Death Trance: A Novel of Hypnotic Detection

R. D. Zimmerman, Author
R. D. Zimmerman, Author William Morrow & Company $20 (254p) ISBN 978-0-688-11451-0
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-440-21326-0
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In this oddly compelling and suspenseful novel, Edgar nominee Zimmerman ( Dead Fall in Berlin ) steps to the very edge of credulity but avoids falling off. Technical writer Alex Phillips agrees to be hypnotized by his sister Maddy, a blind paraplegic clinical psychologist, to see if his subconscious holds any clues to the murder of his former lover Toni, a still-unsolved crime that he witnessed. Enigmatic Maddy takes Alex back a few months to the moment when Toni asks for his help, appearing in Minneapolis following the drowning of her sister Liz. Although the police label it suicide, Toni believes Liz was killed and convinces Alex to help her delve into her sister's affairs, which turn out to include a former boyfriend involved in a weird cult that may be responsible for the ritual killings of four young women. Slowly Alex's retelling arrives at Toni's murder, and although he didn't see the killer's face, his account provides Maddy with an invaluable clue. The author nicely integrates his frequent flashbacks into the narrative, which disappoints only with its contrived ending. ( Oct. )
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