Tortured Memory

Mystery & Thrillers

By Lawrence Gold

Publisher : Grass Valley Publishing

ABOUT Lawrence Gold

Lawrence Gold



Dr. Abbie Adler had chosen general, child, and adolescent psychiatrist to treat sexually abused girls. As a victim of such abuse herself, Abbie’s insights make her an effective therapist. In addition, her practice includes adult patients and provides group and individual therapy for a broad range of psychiatric problems including depression, personality disorders, psychopathy, and malignant narcissism.
On a December evening, the Berkeley Police find Abbie sitting in her car at Inspiration Point overlooking the East Bay of San Francisco. She’s bruised and catatonic. They transport her to Brier Hospital where they admit her to the psychiatric ward. The nature of her condition, and its cause, remain a mystery. After standard treatments fail, her psychiatrist recommends electroshock therapy. Finally, she awakens but remembers nothing of the month preceding. In addition, she discovers significant memory gaps from the past few years.
Abbie had been treating two victims of the Chabot rapist who targeted girls and as she’s making progress in their care, unbelievably, someone abducts and strangles them. Their deaths devastate Abbie.
During Abbie’s difficult recovery, memories of past events gradually return. They are fragmentary and torture her with memory flashes and nightmares. Gradually, she begins to suspect that one of her adult patients may be the strangler. When the police find Abbie’s prime suspect brutally murdered, both she and the police are befuddled. Abbie struggles to discover the identity of the strangler and those who may be abetting his actions. Will he/they get away with it?

Abbie became a psychiatrist, in part, to exorcise her own demons.

3 star


There are many crazy, as in mental, characters in this book. With so many potential perpetrators, all of which are demented enough to have committed the crimes, the reader is left to their logical devices until the candidate pool is reduced.
The main character is Dr. Abbie Adler, a psychiatrist with a special interest in the sexual abuse of children. Her interest was derived from her childhood, where she was sexually abused over the course of several years. In the immediate past, Abbie has been treating two young female victims of the Chabot Rapist, a man that uses ether to render his victims unconscious before he rapes them. Abbie has also been seeing a therapist for a number of years in order to deal with her past.
The timeframe of the opening is after most of this has occurred; in that section Abbie is discovered in a catatonic, unresponsive state behind the wheel of her car. Quickly shifting to Abbie's childhood and the years of sexual abuse, we get a brief synopsis of her life and then the events begin unfolding. We are introduced to many people that are presented in a way that you put them into your list of prime suspects. Abbie is no shrinking violet; she has studied martial arts and owns a handgun.
What makes this an intelligent thriller is that each one of the prime suspects has a tie to other characters and none of them generates an iota of sympathy in your mind. They all suffer from significant mental problems and you are in the room when their personalities are being examined and dissected. Sometimes when they openly admit to their violent faults and deliberately try to manipulate those around them.
This is one of those books that once I started it my priority list was rearranged. I could not put it down as Abbie and the people around her struggle to make sense of a complicated web of destruction, deceit and manipulation, all while she tries to regain her memory, stay alive and face the world she lives in.