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IRREPARABLE HARM

Irreparable Harm cover From the Warner Books jacket...

"Where is the blood coming from, Pamela?"

"From him." She was staring, but not at the bed - at something else, something far away. Her eyes focused closer, at the blood-stains on the wall. "He's dying. His blood is pouring out and he's dying." A note of hysteria began to creep into her voice.

"Who, Pamela?" The doctor's voice was insistent, relentless. "Tell me!"

Her breaths came in loud pants now, and he could feel his own panic rising with hers. She looked at him suddenly, and her eyes were frantic, wild, searching for something. She looked at the bed.

"Who?" the doctor asked, and a feral moan started in her throat...


The woman is Pamela Jacoby, a police officer; the man questioning her, an innovative psychiatrist. The interrogation is crucial, because it involves the horrific murder of a man trying to help Pamela with her deeply rooted problems.

Pamela Jacoby's father was a cop who was shot on the job and died in her daughter's arms; these and other traumas drove Pamela to seek intensive psychotherapy. Then Pamela met fellow patient MacKenzie Graham, and they began a tentative love affair that seemed to unlock years of loneliness in them both.

Until the brutal murder takes place. Pamela is the only person known to have been at the scene, but her memory of her time there is confused, as are many of her recent memories. Caught in a hopeless tangle of thoughts and emotions, she loses more and more control of life, veering toward madness.

Despite this, Pamela participates in the investigation under the command of her captain, Amanda Grant, who is under intense pressure to solve the case. And with her psychiatrist, Dr. Brixton Ferrin, she revisits the scene of the crime, an experience Ferrin hopes will release the secrets locked in her mind.

The explosive, shocking revelation that results stuns the department - and reveals the depths of Pamela's torment. Yet for Grant, and several other key members of the force, the terrible scene raises more questions than it answers. With the tutelage of an Israeli psychologist who once hunted terrorists, Grant begins a nearly fanatical pursuit for a suspect. When she finds one, it is part of a murder theory so complex and macabre that few people believe it, and even fewer will stand by Grant's side as she sets out to prove it.

In a style reminiscent of Hitchcock, Lee Gruenfeld matches suspicions with suspects, psychological profiles with shocking acts, and individual characters with intriguing sexual and emotional complements. Delving into the repressed secrets of his characters' minds, Gruenfeld dares us to guess at the truth. As our guesses fall short, we are overwhelmed by Gruenfeld's rare achievement, a literary debut as fascinating as the novels of Scott Turow and as suspenseful as the police dramas of Dorothy Uhnak - a passionate, searching story that stands in a class by itself.

Warner Books, 1993
ISBN 0-446-51713-5 387 pp
Hardcover: US$18.95
Softcover: US$5.99
Abridged audio by: The Publishing Mills
Unabridged audio by: Brilliance

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Publication in England, Australia, Japan, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Germany, France - available in audio cassettes both abridged (read by Angie Dickinson) and unabridged. Movie rights optioned to Warner Bros.

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