Monday, March 19, 2018

"Head Wounds"

Formerly a Hollywood screenwriter (My Favorite Year; Welcome Back, Kotter, etc.), Dennis Palumbo is a licensed psychotherapist and author of Writing From the Inside Out. His mystery fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, The Strand and elsewhere, and is collected in From Crime to Crime. His series of mystery thrillers (Mirror Image, Fever Dream, Night Terrors, Phantom Limb, and the latest, Head Wounds, feature psychologist Daniel Rinaldi, a trauma expert who consults with the Pittsburgh Police.

Palumbo applied the Page 69 Test to Head Wounds and reported the following:
In the hardcover edition of Head Wounds, a reader opening the novel to Page 69 would be thrown immediately into the heart of a scene as harrowing as it is puzzling. Dr. Daniel Rinaldi, bound and helpless, has just witnessed a horrific crime, whose perpetrator is now gloating about it. The scene reveals both the stunned reaction of our psychologist hero and his defiance in the face of a brilliant though obsessed killer. It also displays Rinaldi’s empathy and concern for crime victims, even when in jeopardy himself. According to his friends and colleagues, this trait is a misbegotten “hero complex,” the result of his survival guilt for having lived through a deadly mugging years ago that took the life of his wife. Though by the end of Page 69 he’ll be released from his bonds, there’s the sure knowledge of more murders to come that keeps the tension simmering. As with all my Rinaldi novels, I strive in this scene for both well-rounded characterizations and edge-of-your-seat suspense. I hope that’s what this page delivers.
Learn more about the book and author at Dennis Palumbo's website.

--Marshal Zeringue