The Hand That Feeds You
Overview - From celebrated authors Amy Hempel and Jill Ciment writing as A.J. Rich, a smart, thrilling, sexy, and emotionally riveting novel of psychological suspense about an accomplished woman involved with a man who proves to be an imposter. Morgan Prager, at age thirty, is completing her thesis on victim psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. Read more...
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More About The Hand That Feeds You by A. J. Rich
From celebrated authors Amy Hempel and Jill Ciment writing as A.J. Rich, a smart, thrilling, sexy, and emotionally riveting novel of psychological suspense about an accomplished woman involved with a man who proves to be an imposter.
Morgan Prager, at age thirty, is completing her thesis on victim psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. She is newly engaged to Bennett, a seductive but possessive and secretive man. She returns from class one day to find Bennett mauled to death, and her dogs--a Great Pyrenees and two pit bulls she has rescued--covered in blood. Bewildered and devastated that her dogs could have committed such violence, she worries that she might suffer from one of the syndromes she studies: pathological altruism, when selfless acts do more damage than good.
When Morgan tries to locate Bennett's parents to tell them about their son's hideous death, she discovers he was not the man he said he was. Everything he has told her--where he was born, where he lives and works--was a lie. In fact, he has several fiancees, and fits the clinical definition of a sociopath. And then, one by one, these other women are murdered. Suddenly Morgan's research into Bennett takes on the urgency of survival: to stay alive, she must find out who is killing the women Bennett was closest to.
Unsettling and highly suspenseful, this is a brilliant collaboration between two outstanding writers.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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Writing under the pseudonym A.J. Rich, Amy Hempel (Reasons to Live) and Jill Ciment (Heroic Measures) team up in this toothless mystery about murderous dogs and a “victimologist turned victim.” Morgan is a master’s student in forensic psychology studying how victims are chosen by their attackers. She is engaged to a man named Bennett, whom she met while conducting an online experiment about sexual predators—a red flag if there ever was one. One day Morgan returns to her Williamsburg apartment to find Bennett fatally mauled, presumably by her three beloved rescue dogs, two pit-bull mutts and a Great Pyrenees. From this taut, eerie opening, the tale gradually loses its fierceness. Morgan begins to doubt whether her blood-covered hounds could be capable of such aggression, and her suspicions only increase when she discovers that Bennett was keeping some rather significant secrets. In search of answers about her lover’s hidden life and gruesome death, she also tries to prevent her dogs from being put down, which slows her investigation and any narrative momentum. With its focus on sociopathy and overt references to Cholderlos de Laclos’s masterpiece of erotic manipulation, Dangerous Liaisons, the novel has the makings of a penetrating psychological thriller. Unfortunately, neither the perpetually blindsided heroine nor the paper-thin villain has the depth to redeem this perfunctory, and outlandish, mystery. (July)