is a very suspenseful novel and the ending will leave you breathless, I couldnt turn the pages fast enough to find out what happened!

The writing is very rich in detail, the book will have you holding your breath in places.

If you like books that make your heart race then this is one for you. I eagerly await the next Morgan Snow book due out in 2005.
2 Comments 24 of 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
MJ Rose is a stylist of the first order and in this new series, she has found her perfect material. Morgan Snow, sex therapist, takes us on a fascinating journey into the dark corners of male desire, where some of the world's wealthiest men pay to make their fantasies come true. This is the world of Cleo, the prostitute who Morgan is treating and comes to care deeply about. Both women are strong, intelligent, and utterly real. As in all Rose's fiction, the women are the central characters, and we admire them for their ability to think on their feet and even kick some *%* to get the job done.

I predict this book will be the beach read of the summer, but it's more than that. Rose can write and tell a story like nobody else out there. Try this book, see for yourself.
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