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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In The Ninth Session by Deborah Serani, when psychologist Alicia Reese agrees to take on a referral client, little does she realize what horrors face her. On first meeting Luke/Lucas Ferro, Alicia believes she is facing a client with simple panic attacks, but as the sessions continue, he has some brutal and disturbing confessions to make which throw the client/therapist confidentiality ethics into question. Alicia is determined to help Luke overcome the painful events of his past but at what cost? As her personal struggle to overcome the loss of her husband intensifies, Alicia is not sure if the strange occurrences around her home are the figment of her imagination or is her new client watching her?
The Ninth Session by Deborah Serani has to be one of the best books I have read this year. I literally could not put it down. The author is an absolute master of building tension and suspense. I loved the added touch of Alicia coming from a hearing-impaired family, and the characters are created in a unique way, not with the stereotypical traits of deaf people. Every character has been carefully designed and even the minor characters such as Steve were believable. The relationship between Alicia and Luke was spectacular and I loved how it developed slowly over each session. There are some surprising twists in the plot, which I did not foresee but which were absolutely superb. The dialogue between Luke and Alicia was excellent too. I loved how he played mind games with her as she questioned him. This is a great exploration of the nature/nurture argument for sure. I did empathize with Luke towards the end which shocked me a little because his character was so disturbing. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a suspense novel. But definitely not to be read in the dark.