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The Halo Effect - Erotic Psychological Thriller (The Butterfield Institute Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

MJ Rose
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $4.99
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Book Description

Prominent New York sex therapist Dr. Morgan Snow finds her life taking a dangerous turn when her client, a high-priced prostitute, gives her a manuscript vividly detailing all of the sexual favors and fantasies she has performed for the city's most powerful men, and then disappears.

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.
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"...Poignant and riveting... This is for sure one blockbuster you don't want to miss." -- Rendezvous Reviews

"Believable and hair-raising. THE HALO EFFECT will have you on the edge of your seat from page one" -- Katherine Neville, New York Times bestselling author of The Eight

"Characters so real we hear them breathing in our ear... a plot that can only be described as a knockout." -- Caroline Leavitt, author of Girls in Trouble

"I dare you to read the first five pages and not be in its thrall...a compulsive artful page-turner." -- Doug Clegg, author of The Hour Before Dark

"Interesting.. thrilling... like a femme... Jonathan Kellerman." -- Kirkus Reviews

"M.J. Rose is great!" -- Janet Evanovich - NYTimes Bestselling Author

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

"MJ Rose writes fearlessly about sex. This is a true erotic thriller. The end will take your breath away." -- Lisa Tucker, author of Shout Down the Moon

"THE HALO EFFECT will keep you spellbound and guessing from the first page to the last." -- Stan Pottinger - NYT Bestselling Author of The Lazt Nazi & The Fourth Procedure

"The Halo Effect is tense, engrossing, and sometimes so real it's frightening." -- Linda Richards, editor of January Magazine

Product Details

  • File Size: 518 KB
  • Print Length: 326 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0985861126
  • Publisher: Lady Chatterly's Library (July 1, 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0052ZGFJ8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,686 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your usual suspense novel July 18, 2004
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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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite there mix of eroticism and suspense September 7, 2004
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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 2.5--okay writing, interesting premise October 29, 2008
By Minsma
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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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down!... August 26, 2004
By Cindy
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.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From one of America's finest erotic writers June 30, 2004
By A Customer
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Captivating story.
Published 18 days ago by Peggy
4.0 out of 5 stars First time reading Rose, it won't be the last.
If you like mysteries to you have to work for, this is one. It kept me from putting it down until it was finished.
Published 1 month ago by Barry Reeder
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading if you like romance & mystery
Entertaining. Worth reading if you like romance & mystery.
Published 1 month ago by peggy snyder
4.0 out of 5 stars very good book
I enjoyed every page of the murder mystery. I like a fast paced book that I can look forward to reading.
Published 2 months ago by Jacqueline Keesee
5.0 out of 5 stars An exciting thriller.
I have not read such an exciting thriller in a long time. The suspense and edge of the seat description of events made it come alive.
Published 4 months ago by Gene Gaines
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read overall with a couple of flaws
This was my first M.J. Rose read and I truly enjoyed the book and will read this author again. What I liked best about this title was how well Rose writes her characters,... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Conda V. Douglas
The book cocerns a New York sex therapyst whose clients are prostitutes and call girls. As mutilated bodies wearing nuns clothes begin showing up around the city, her most... Read more
Published 6 months ago by James Bores
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, Layered, Nuanced
The storyline was different and compelling. I found the characters had depth and engaged me, a key factor in enjoyment of a novel. Read more
Published 6 months ago by DolphinBlue
5.0 out of 5 stars Different type of thriller. Brilliant. The best role models I've been...
My first book from MJ Rose, far from being the last. Ms Rose has such a way to tell a story, I'd never read anything like that before, and I've read thousands of books among which... Read more
Published 8 months ago by tanya william
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written good plot.
This story was very interesting I purchased as a part of a book bundle.The writing is fast flowing and you do not want to put it down. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Reggie
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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

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 -

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..


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