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The Heat of the Moon: A Rachel Goddard Mystery (Rachel Goddard Mysteries) Paperback – January 1, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
In Parshall's strong debut, a frightening psychological mystery, veterinarian Rachel Goddard is happy with her job at an animal hospital in McLean, Va., until the rainy day one of her favorite patients, a basset hound named Maude, is hit by a car. During the frantic moments when Maude's owner, Mrs. Coleman, delivers the injured dog to the hospital, Rachel finds herself trying to comfort the woman's three-year-old daughter, Kristin, who's upset because she's temporarily separated from her mother. This traumatic incident reminds Rachel of her younger sister as a child, provoking flashbacks that begin to haunt and torment her. The hospital's attractive new head doctor, Luke Campbell, can't quell her anguish as she searches for answers about her past, against the wishes of her own controlling mother and sister. Luke's behavior at a dinner party in one scene is unconvincing, but otherwise the characters are believable and natural. The fresh, mesmerizing plot will keep readers turning the pages to the very end. (June)
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.
Parshall's debut is a captivating tale of suspense and romance with gothic twists. Set in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., the story focuses on Rachel Goddard, a young veterinarian who, with her younger sister, Michelle, still lives in her mother's house. The sisters' father died in a car accident when Rachel was a child, but her mother remains reluctant to discuss any of the details--and is downright hostile when Rachel starts asking more difficult questions prompted by a repressed childhood memory that pops into her head. Complicating matters is Rachel's new boss, the handsome vet Dr. Luke Campbell, with whom Rachel experiences much more than puppy love. When Luke encourages Rachel to keep probing into her childhood, her mother insists that Rachel end the relationship. Readers will root for Rachel as she fights her cold mother and weak sister for the truth about what happened to her father--and discovers some disturbing things about herself. A standout debut that effectively crosses subgenres--more psychologically astute than many romantic-suspense tales, yet more romantic than high-end psychological thrillers. Jenny McLarin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Rachel and Michelle’s mother Judith was a well-known and respected psychologist and while both adult daughters still lived in the family home in Washington with their mother, they all lived comfortably with each other. That was until Rachel began asking questions about their father who had died in a terrible car crash when she was five years old. Rachel had no memories at all of her father and wanted to see photos; she needed to know more about him.
What would Rachel discover as she defied her mother in her search for the truth? And why wouldn’t her mother talk about her past? Could Rachel break through the control her mother had over her?
"Her show of affection for me was like the heat of the moon, an illusion, a glow that gave no warmth"
Excellent! The Heat of the Moon by Sandra Parshall is this author’s debut and also the first in the Rachel Goddard Mystery series. An intense and gripping psychological thriller I flew through the pages, thinking I knew the answers but nowhere near correct! I’ll be checking out the next in the series and have no hesitation in recommending The Heat of the Moon to fans of the genre.
The main character, Rachel Goddard, is a young veterinarian in a practice that’s just been sold to a new owner. She’s worried about keeping her job, pleasing her biotch of a mother and trying to maintain a decent relationship with her sister. (Frankly, I’d have cut them both off at the knees, but that would shorten the book by half, I guess.) The book opens with a basset hound suffering from a messy broken leg (unfortunate contest with a speeding vehicle) and the basset’s young person, who is devastated by the injury and the fact that her mother has left her alone in the office in her haste to get the dog treatment. The child’s cries cause Rachel to have a flashback about her own childhood and sets her off on a chase to find the truth about her own life.
I found the storyline riveting, and the characters fully-developed. I could feel Rachel’s bleakness and hunger for more as she and her sister and mother circled each other in that big, beautifully furnished, but empty house. I was carried along as she searched for answers about her early life while trying to live in the present, do her job well and please her mother. I was distressed when she was in peril, but pleased to see her take tentative steps to maturity throughout the book. And with a Mommie Dearest like she had, those tiny steps were a big deal.
This book gave a great backstory and answered questions I had about the characters. It made me like Rachel even more than I already did. And the ending was very satisfying. I do wish I would have started this series in order. I was already a fan of this author, but this book makes me want to go buy the other books I’m missing so I can keep up with Rachel and see how her life turns out.
The Heat of the Moon is a psychological mystery with heavy dollops of drama and romance. There are four main characters, each of which is fully realized. The plot is relatively simple and straightforward, following Rachel as she learns and adjusts to each new fact as it emerges. Paradoxically, she must repeatedly resort to deception in order to reach the truth. This is a suspenseful novel in which the tension is cerebral rather than physical, although there is one violent scene leading to the denouement.
Very promising first novel ( although I haven't been able to figure out what the story has to do with the moon or its heat.)
Most recent customer reviews
Untangling our feelings of family, belonging, trust and mother-daughter relationships, this novel...Read more