Monday, November 28, 2016

Seb Kirby Brings Readers Another Great Psychological Suspense Novel!

Trust is like that. You can break it for a good reason. 
But it still remains broken. --Harlan Coben

I’m lost in a dark, dark place and, try as hard as I can, nothing helps me to understand. When I seek answers, I see only broken shards of my past, flashes lighting this darkest of places for an instant, shining bright then fading as soon as they appear. Fragments of time, light and dark, great joy and great sadness, overlapping incidents in my life that I thought were lost forever. And when I look again, it’s as if what I’ve just seen has never existed.
I open my eyes and look around...facing a woman who looks at me with care and concern. I say the only thing I need to say. “Where am I?” She smiles at me. “You’re at the Pinetree Medical Practice. I’m your doctor, Jane Wilson.” 
“How did I get here?” 
“Your friend Marianne brought you here.” 
“Why would she do that?” 
The doctor looks up from the notes she’s making on her screen. “Because you’re distressed.” She pauses. “Can you tell me why you’re feeling so anxious?” 
I don’t know why she’s asking me this. Why should I trust anything she says when she won’t tell me where I am? “I don’t know.” 
She keeps prying. “What can you tell me about the last twenty-four hours?” 
“I can’t. It’s a blank.” “And that’s why you’re distressed?” How could she know how this feels? I’m alone, lost in a cold emptiness with no way back home. Why can’t she be straight with me? “I don’t know. Just tell me where I am?”
“You’re with me, your doctor, Jane Wilson, at the Pinetree Medical Centre.” 
“How did I get here?
 “Your friend brought you. Do you remember her name?” 
I’m so alone, how could she tell me I have a single friend in this world? “I can’t recall anyone bringing me here.” 
The doctor returns her attention to the screen. “I’m going to ask you some questions. They’re going to help me find out what’s wrong with you. Is that all right?” 
“If it will help.”
 “OK. Tell me about yourself. What’s your name?” 
I know who I am. No one can take that away from me. “Isobel Cunningham. Issy to my friends." 
“So, you won’t mind if I call you Issy?" 
“That’s fine.” 
“And where do you live?” I know that, too. “Bentham Gardens. Apartment 21.” 
“And how old are you?” 
“Forty-one next birthday.” God, I’m that old? 
“Any brothers or sisters.” “I’m an only child.”
 “You’re married?” “To John. We’re divorced.”
“Any children?” I feel a jolt of pain as she asks me this. I don’t know why I should feel this way. I give her the only answer I can, the one I need to give. “No children.” “And your parents?”
“Jenny and Tom. They’re separated. She lives in Reading.” I can say this, but if I closed my eyes, I wouldn’t see them. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them. 
“Spell WORLD.” Now she’s saying I’m stupid. Who would ever want to ask a forty-one year old woman that?
“Why wouldn’t I be able to spell it?” 
“Just try.” 
“OK. W-O-R-L-D.”
 “That’s fine. Tell me, Issy, do you suffer from migraine?” “I don’t know. I just want you to tell me where I am, how I got here.” The way she’s acting, you’d think I’d just asked her that. Why can’t she just level with me?
The doctor returns to her on-screen notes. “Your records show that in fact you do suffer from migraine. You’ve been managing attacks for the last three years, linked to periods of stress, as often as not.” 
“If you say.”
“Where do you work?” I can feel a pain tightening in my abdomen. A shadow of something or someone heading towards me. “Ardensis Partners.” 
“And what’s that?”
“It’s an ad agency. I’m a consultant there.” 
“So there’s the stress.” The doctor takes in a deep breath. “Issy, you’re confused and disorientated. You know all the details about who you are and about your family and where you live and work, yet you’ve lost your bearings somehow and that’s what’s making you feel so distressed.” 
“There may be a physical cause. I’d like to take a look at you, if that’s OK?” 
Now she wants to touch me. There was someone who touched me last. Someone I trusted. Someone I don’t want to trust again. I remove my clothes and lie on the table. “I just want you to tell me why I’m here. Where I am...”

Sugar for Sugar
A Gripping Psychological Thriller

By Seb Kirby

I greatly enjoy reading books by Seb Kirby. Check out my reviews of Take No More and Each Day I Wake. If you enjoy psychological suspense, do consider this author, starting with today's, which I read in one day... It is fantastic!

It is difficult to imagine losing parts or all of your memory. As we grow older, many of us lose our thoughts such as what we were looking for--it may take a while but we usually do remember. But  Issy Cunningham had become unable to remember her recent and immediate memories. She would ask questions such as to "Where am I?" but would then immediately forget the answer so that she would ask over and over...

Lesley pauses from taking notes.
 “So, how was Mr. Aspinal
when he was in charge?”
 Marianne leans forward and
 lowers her voice. “I don’t want
 to speak ill of the dead but if
 you don’t get this from me
you’ll certainly get it from just
 about anyone else here. To
 put it simply, he’s been a disaster.
 You know what they say. 

All power corrupts.” Ives cuts in.
 “It went to his head?”
 “In Mike’s case you might
 say that.” She pauses.
 “Oh, don’t get me wrong,
Vince thought he’d made a good
 choice when he appointed Mike
 as acting CEO while he was
 away. But from the start it’s
 been one of the worst decisions
 he’s ever made.”


But this was not just a medical issue that resulted from her being assaulted... She remembered she was divorced and in her early dreams she remembered loving her husband....

But she couldn't remember the traumatic event which happened years ago that had begun changing her...

And she certainly didn't remember, or even know, that her boss had been murdered the same night of her assault...

The police had already found from security cameras that she had been with him that night...but she remembered nothing...

The only fortunate thing for Issy, which in her condition, was that her boss, who had been acting on an interim basis, had been so cruel as a boss--telling everybody that he would get things in good shape while he was in charge--that he had made everybody hate him at work...

Detective Inspector Stephen Ives, a 25-year-veteran still grieves for each individual who has been killed during criminal activities, not understanding the willingness for humans to consider life so lightly... He has a personal bias against "creatives" who work in advertising, so he struggles hard not to allow his feelings to become part of this investigation. But as a meticulous officer, he is soon finding evidence that supports Issy being involved... 

Was the rape assault too much for her to deal with... But why, then, did they find evidence in her office that would lead to an assumption of pre-planning?!

There are other persons of interest as well and the investigation becomes more and more complicated, while at the same time, Issy has more and more flashbacks that is filling in the blanks of her memory... and the memory of her losses bring back all the heartbreak she had faced those many years again...But at least she now knew why she was divorced. 

Because of the specific type of loss she was experiencing, she began to make notes as a reference to ensure she didn't lose what memories she'd already regained... So far...

  • I find the phone and stare at the notes there. 
  • Why did Colin need my help? 
  • Mary is a good friend. 
  • I should have trusted my mother. 
  • John, how did I ever lose you? 
  • Mike is dead. Why do I feel so guilty? 
  • Colin behaves like he owes me. 
  • How I love you, Kelly.

  • The ending was certainly a surprise and could not have been foreseen. Yes, there were several clues, but not enough to even guess at what happened! And, is that what makes a totally satisfying closure...Well, almost... I had to wonder if there would be a followup to this story...Surely, there had to be something good come out of this...that's my opinion; my hope!


    Seb Kirby is the author of the James Blake Thriller series (TAKE NO MORE, REGRET NO MORE and FORGIVE NO MORE), the Raymond Bridges sci fi thriller series (DOUBLE BIND) and the psychological thriller EACH DAY I WAKE. The new stand alone psychological thriller SUGAR FOR SUGAR, available now.

    He says: "I've been an avid reader from an early age - my grandfather ran a mobile lending library in Birmingham and when it closed my parents inherited many of the books. From the first moment I was hooked. Now, as a full-time writer myself, it's my goal to add to the magic of the wonderful words and stories I discovered back then."

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