Monday, December 17, 2012

Rita Herron's Dying to Tell Reminiscent of Sybil and Snake Pit!

Sybil (1976 film)
Sybil (1976 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The chimes were ringing. Ting. Ting. Ting.
Then the clock. Ticktock. Ticktock. Ticktock.
He was there.
Whispering in her ear.
Time to go, Amelia. Close your eyes and it won't hurt.
But she was crying again...Bessie was scared...
He had lied.
It did hurt. She could hear the others scream. The
cries resounded through the hollow walls.
The terrified pleas to let them go. To stop the pain.
Then Bessie was gone, and she was drowning, the
darkness swallowing her into its abyss.
"No more Amelia," he murmured. "No more weak
No! He couldn't kill Amelia.
She had to tell Sadie. Sadie would come, she'd help
her. Only the black curtain fell over her again.
Dark. It was so dark.
The pain was back. He was choking her...
She tried to scream, but there was no sound.
Where was Sadie?
Sadie is gone.
She can't help you now
, he murmured.
"I'll tell," she cried.
His voice rumbled in her ear, sinnister and low
this time.
No, you won't.
Tell and you die..."

Dying to Tell:

A Slaughter Creek Novel

By Rita Herron

Over the many years I've been reading or watching stories, I have never forgotten two fascinating tales of psychological horror--Snake Pit and Sybil. This novel very much is reminiscent and if you happen to have seen them and admit you were intrigued as I, then consider Dying to Tell a must-read for you!

This novel has been placed in the romantic suspense genre and, indeed, we do have romance and suspense, mostly with Sadie and her long-lost lover. However, you see, Sadie and Amelia are twin sisters.

Sadie is sane...
Amelia is not...

Personally, I think you must realize what you are going to read about so that you can make a sound decision.
Psychological horror is not romantic, rather romance is what makes what you are reading bearable, since it breaks up what is really happening.

Also, in my opinion, just as Sybil became a historical movie icon, so does Amelia resonate with that complex puzzle that is both repelling and fascinating to all of us--
what makes individuals the way they are, especially if
and when they are so different that they are jailed or hospitalized because of it. Is it fear that we could also
change in some way?

Sadie had left town ten years ago--she had received a
scholarship for college, but she also had left, knowing
she wouldn't come back to live.

Now, she had come, called back because her grandfather was dead.

Amelia had been found sitting near him, covered in blood, still holding the gun that had blasted her Papaw's head away... She had been taken to jail.

And Jake was the Sheriff! Could things get any worse? Sadie was now a psychiatric counselor for children, so when she got to Amelia, she immediately began to try to find out what had happened. She knew Amelia would not have hurt their grandfather, but one of the others might have...

The "others" were those individuals who lived alongside of Amelia--in Amelia's body. Bessie had come out when Amelia was about 3. Everybody had thought she was an imaginary friend that Amelia had created.

But another was a teenage boy. He had been the one that night--the one who had shot the man attacking, hurting Amelia. Sadie remembered she had seen he had a needle and then recognized who he was...

Later they had gone to get Papaw and he knew Amelia would be put in jail, so they carried the body away and buried him. There was now no option for Sadie, she had to leave town, leave Jake, and never return because the man who had been killed was Jake's father!

Now, as they say, all "Hell" had broken loose. Amelia had been taken on to the psychiatric hospital where she had been in and out of most of her life. And soon after she was in her room, a code emergency was announced--a friend she had made there had just died.

And before her mother left that day, she had demanded an autopsy, claiming that her daughter had been getting better and that she now regretted not listening to what she had been saying for so many years...

And, sure enough, they found that she had been murdered...

And much of what she had been trying to tell her mother was similar to what Amelia had been saying...

That they had been hurt by the doctors and others there at the hospital...
That they had been kept drugged...
That they had taken them down a long hall in the basement...
   Ting. Ting. Ting.   Ticktock. Ticktock. Ticktock...

And then they had found one of the doctors who had been there at the time with his throat slashed...

What had they been doing to the children?

Whew! This is a page-turner like you haven't read for awhile! After all, who believes children with mental problems? I can't save I loved it, but this novel has the same tension we experienced as we watched Sybil fight through what had been done to her as a child. It fascinates. It repels. It makes us angry--afraid! Horror , suspense...and a quite satisfactory ending! Your kind of story? It was for me...

"Sadie faded in and out of consciousness, the days blurring into endless
terrible dreams and confusing snippets of people coming in and out of the room.
"She blinked back tears of frustration. She had almost escaped.
"But someone caught her and knocked her unconscious. When she stirred,
she'd tried to see who it was. For a hazy terrifying moment, she thought
she'd been looking into the face of Arthur Blackwood.
But then she blinked and realized an orderly was dragging her back into the room.
"Despair overcame her as he chained her back to the bed. No wonder Amelia
had sounded incoherent half the time. Even though she
was sane, the medications were distorting her thoughts.


Award-winning novelist Rita Herron has written over sixty novels and loves penning romantic suspense, sexy romantic comedies, and family-friendly romances, especially set in small Southern towns. To learn more about Rita, visit and follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@ritaherron).

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  1. Wow, another excellent book to read this coming holiday vacation. My kind of story, I can't wait to have it! Great review Glenda!

  2. An and Sheila! Hope you both capture the essence of this "terror" as I did...

    Happy Holidays!

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