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The Heat of the Moon by Sandra Parshall

The Heat of the Moon

by Sandra Parshall

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This was ok, slow to get going, but it takes off like a rocket for the last 25% of so.
It is an origin story if that can be a way to describe the beginning of an investigation/mystery series with a veterinarian rather than a super-heroine. She has to first solve a mystery in her own family.
The rest in the series (5 further books as of mid-2015) are probably quite different, and likely won't have the frustration of waiting for the Rachel Goddard character to break out of the American gothic family role that they are struggling with here. ( )
  alanteder | Jun 23, 2015 |
Pretty good story, not great. A few twists that weren't expected. Overall, enjoyed but wouldn't say "you must read" ( )
  NHNick | Apr 24, 2014 |
Should not be described as a mystery. ( )
  Rayaowen | Mar 2, 2014 |
Very slow start to this book but half way through it got interesting with a surprise ending. ( )
  krystalsbooks | Sep 1, 2013 |
First Line: I drive slowly past a familiar house where strangers now live.

Until the rainy night when a Basset Hound named Maude is hit by a car, veterinarian Rachel Goddard was happy with her work at an animal hospital in McLean, Virginia. As Maude's owner rushes the dog to the hospital, Rachel finds herself trying to comfort the woman's terrified three-year-old daughter. Rachel is reminded of her own sister as a very young child, and the entire episode triggers flashbacks that make her feel as though she's losing her mind. Even the animal hospital's new head doctor, Luke Campbell, can't take her mind off these visions, and Rachel begins to search for answers-- against the express wishes of her controlling mother and her sister.

I read this book while snowed in in a small Yorkshire farm cottage while my husband and I were on vacation. Even though I was not happy about being unable to head out to our next destination, I found that Sandra Parshall's first Rachel Goddard mystery took my mind off the delay-- which was a very welcome turn of events.

This is a book in which you'll soon know the identity of the "villain." Parshall's Mommy Dearest is a memorable one indeed. What makes the pages turn is your need to find out exactly what Rachel's mother did and why she did it. As you get a bit deeper in the story, you may wonder why on earth Rachel let her mother control almost every aspect of her life, but never underestimate the persistence of a very young child who's faced abandonment to cling to what's familiar.

Luke Campbell does provide romantic interest throughout the book, but he's also there for Rachel to realize that she's not losing her mind and that she does have a future worth fighting for.

As I read The Heat of the Moon, I thought it was a standalone novel, but soon learned that it's the first book in a series centered on Rachel. I'm glad. I came to like Rachel very much, and I am definitely looking forward to reading more about her now that she can put the past behind her. ( )
  cathyskye | Jun 2, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 159058256X, Hardcover)

Young veterinarian Rachel Goddard's world begins to crumble when a client rushes into the animal hospital with a basset hound struck by a car during a thunderstorm. The dog owner's terrified tot, drenched with rain, loses sight of her mother in the flurry of activity and screams, "Mommy! I want Mommy!" Instantly Rachel is hurled back in time to a day in her own childhood when her baby sister Michelle uttered the same cry while thunder crashed and rain poured down on them. The unearthed memory feels like a fragment from a nightmare, and Rachel doesn't understand its meaning or the anguish it stirs up in her.

When she seeks answers she learns nothing from Michelle or from Judith, their loving but manipulative mother. Judith is a psychologist who is only too happy to have her adult daughters still living in her elegant Tudor house outside Washington, DC. But their apparently serene home is a house of secrets where Judith's unspoken rules forbid questions about the family history or the daughters' long-dead father. As more baffling memories surface, Rachel begins to suspect that nothing about her family is what it seems. Fighting her mother's attempts to control her, Rachel embarks on a quest that takes her deep into her own memory as well as halfway across the country. The heartbreaking truth she uncovers will shatter her world and force her to make an unthinkable choice.

The Heat of the Moon is Sandra Parshall's first novel.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:21 -0400)

A women veterinarian investigates her repressed memories of her father's death with encouragement from a male colleague and opposition from her mother.

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