“The little girl lay under the hay stack scarcely breathing. Sweat poured down her face and dripped into her eyes; her heart pounded through her thin chest. Tiny flecks of hay clung to her wet skin, making her itch. She squeezed her nose tightly afraid she’d sneeze. Eyes clamped shut, she lay there. Flies buzzed around her, crawling on her. She didn’t move. She didn’t know how long she’d been there in the loft. She didn’t care how long she stayed. She couldn’t move. Not yet.”
Nearly a lifetime after a childhood filled with misery and abuse, Gina, now a successful doctor, finds herself thrown back into a terrifying world where her nightmares become far more than just a dream. With the help of an unconventional therapist with secrets of her own, the hunt is on and Gina fights for her life in this harrowing tale of cat and mouse.
Guest Post by Nancy J. Alexander
“Elisabeth Reinhardt knows no bounds as she fights to protect and rescue her clients.”
Our protagonist and the series title character, Elisabeth Reinhardt, PhD started out as my doppelgänger. While we don’t look alike and our personal histories are different, she embodies my values, my social belief system and my worldview. Her therapeutic style, her commitment to her patients’ recovery and her drive for social justice are similar. My patients have commented, “Gosh, she sounds just like you! Funny how that happened!” I chuckle and agree, “Yep, funny how that happened.”
For me, Elisabeth fulfills another role, not just as a psychotherapist but also a social activist. While my social activism has involved years of legislative, organizational and political advocacy, her underground Jewish organization, Chevra Hatzollah takes her where I have never gone but always wanted to go. Into the realm of freedom fighter, confronter of wrongdoers, under-dog advocate. As a child survivor of Nazi Germany, social and political issues were drummed into her mind and heart becoming the essence of her personality. So, when Elisabeth becomes a psychologist specializing in trauma recovery, a natural blending takes place. While she ‘fought’ in her office to help those wounded by others, she also ‘fought’ in the real world to take down the abusers, perpetrators, criminals and terrorists.
She and her allies speak for those unable to speak for themselves; they stand against those who abuse power personally or on a grander scale and are always aware that safety is a process and peace both elusive and fragile.
Elisabeth embodies the best of who I am and the best of who I would like to become.
Love of the mystery/thriller genre combines with psychotherapy training and experience to produce an emotionally supercharged dramatic novel. Nancy Alexander has devoted much of her professional life to helping survivors of childhood trauma; their distress has been ingrained and works to create characters who give voice to their plight. To analyze the evil minds that prey on others and the intricacies of law enforcers who pursue them seemed a natural interlacing of professional, literary and creative interests.