BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jonathan Kellerman's Guilt.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
The voice belongs to a woman, but Dr. Alex Delaware remembers a little girl. It is eleven years since seven-year-old Melissa Dickinson dialed the hospital help line for comfort—and found it in therapy with Alex Delaware. Now the lovely young heiress is desperately calling for the psychologist’s help once more. Only this time it looks like Melissa’s deepest childhood nightmare is really coming true.
“A page-turner from beginning to end.”—Los Angeles Times
Twenty years ago, Gina Dickinson, Melissa’s mother, suffered a grisly assault that left the budding actress irreparably scarred and emotionally crippled. Now her acid-wielding assailant is out of prison and back in L.A.—and Melissa is terrified that the monster has returned to hurt Gina again. But before Alex Delaware can even begin to soothe his former patient’s fears, Gina, a recluse for twenty years, disappears. And now, unless Delaware turns crack detective to uncover the truth, Gina Dickinson will be just one more victim of a cold fury that has already spawned madness . . . and murder.
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April 01, 2003
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Excerpt from Private Eyes by Jonathan Kellerman
A therapist's work is never over.
Which isn't to say that patients don't get better.
But the bond forged during locked-door three-quarter hours -- the relationship that develops when private eyes peek into private lives -- can achieve a certain immortality.
Some patients do leave and never return. Some never leave. A good many occupy an ambiguous space in the middle -- throwing out occasional tendrils of reattachment during periods of pride or sorrow.
Predicting who'll fall into which group is an iffy business, no more rational than Vegas or the stock market. After a few years in practice I stopped trying.
So I really wasn't surprised when I came home after a July night-run and learned that Melissa Dickinson had left a message with my service.
First time I'd heard from her in . . . what? It had to be nearly a decade since she'd stopped coming to the office I once maintained in a cold-blooded high-rise on the east end of Beverly Hills.
One of my long-termers.
That alone would have made her stand out in my memory, but there had been so much more. . . .
Child psychology's an ideal job for those who like to feel heroic. Children tend to get better relatively quickly and to need less treatment than adults. Even at the height of my practice it was rare to schedule a patient for more than one session a week. But I started Melissa at three. Because of the extent of her problems. Her unique situation. After eight months we tapered to twice; at year's anniversary, were down to one.
Finally, a month shy of two years, termination.
She left therapy a changed little girl; I allowed myself a bit of self-congratulation but knew better than to wallow in it. Because the family structure that had nurtured her problems had never been altered. Its surface hadn't even been scratched.
Despite that, there'd been no reason to keep her in treatment against her will.
I'm nine years old, Dr. Delaware. I'm ready to handle things on my own.
I sent her out into the world, expecting to hear from her soon. Didn't for several weeks, phoned her and was informed, in polite but firm nine-year-old tones, that she was just fine, thank you, would call me if she needed me.