In Riverton Falls, a small New England town, globe-trotting bartender Celeste Fortune stands in her kitchen puzzling over last night’s frightening dream—a woman at a window, lilacs blowing in the breeze, someone’s hands tight around her neck. Celeste is sure the dream belongs to someone else. Perhaps she has finally broken through to the collective dreams of Dreamland cult. Hoping her therapist and cult leader will help her untangle it, she heads off into the cold November morning to her final appointment with him—or so she hopes. Her estranged fiancé has delivered an ultimatum: Leave the cult of Dreamers, or end their relationship for good.
Instead of help, however, Celeste discovers her therapist dying in a pool of blood, skull stove in by his own healing crystal. His computer, containing the intimate dreams and secrets of half the town, is gone. Suspicion immediately falls on Celeste, known to be a rebellious member of his cult. To clear her name, Celeste enlists the help of her old friend, Gloria. But when the two women discover the power of the stolen dreams, they unwittingly become the killer’s next target.
At the outset of Ritz's uninspired debut, weak-willed bartender Celeste Fortune attends her usual session with dream therapist Larry Blatsky, determined to end their relationship. Instead, the manipulative Larry insists that she break up with her fianc , demands her engagement ring, and then kicks her out of his office after she relates a disturbing dream. Larry has become a cult leader of sorts in Riverton Falls, Vt. Patients of his known as the Dreamers claim to share a collective unconscious, the Dreamscape, in which members dream each other's dreams. When Celeste later returns to Larry's office to get her ring back, she finds him near death, his skull crushed by his healing crystal. His computer, which contains a lot of personal information on Riverton Falls residents, is missing. Celeste, the logical suspect in Larry's murder, seeks to clear her name by identifying the real killer. Readers will struggle to root for Celeste, who's prone to hysterics, makes dumb choices, and refuses to listen to the advice of her attorney. Hopefully, Ritz will do better next time.