Haunted by black magic, ruthless human traffickers, and her own personal demons, a psychotherapist must cross a deadly line in order to save her new patient in this searing novel of psychological suspense.
Madeleine Frank knows all too well that it's impossible to recover from some losses. She herself has escaped devastating heartbreak, fleeing her native Key West to begin life anew in the ancient city of Bath. But Madeleine's demons have never left her and may, in fact, be closer than ever -- in the mad visions of her mother, formerly a priestess of Santeria, the mysterious Afro-Cuban religion.
Rachel Locklear appears in her office seeking therapy, but Madeleine becomes increasingly troubled by the history of this hostile, damaged young woman. As the relationship with her new patient deepens, Madeleine discovers that Rachel's childhood eerily echoes her own darkest secret. Reluctant to act unprofessionally and risk having Rachel walk out of her life forever, Madeleine keeps her suspicions to herself.
But Madeleine is unaware of sinister forces gathering strength in her patient's life. On the run from her ruthless partner -- a man who will stop at nothing to control her and her son -- Rachel is desperate to keep her child safe from his father's dangerous "associates." Finally she has no choice but to involve the only person she can trust in a murderous web of revenge and deception.
From the tropical lushness of Key West to the imposing Georgian streets of Bath two women and their painful pasts collide dangerously with Cuban sorcery, prostitution, and coldhearted murder -- culminating in a tale as terrifying as it is compelling.
Sewell's unwieldy second novel of psychological suspense may disappoint fans of her 2008 debut, Ice Trap. After Madeleine Frank's husband is killed during a hurricane at their Key West home, she moves to Bath, England, where she becomes a psychotherapist. When a new client, Rachel Locklear, describes her relationship with her ex-lover, pimp and father of her son, Madeleine at first assumes it's a case of domestic abuse. But as Rachel opens up further, Madeleine realizes that their lives may be intertwined in a bond that could have fatal consequences. The heroine's Cuban-born mother, who was once a powerful Santera but now suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and is institutionalized in the U.K., offers psychic predictions about Madeleine that don't enhance our understanding of her thinly drawn character. A couple of unnecessary subplots involve Madeleine's fascination with ants and her prison sessions with a murderer who's little more than a watered-down Hannibal Lecter.