BOOK REVIEW : The Ninth Session by Deborah Serani (Psychological Suspense)

Deborah Serani

Genre: Psychological Suspense
Publisher:  TouchPoint Press
Date of Publication:  September 26, 2019
Number of Pages:  190

An edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller that brings a unique mix of psychotherapy and Sign Language and Coda Culture. Just when you think you have it figured out, think again!

Dr. Alicia Reese, a recent widow and a CODA – a child of Deaf Adults, takes on a new patient. Lucas Ferro reveals the reason for his consultation is that he wasn’t really open with his previous therapist. After gaining Reese’s trust, he shares aspects of his life that are clearly disturbing – experiences that create anxiety and panic, but also reveal horrifying psychopathology. Instead of referring Ferro elsewhere, Reese chooses to continue working with him, feeling reinvigorated by the challenge of his case.

As sessions progress, and Ferro’s disclosures become more menacing, Reese finds herself wedged between the cold hard frame of professional ethics and the integrity of personal truth – and learns just how far she’s willing to go, willing to risk and willing to lose to do the right thing.
I received a copy of this book for free. This is my honest and thoughtful review.

This is an incredibly fast-paced and addictively easy to read story, following Dr. Reese after she takes on a new patient. The dramatic opening sets the tone for this roller coaster ride that never lets up. The author uses her experience to craft a compelling narrative focused on dark pathology and deep secrets that unfold in twist after twist! 

Short, tensely woven chapters focus on a session that Dr. Reese and Lucas share, leading to a decisive moment where everything changes and nothing will ever be the same. I greatly appreciated the notes Dr. Reese drafts after each session, which provided keen insight into the mental state of Lucas as seen from a professional. I’ve never seen this done before, but its seamless presentation added valuable context and understanding. Neither of these characters is at all likeable, but it ultimately made this story all the more believable and realistic. It would have been so easy to paint Dr. Reese as “good” and Lucas as “evil,” but there are these broad strokes of gray that ultimately took this story to the next sinister and unforgettable level.

This won’t be the book for everyone, but I was truly captivated by the unfolding of a deeply disturbing and dysfunctional relationship made all the more unsettling when that trust is broken by a moral and ethical dilemma. So much of the story was unexpected, including the ending, making this an absolutely riveting read that casts so much light onto the field of psychology and the dynamics between people that can change the course of a life forever. 

Deborah Serani is an award-winning author and psychologist who has been in practice for thirty years. She is also a professor at Adelphi University and is a go-to media expert for psychological issues. Her interviews can be found in Newsday, Psychology Today, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, The Associated Press, and affiliate radio programs at CBS and NPR, among others. Dr. Serani has also been a technical advisor for the NBC television show, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. The recurring character, Judge D. Serani, was named after her.

Many thanks to Pump Up Your Book Blog Tours and the author! It was a pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and extras!

Tuesday, October 1

Book Feature & Tour Kick Off at PUYB Virtual Book Club

Wednesday, October 2

Book Teaser Trailer Feature at YouTube

Thursday, October 3

Guest Blogging at Literarily Speaking

Friday, October 4

Interview at As the Page Turns

Monday, October 7

Book Feature at The Bookworm Lodge

Tuesday, October 8

Interview at Life Through the Camera Lens

Thursday, October 10

Book Teaser Trailer Feature at I’m Shelf-ish

Book Review at From the TBR Pile

Friday, October 11

Book Review at FUONLYKNEW

Monday, October 14

Interview at Book Publishing Secrets

Tuesday, October 15

Guest Blogging at Literarily Speaking

Monday, October 21

Character Interview at Blogging Authors

Book Review at Sefina Hawke’s Books

Friday, October 25

Book Review at Momma Says: To Read or Not To Read

Monday, October 28

Interview at Confessions of an Eccentric Bookaholic

Thursday, October 31

Interview at Book Cover Junkie

Monday, November 4

Book Review at Books for Books

Tuesday, November 5

Book Review at That’s What She’s Reading

Wednesday, November 6

Book Review at Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm

Thursday, November 7

Book Review at Just Another Reader

Friday, November 8

Book Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook

Monday, November 11

Book Review at Shalina’s Books & Reviews

Tuesday, November 12

Interview at Book Bloggin’ Princess

Wednesday, November 13

Book Teaser Trailer Feature at The Writer’s Life e-Magazine

Friday, November 15

Book Review at Jazzy Book Reviews

Monday, November 18

Book Feature at T’s Stuff

Wednesday, November 20

Book Review at I’m Into Books

Thursday, November 21

Book Feature at My Book Launch

Monday, November 25

Interview at The Dark Phantom Reviews

Tuesday, November 26

Book Review at Stranded in Chaos

Wednesday, November 27

Book Review at fundimental

Friday, November 29

Guest Blogging at Dear Reader, Love Author


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