A Twisted Ladder
Forge, Sep 2009, $14.99
Tulane University psychologist Dr. Madeleine LeBlanc has a personal interest in cognitive schizophrenia as her father “Daddy Blank” and her brother Marc suffered from the illness. Maddy has spent her medical career seeking the cause of the crippling disease and its prevention. Since her brother’s suicide while fishing on Bayou Black, she fears the disease will prove genetic.
Maddy is also afraid she might be schizophrenic or a schizoid psychotic when a “devil-child” visits her psychically. With help of Tulane neurologist Ethan Manderleigh, Maddy investigates her heritage especially on the family sugarcane plantation. However, instead of a better understanding of herself and her kin dating back to her nasty voodoo queen great-grandmother, she believes a childhood friend is a serial killer though she wonders if her conclusion is caused by her mental state rather than facts.
The fun in this exciting urban psychological suspense fantasy is the blending of voodoo with modern mental health research. The story line is refreshing due to those ties that connect in the soul of Maddy. She fears she will be a chip off the old block of her schizophrenic father or her nasty century plus old voodoo queen great-grandmother; either side is a genetic loser in Maddy’s mind as each lead to madness. With her only hope for survival rests in understanding her complete heritage, Maddy flashbacks to Prohibition New Orleans to comprehend Chloe’s salad days. Fans will enjoy the aptly titled A TWISTED LADDER as the heroine ponders nurturing vs. naturing with her DNA and her childhood tainted in this terrific refreshing character driven thriller.