By Dr. Joel R. Gecht
Crossing the Line Publishing
By the time you finish reading Amanda Memories you might almost think of this fascinating novel as paranormal--the strange relationship between Amanda and the psychologist, Brian, moving through to the surprising wonderful ending is almost beyond psychological suspense! I thoroughly enjoyed this one, even though parts were hard to read without sympathy for those involved...
Brian Roberts is driven to be an exceptional student and psychologist, so when Amanda Wagner was first assigned to him when he was an intern, he worked hard to reach and understand all of the many issues that was undoubtedly driving Amanda's present lifestyle--issues that she had long ago forced back so far that she would now only capture glimpses of her past during her nightmares.
Yes, Brian was attracted to Amanda--she was indeed a beautiful young woman and many times Amanda came into their sessions and worked to seduce her young counselor, only to explode angrily when he would back off and try to work to control the situation. Amanda soon admitted that she had fallen in love with Brian, but through Brian's continuous control, she was also able to begin to trust, and depend upon him.
Brian had been involved with Nancy since they were young and Brian was totally in love with her, to the point that he would discuss with her as much as he could about this patient. Although Nancy never totally accepted his ongoing involvement, she forced herself to live with it.
One other character plays a significant part in the relationships that were being developed. Jack had greeted Brian when he first arrived to begin his internship; totally opposite in character from Brian, he was a player, but nonetheless was able to help Brian take some needed breaks away from his studies. He was also the one who discovered that Amanda was "working" out of a local club.
And then many years later, Jack called Brian and offered to represent him to become a "TV talk show doc." And that's when all of the trouble really began!
Nancy was upset that Brian worked all of the time; Brian was upset that his "Dr. Phil"-like program began to be more like "Jerry Springer's." Nobody was happy, but when Amanda called for the first time in years and asked Brian to come see her, Nancy had already become involved with others and they became even more divided when Brian immediately left for Florida! Where Amanda was murdered and Brian was found lying next to her!
Dr. Gecht has done an outstanding representation of the potential psychological problems faced by Amanda. Unfortunately with today's child abuse and greedy individuals, the story rang very true! If Brian represents his own sensitive, empathic efforts to some extent, I would think that Dr. Gecht's clients have one of the best of those psychologists working in the field today.
A true-to-life psychological suspense Amanda Memories by Dr. Joel R. Gecht is highly recommended by this reviewer; the ending was gratifyingly unique and one that makes the book well worth an 8/9 for me, in a ranking of 1-5!
Book Acquired Via
G. A. Bixler