Shared Madness

Fiction - Audiobook
Audio Book
Reviewed on 04/01/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

As a psychiatrist, I often struggled with competing ethical and legal responsibilities. In the course of providing treatment, I was expected to keep whatever my patients told me strictly confidential. At the same time, I was entrusted with preventing harm. Balancing the duty to maintain confidentiality with the duty to prevent harm and walking the often fine line between them caused me many a sleepless night. And the severity of the dilemma was directly related to the magnitude of potential harm that I envisioned.

The seeds of Shared Madness arose out of this ever present burden and the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001. What if, I imagined, a patient were to share with me information about a possible future terrorist attack? And what if this information was shrouded in sufficient doubt that the consequences of withholding it weren’t clear or compelling? Would the potential magnitude of an unlikely event be enough to breach the confidence of a patient and perhaps even put that patient in legal or physical jeopardy?

I framed my story against a backdrop of a psychotic patient who heard voices and experienced delusions of persecution that altered his perception of reality. What might a psychiatrist believe about a tale of treachery told by someone with such an unreliable and distorted view of his world? And it occurred to me that if the doctor was also hallucinating and delusional, assessing the validity of the threat would become even more daunting.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

Shared Madness by Rick Moskovitz is a gripping story filled with suspense and mystery, following Zack Tripler, a psychiatrist in Boston who has just admitted Youssef al Saud to the hospital. Brought in from the woods where he has been hiding with his laptop, Youssef claims to hear voices and has also discovered coded messages on his laptop. He believes there is a terrorist plot and that the bad guys are out to get him. Tripler doesn’t believe him until Youssef dies under mysterious circumstances. The psychiatrist gets closer to his patient’s widow, Jamilah, but he is torn between compassion for and suspicion of her. When he begins to have the same symptoms as his patient, he knows it is only a matter of time before he breaks psychologically. Can he solve the mystery and how involved is the widow?

Rick Moskovitz has created a well-plotted story that pulled me in from the very beginning. The dialogues are skillfully written and I enjoyed the way the anxiety of Youssef is captured in the story, thanks to the brilliant dialogue. The biggest twist is when the psychiatrist begins to have symptoms of psychosis. The pacing is good, the prose excellent, and the character arcs are impeccably achieved. This novel will appeal to readers who enjoy psychological thrillers with memorable characters and strong plot points. It is a page-turning story that had me racing from chapter to chapter.

I listened to Shared Madness in its entirety with few coffee breaks. This is because of two reasons: I loved the clear and powerful voice of Joe Smith and his ability to communicate the drama and the points of view. I also loved the plot and how the narrator captured the pacing through the professional audio recording. I can say confidently that any listener will have the same experience they would have if they read the physical book — a thoroughly satisfying one.

Kayla Cook

Psychiatrist Zack Tripler never imagined he could succumb to the delusions of his patients, yet everything changes after he meets Youssef al Saud. Youssef believes he’s stumbled upon a terrorist conspiracy via encrypted messages found on his laptop. He’s convinced that he and his family are now in peril. Soon after Zack starts treating him, Youssef is found dead. It could be suicide, or it could be murder. Perhaps the messages on his computer truly did reveal a terrorist plot. Zack and Youssef’s widow, Jamilah, are determined to uncover the truth, but it isn’t long before Zack begins experiencing symptoms similar to those Youssef suffered. Everywhere he turns, he sees Youssef, and the closer he gets to Jamilah, the more he questions her innocence in Youssef’s death. In Shared Madness by Rick Moskovitz, reality and delusion blur together until only one thing is clear to Zack: He’s in terrible danger.

Rick Moskovitz held me rapt from the beginning of Shared Madness. As a psychiatrist himself, Moskovitz was able to add authenticity to this work. All of the characters were fascinating, but Zack was especially sympathetic. Because Shared Madness was told solely from Zack’s perspective, I couldn’t determine what in the novel was real and what wasn’t, which made the story even more riveting. The descriptions were phenomenal, and the complex plot was expertly crafted with just the right balance of suspense and action. This story kept me guessing, leading me down a path that held one twist after another.

Joe Smith, who has twenty-five years of acting experience, provided an incredible performance in this audiobook. He truly helped bring the entire cast of characters and the story as a whole to life. There were times when I forgot he was the only narrator because he skillfully changed his accent to suit each character. Throughout the work, he knew exactly what syllables to stress and what intonations to use to make the experience all the more enthralling. The sound quality was also very good, making him even easier to understand. Shared Madness by Rick Moskovitz is a gripping, superbly crafted psychological thriller with captivating narration by Joe Smith.

Divine Zape

In Shared Madness by Rick Moskovitz, a Boston psychiatrist, Zack Tripler, admits a young and agitated Saudi American, Youssef al Saud, brought in from the woods where he has been hiding with his laptop. Youssef claims he is hiding from unidentified people trying to kill him and that he hears voices and has found coded messages of a potential terrorist attack on his laptop. Youssef is found dead in unusually dubious circumstances and Zack begins to have symptoms of psychosis, hearing voices, and having strange visions. Getting closer to the widow, Jamilah, Zack hopes to unravel the mystery surrounding his patient’s death and the coded messages. But his suspicions of her involvement in Youssef’s death grow stronger as he plunges deeper into madness. Can he pull himself out and solve the mystery or is he losing his sanity entirely?

Shared Madness is a mesmerizing story crafted by a great storyteller and narrated by a professional with a seductive and captivating voice. The plot is tight, with twists that I enjoyed. The argument between the psychiatrist and Youssef about his condition is interesting, and it pulled me in. The patient doesn’t believe he is sick and the irony in the situation is how the doctor eventually finds himself in the same situation as the patient when he was alive. Shared Madness grips the reader strongly and gives them no room to get distracted. This is one of the few audiobooks that I would gladly recommend to anyone looking for a story with beautiful prose, strong psychological underpinnings, and extraordinary characters. A good and highly entertaining piece.

The alternating voices used by the narrator, especially the one with the Arabic tone representing the voice of Youssef, captured my attention as I started listening to the story. The narrative voice is strong and Joe Smith does an impeccable job with the story. I loved how the narrator captures the emotions of the characters through his voice, increasing the pace where necessary, allowing the reader to follow the drama in an unmistakable way.

Richard Moskovitz

Delighted to have won Honorable Mention in the 2022 Fiction Audiobook category. Grateful to Joe Smith for an inspired narration.