When the stalkee becomes the stalker…
"Rubin makes the most out of an uber-creepy premise in this superior medical thriller."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Liza Larkin, a recent med-school graduate on the cusp of her pathology internship, isn't like most people. She would rather study the human brain or pound the heavy bag at the gym than spend time with others, and as an outsider she doesn't let societal norms confine her.
So when a stranger's picture sends Liza's schizophrenic mother deeper into psychosis, Liza does a reverse-image search to identify him. Upon discovering he is a trauma surgeon at a Massachusetts teaching hospital, she impulsively changes her pathology residency program of choice to his center.
She wants to be near him. She wants to know what he's up to. She wants to protect her family.
See you in the ring soon, Dr. Sam Donovan. The bell has rung.
Rubin (The Seneca Scourge) makes the most out of an uber-creepy premise in this superior medical thriller, pairing its thoroughly disturbing aspects with a narrator who cries out to be considered unreliable. Medical student Liza Larkin, who has schizoid personality disorder, has trouble relating to other people, despite her good heart. The death of her father, Kevin, four years earlier remains an open emotional wound. Kevin, an attorney, had been running for city council in their home state of Massachusetts when he was shot at a campaign rally. He survived the shooting, only to die of a heart attack two years later. Liza, in preparing a photo album for her mother, notices a stranger popping up in two photos—one at her dad's funeral, and one from her college graduation. Using a reverse-image online tool, Liza concludes that the unknown man is trauma surgeon Samuel Donovan. To find out why he's apparently been stalking her family, Liza arranges to do her residency at Donovan's hospital and comes to suspect that he's actually something much worse than a stalker. Rubin's twists never strain credulity, and the ending is wholly satisfying. Lisa Unger fans will be riveted. (Self-published)