Poisoned Pen, Aug 1 2010, $24.95
The Pittsburgh Police department consults with psychologist Dr. Daniel Rinaldi on particularly nasty cases like kidnappings. Daniel is considered a noted expert helping victims of violent crime cope as most remain haunted by the trauma long after the horror has passed.
College student Kevin Merrick was a victim of an armed assault. He is traumatized and desperately in need of a hero. Kevin feels he found one in his analyst Dr. Rinaldi. The troubled student begins to emulate his idol, but before Daniel can help him, someone viciously murders Kevin. Shocked by what happened to his patient, Kevin and PPD believe he, not the student, was the target. The culprit erred because of how much the unfortunate young man dressed like the psychologist. However when PPD realize who the victim’s dad is, they reconsider their theory even as the killer floods Rinaldi with threatening messages. Rinaldi is not one to sit around so he begins an inquiry into who wants him dead and why.
This is an exciting thriller starring a fascinating shrink who learns a lot about himself with his affair with an officer of the court and his need for compassionate justice. Readers will enjoy Rinaldi’s psychological sleuthing as he goes after his stalker but not just for himself; as he feels he owes Kevin “peace” as he prefers t believe his late client’s sister that he is in a better place and will feel even more contentment if his killer is caught. Although a mocking egomaniac psychopathic killer has been used too frequently as has a psychologist as a police consultant sleuthing (Kellerman’s Dr. Delaware), Rinaldi’s sense of purpose and his skills make for an enjoyable mystery.