Phantom Limb by Lucinda Berry
Rise Press: 1/17/17
Ebook review copy: 260 pages
Phantom Limb by Lucinda Berry is a very highly recommended psychological thriller, with a focus on the psychological.
Elizabeth has overcome a tragic childhood. Elizabeth and her twin sister
Emily were abused, neglected children who were rescued and taken away
from their nightmare of an excuse for a mother and adopted by Bob and
Dalila Rooth. The psychological damage had already been done, however,
and the two girls clung to each other. Now a young adult in college,
Elizabeth is becoming worn out caring for her still-wounded and damaged
sister Emily. Elizabeth has a boyfriend, Thomas, that she'd like to
introduce to her sister, but she is unsure that Emily is well enough to
handle the news. Emily struggles with the urge to self-injury, along
with giving in to her own internal personal suffering and depression.
Elizabeth decides to talk to her childhood therapist, Lisa, about
introducing Thomas to Emily. Although talking to Lisa is a comfortable
experience, something seems a bit amiss in their meeting, but Elizabeth
plans to have more sessions with her. She is also determined to have
Thomas meet Emily, but Emily reacts badly. When Emily seeks out Thomas
and warns him to stay away from Elizabeth, the two sisters have a huge
fight and Elizabeth sleeps on the coach. When she wakes up, she finds
Emily in the bathroom, with pills and blood... That is all Elizabeth
remembers when she wakes up a week later in the hospital and is moved to
the psychiatric unit. What happened?
This is a gripping, well written thriller that explores the psychology
behind what happened to Elizabeth. As a character driven drama, you
could almost call it a psychological procedural, as Elizabeth works
through what happened and facts are slowly revealed. The actual
psychology behind the emerging secrets is a pleasure to see in a work of
fiction. There are a couple shocking twists. The first might be guessed
by astute readers of psychological dramas. The second twist you won't
likely see coming until it is revealed.
I enjoyed Phantom Limb a great deal and was initially going to
give it my highest possible rating, but then, suddenly, a fact hit my
brain and I had to go down at least 1/2 a star. (I actually consulted
with someone about my question to confirm that I was right.) I can't
discuss openly any of it or I'll ruin the book, and I'm not giving any
spoilers. For most readers my one concern won't matter an iota. This is
an engrossing thriller and it will hold your rapt attention from
beginning to end.
My advanced reading copy was courtesy
of Heather Harrison at Rise Press.