Psychologist Dr. Daniel Rinaldi consults with the Pittsburgh Police. His specialty is treating victims of violent crime - those who've survived an armed robbery, kidnapping, or sexual assault, but whose traumatic experience still haunts them. Head Wounds picks up where Rinaldi's investigation in Phantom Limb left off, turning the tables on him as he, himself, becomes the target of a vicious killer.
"Miles Davis saved my life." With these words Rinaldi becomes a participant in a domestic drama that blows up right outside his front door, saved from a bullet to the brain by pure chance. In the chaos that follows, Rinaldi learns his bad-girl, wealthy neighbor has told her hair-triggered boyfriend Rinaldi is her lover. As things heat up, Rinaldi becomes a murder suspect.
But this is just the first act in this chilling, edge-of-your-seat thriller. As one savagery follows another, Rinaldi is forced to relive a terrible night that haunts him still. And to realize that now he - and those he loves - are being victimized by a brilliant killer still in the grip of delusion. Determined to destroy Rinaldi by systematically targeting those close to him - his patients, colleagues, and friends - computer genius Sebastian Maddox strives to cause as much psychological pain as possible, before finally orchestrating a bold, macabre death for his quarry.
How ironic. As Pittsburgh morphs from a blue-collar town to a tech giant, a psychopath deploys technology in a murderous way.
Enter two other figures from Rinaldi's past: retired FBI profiler Lyle Barnes, once a patient who Rinaldi treated for night terrors; and Special Agent Gloria Reese, with whom he falls into a surprising, erotically charged affair. Warned by Maddox not to engage the authorities or else random innocents throughout the city will die, Rinaldi and these two unlikely allies engage in a terrifying cat-and-mouse game with an elusive killer who'll stop at nothing in pursuit of what he imagines is revenge.
A true page-turner, Head Wounds is the electrifying fifth in a critically acclaimed series of thrillers by Dennis Palumbo. Formerly a Hollywood screenwriter, Dennis Palumbo is now a licensed psychotherapist in private practice.
The violence starts early in Palumbo's engrossing fifth mystery (after 2014's Phantom Limb) featuring clinical psychologist Daniel Rinaldi, who consults for the Pittsburgh PD. Daniel is at home reviewing the file of the unsolved murder of his wife, Barbara, when someone takes a shot at him through his living-room window. Soon afterward, the police apprehend the shooter, Eddie Burke, the drunk, disaffected boyfriend of Daniel's attractive, well-to-do neighbor, Joy Steadman. Daniel does his best to comfort Joy, but when he returns to her house to check on her hours later, he finds her strangled body. He eventually learns that Joy told Eddie that she was sleeping with him, hence Eddie's rage. The police suspect Daniel in Joy's murder. Meanwhile, a computer-savvy psychopath sets out to torment Daniel by killing or maiming an ever-widening group of his patients, friends, and family members. The tension rises as Daniel uses his understanding of the human psyche to play a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with his nemesis. Palumbo, a licensed psychotherapist, has delivered another well-crafted page-turner.
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One of the best
I have been an avid reader since I first read Dr Seuss’s “One Fish Two Fish..” when I was first able to read. By age 9 I was reading Stephen King and then every kind of thriller or mystery I could get my hands on. Anyone who knows me knows I love the pleasure of good reading. Several years back a co-worker told me of an up and coming writer who was not only a relative of hers but a fellow Pittsburgh native. I read “Mirror Image” by Dennis Palumbo and remember saying to myself I truly hope he continues writing. Recently I came back across him on a Pittsburgh Facebook Page and in 3 weeks have read all in the Dr Rainaldi series. Again I say I hope he continues writing because he has found a fan for life! Head Wounds is honestly one of the best books I have ever read and am actually sad I finished because now I have to wait for Mr Palumbo to write another one to satiate my appetite for his “ can’t stop until I’m finished” style of writing!