Relentless (Elisabeth Reinhardt – 1) by Nancy Alexander
“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.
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.
Gina is a successful doctor in Chicago but she is haunted by dreams of someone hunting her down. Gina great up on a family farm that was very secluded from modern day and had a troubled cousin that came to live with her family, Jake. She changes her name to try to stay away from him but he is obsessed with her. Jake and his two partners in crime are on the run from the police as they look for another victim that looks like Reggie Lee to have some fun with while they still look for Reggie Lee. Although Gina is trying to stay hidden, her high profile surgery is going to throw her right into the limelight and into the killer’s hands.
This story goes a roundabout way to learn about Gina’s past as she is remembering in her dreams. Thankfully Elisabeth Reinhardt is her therapist and can help her work through the memories and help her prepare for the potential attack from Jake. I really liked Elisabeth. She has her own history that makes are a tough gal to mess with along with a great connection for a network of people that can help.
I liked the story and how Gina was always on the run until she started doing things to get her ready like self-defense classes, shooting classes, security systems and such. I love when a character prepares to fight back instead of just cowering and hoping for help. Gina is a great strong character and I really enjoyed watching her with her surgeries and found it hard to learn of her past abuse.
The one thing that did get to me was the story seemed to drag and drag. I think that a good chunk of the story could have been taken out and made everything flow better. Nancy did a good job of narrating the story. It was easy to understand the different characters.
Overall I liked the story. It was a little slow in the beginning and I kind of forced myself to keep reading. I am interesting in reading the next book to see what happens with Elisabeth next.
I received Relentless from iRead Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this story.
Guest Post by Nancy J. Alexander
My writing is uniquely characterized by two major themes.
One is my intense interest in the human mind, our collective and individual psychology that makes us who we are, dressmakers or computer nerds, laborers or executives, singers or serial killers. More than fascinating, mysterious plots, the complexity of my characters, their psychology and their interactions is the driving energy behind my novels. As a child, I had keen intuition; I seemed to know what people meant but didn’t say, what people felt but didn’t express; the answers lay in my power of observation. As a keen observer and absorbing listener, I gravitated to psychiatric work, where I found my place.
Years of experience as a therapist, combine with my imagination and my love of the genre, motivating me to write what I know best, how culture, economics, genetics and family dynamics affects a the developing personality. This is the fertile soil nourishing my plots driven by rich, complex characters.
Another consistent theme influencing my work is a lifelong commitment to social justice. I believe we are all responsible for creating the world in which we live. I believe our society guarantees freedom from oppression or persecution and ensures equal opportunities, regardless of variations in skin tone, language, customs, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or belief systems. I am a strong defender of the underdog, of those who subsist on the outskirts of our society, outside of the normative structures, those who need protection or assistance, access to education or healthcare. We live in a fragile world; people across the globe are fighting historic battles for survival, survival of their ways of life, their belief systems, and their very lives. Hatred abounds, spreading like a gasoline fire across the land.
In my way, I am fighting for understanding, awareness, insight and commonality between our very diverse world populations. In my way, I am asking people to reach for their better selves; to find a different way to be.
Win a signed copy of RELENTLESS by Nancy J Alexander / 2 winners will also get a $15 Amazon gift card (open to USA & CAN) 5 winners total
Ends Jan 7