Saving Grace

A Psychological Thriller

Fiction - Thriller - Psychological
255 Pages
Reviewed on 07/01/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

The award-winning author of Expired Listings and Slashing Mona Lisa, D.M. Barr is an active member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and is the president of her local RWA chapter. She lives happily in New York's Hudson Valley, where she reads, plays competitive trivia, stops strangers on the street to pet their dogs, and concocts tales of sex, suspense and satire. Her husband and two adult children are very afraid.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

Saving Grace by D.M. Barr is an intriguing, deftly written psychological thriller that follows one woman’s struggle with the fear of being murdered for her inheritance. The only child of a billionaire, Grace Pierrepoint Rendell knows that her life is in danger from the moment her sick father dies, and she suspects that her husband will kill her so he can inherit the wealth. From childhood, she’s suffered from paranoia, but this time she knows she has to do something to stay alive. So, to thwart her husband’s plan to murder her, she devises an elaborate plan to expose him. She plans to write a novel in which the heroine will be in the same predicament as herself, a powerful message should anything happen to her. But her plan goes south when her editor, the reputable author Lynn Andrews, is murdered and Grace becomes the prime suspect. Can she successfully work on her plan and save herself or will she go down for murder or be killed?

The driving idea behind this book, the originality in plot development, and the depth of character are just a few of the elements that got me interested in the story. The author creates a compelling character in Grace, a woman powerful by virtue of her family’s wealth, yet so flawed and vulnerable. Her fear of murder feels real and the reader quickly learns to like her. But her plan leads her to an even more complicated juncture. It is so well-plotted and written that the cinematic style of writing is evident. D.M. Barr weaves a yarn with strong themes and characters that are real and fascinating. I couldn’t put it down. Saving Grace: A Psychological Thriller was a wonderful companion for the night.

Sherri Fulmer Moorer

Grace Pierrepoint Rendell has had enough of a lifetime on psychotropic drugs. Ever since a fateful night when her visions began nearly 40 years ago, she's been controlled by others in an effort to protect her from her own paranoid behavior, from her billionaire father to her long-time psychiatrist to her distant husband. She decides to take matters into her own hands and stop taking her drugs when something strange happens: she feels normal for the first time in her life. She can think clearly, she feels better, and she's lucid and excited for life each day. The only problem is, small signs of her psychosis still remain, like misplacing things or burning the Thanksgiving dinner. She's certain she's regaining her sanity when she hears two women gossiping in the bathroom about her husband at a party, then has an incident where she blacks out while visiting her father. When she comes to in a mental hospital, she's certain: her husband is waiting for her father to die, and then he'll try to kill her to take over the inheritance. But is it real, or an effect of the medications? Grace decides to do the only thing she knows how to do: write a novel about her suspicions. With help from a mentor, she realizes that she might have been manipulated and lied to her whole life. Saving Grace by D.M. Barr is an exciting psychological thriller that will keep you up past your bedtime to find out what's real and what's an illusion.

I enjoyed Saving Grace because it is a complex novel that will keep you intrigued. The central question of Grace's mental state is an exciting core to the story and gives it a great backdrop with interesting characters. In fact, I found myself following along and wondering if the husband and psychiatrist were all they appeared to be or if even they were struggling with psychological problems of their own. The budding friendship that develops while Grace writes her novel is also a great plot element, as the writer has a family as complex as Grace's own, albeit in different ways. D.M. Barr has done a great job of writing a wonderful suspense thriller that will keep you intrigued to the very last page.

Tiffany Ferrell

in Saving Grace by D.M. Barr, Grace has been battling mental illness for as long as she can remember. She goes off her medicine in order to feel like a normal person at a time when her husband Elliot actually invites her to one of his work parties. At this party she overhears some women discussing her, and her husband's infidelity. Grace isn’t sure what to believe, but she begins to grow suspicious of her husband and his intent. Questioning anything could get her locked up in a psychiatric hospital. Coming from a very wealthy family, she knows that if something happened to her and her father the money would be handed down to her husband. As the story unfolds, Grace begins to notice things that aren’t adding up. It looks like her husband is purposely doing things to make her look like she is unstable and can’t remember; something doesn’t feel right, but she can’t be positive of anything. In secret, she joins a writers group and meets a published writer named Lynn who becomes her mentor and editor. Grace sees her in secret so her family doesn’t find out. Relying on the help of new people whom she begins to trust, Grace finally starts to see who in her life so far have been friends or foes.

Saving Grace by D.M. Barr was an amazing read from start to finish. It had the great and suspenseful feel of a mystery with the psychological factor thrown into the mix, making it one unique read. I really enjoyed the characters. Grace was a very well written and relatable person as well as the young hack who made an unlikely friend for our middle-aged lead. It kept me on my seat till the very end and left me in both awe and shock with the way things played out in the end. Saving Grace by D.M. Barr is definitely a book I would recommend.

Deborah Lloyd

Grace Rendell, daughter of billionaire Barrington Pierrepoint, decided it was time to stop the psychotropic medications that she had been prescribed since childhood. She maintained her usual flat demeanor to hide her decision. Her husband, Eliot, watched her every move, and he did not hesitate to call her therapist every time she became emotional. Each time, Dr. Emma Leighmann would change the medication regimen yet again. Grace also became suspicious of Eliot’s true motivation in controlling her life – could he be biding his time until the death of her elderly father, to murder her and claim her inheritance? She decided to write a book describing his schemes as a way to prevent her murder. She hired a successful mystery author, Lynn Andrews, to edit her book. In the mystery novel Saving Grace, written by D. M. Barr, an intriguing thriller unfolds.

This book is a page-turner, with many twists and turns throughout the story. The reader is engaged from the first page to the last. The writing is well crafted, creating a fast-paced, exciting scenario. There are many provocative characters in the plot, including the famous author’s family members, Grace’s father and his current girlfriend, and Grace’s teenaged sons. It is not clear who has good or evil intentions. The entire premise of an author writing about her own possible demise is certainly a unique way to create a mystery plot. Author D. M. Barr will keep every reader on the edge of her/his seat in the compelling work, Saving Grace. A fascinating read!

Shannon Winings

For so long, Grace Pierrepoint Rendell had been limited by her cocktail of medications prescribed by doctors for her mental illnesses. After weaning herself off them unbeknownst to her doctor, she has a newfound clarity and alertness. However, this clarity is served with a new host of problems, many involving her marriage to Eliot. Rumors swirl of numerous love affairs and she begins to suspect her husband may be plotting her own death. As such, she begins a novel to shine a light on her husband's misdeeds and have a trail in case she disappears. Yet, Grace has to determine if what she's learning is true or a figment of her imagination as she is prone to paranoia and hallucinations. Will she be able to uncover the actual truth with her life intact?

Saving Grace by D.M. Barr was an exciting psychological thriller. I haven't read anything quite like it before. Grace, the main character, was so dynamic and full of inner chaos. Grace's mania and paranoia often had me shaking my head or throwing my hands up in horror. Her mental disorder made it difficult to determine what was real in the story and what was imagined by her own mind. This resulted in so many possibilities and questions throughout the story, I just had to keep reading. Of course, plots of murder almost always keep me reading as well. This mix of internal and external battles resulted in unsettling suspense that kept me going until the very end. I would highly recommend this book to others and am excited to see what else this author has in store!