"Evan's been there for me lately in a
way no one else has."
"I took a sip of water and considered the
consequences of Becca's pronouncement.
It would be premature for Becca to jump
into a new relationship without resolving
her feelings about the last one, but that
wasn't my primary concern. The best
therapeutic work takes place when a
client experiences an ego-dystonic state,
or one of internal strife, rather than an
ego-syntonic state, where they are no
longer experiencing conflict or confusion...
"How do you think it will look to the
police when they discover you're in a
Out of the Shadow
By J. S. Winn
J. S. Winn chose to tell her story through the voice of the psychologist for the victim, for an interesting movement back and forth between a professional conference where Sarah Abrams is presenting a paper to her peers, and where those in attendance ask questions about the actual victim and what happened to her... In one way, this established credibility for what was happening to the victim, since a concerned outsider was involved.
On the other hand, readers lose the buildup suspense to some extent... There are also some proofreading issues but they didn't detract...too much...
For as soon as we begin the book we are directly in the scene of a hand pressing down on Becca's mouth, telling her not to move or scream. At first thinking she was in the middle of a nightmare, she struggled but soon realized that the pain was... very real...
It was 3:15 a.m. when he got off of her, got dressed and assured her she had not seen the last of him..
But where had David, her husband, been--why hadn't he prevented this?
Then she found him, called for help, but "His flat eyes told her everything."
Becca had no choice but to try to help herself!
At the same time, she knew she had to move on and make a new life for herself. One new person entered her life just by becoming a new neighbor. Evan was a nice guy and took things easy as they became acquainted. Soon she was confiding in him and becoming a little dependent...
But then she visited her family when her mother called and told her that her younger brother was coming to visit and to please come to dinner. Becca was hesitant not only to go home, but there was something she couldn't quite remember about her uncle that was disturbing. Then when she met him, his cologne brought back feelings of fear and insecurity...
She also, though, was involved in seeing a lot of the people she had known from her home town and couldn't pinpoint what it was she was trying to remember, although she began to have dreams--nightmares that started giving her pieces, some of her memories. One thing she knew, that cologne meant something!
But it seemed that word had gotten around that she had reacted to it. Now everybody smelled the same or at least owned a bottle of the same scent!
As she pieced together events, she realized that she had to start asking questions--even if it meant causing problems within the family...
Some children are able to push memories away if something bad happens to them when they are young. Becca had, but, now, she was almost positive that whoever had raped her and killed her husband, had also hurt her when she was a young girl!
Thankfully, Becca was willing to ask the hard questions...but...he was still out there...
The psychological suspense is high in this novel, especially as the victim is also viewed as a suspect and she must work on her own memories and fears to help herself. On the other hand, a psychologist is not necessarily a detective. There had to be some way to identify the man who warned that he would come back again and again... After all, Becca may not be the only one that he was after!
Could you identify a "stalker" if he lived among your friends or family? What would you do if you discovered that your memories of some trauma had been gone, but were coming back? J. S. Winn places readers right into the position of having to answer these questions. Do you dare confront your memories? Especially when an identity has not yet been made...
The stalker still lurks... Beware!
For the Love of Writing, by the San Diego Writer’s Workshop in 2011. Her play, Gotcha!, was selected for a reading at the Village Arts Theater in Carlsbad, California, May 2012.
She presently lives by the beach in San Diego County, California. For more information about Out of the Shadow, please visit http://www.jswinn.com or contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org