The Halo Effect
Genre: Romantic Thriller
Publisher: Lachesis Publishing
Number of pages: 248
Word Count: 76,500
Cover Artist: Laura Givens
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/e01c82VMbEI
While reading “The Halo Effect”, I found my head spinning – not from demonic possession but as a result of the psychological twists and turns. Pamela Crane has penned a novel worthy of the most discerning thriller fan’s attention. It’s not an easy read. The story requires focus and even then, you may re-read pages to make sure you got it right.
The first few chapters lay the ground work – but don’t become complacent. “The Halo Effect” is a dark, brooding tale that never allows the reader to bask in the comfort of knowing what the next page will bring. Just when you think you’ve figured it out, you’ll realize you haven’t.
Suspense. Psychological Thriller. Crime story. Mystery. Those descriptions aptly fit this book, yet it offers so much more i.e. well developed characters, a tantalizing plot aimed to confuse you, a dark villain who evokes empathy.
Am I being vague? Perhaps but only because it’s difficult to offer details without revealing spoilers. So take my advice . . . read the book. Especially if you like a plot that sprouts more twists and turns than a mountain switchback trail.
I’ve included a blurb and excerpt but that’s all you’re getting until you delve into the twisted plot and form your own summation. Be prepared for a tantalizing read!
It started with a glance. And ended with a nightmare.
Small-town girl Haley Montgomery meets two men who will change her life forever—the handsome Marc Vincetti whom she falls head-over-heels for, and the big-time Hollywood producer Allen Michaels who has the power to turn her screenplay into a movie and a ticket to a better future.
It seems as though life couldn’t get any better—until things take a decidedly dark turn when Haley spots Marc with his former high school sweetheart and Allen develops a consuming obsession with her.
As Haley is faced with a choice between love and fame, Marc becomes the target of a stalker and Haley’s life is thrown into a tailspin. Suddenly everything she thought she knew about Marc and Allen is completely wrong—and Haley’s life will never be the same again…
One cut. One swift movement across pink flesh. In a moment of desperation it seemed so easy, so quick. But as my hand hovered above my wrist with measured pressure, the cold stainless steel blade taunted me. My courage waned; I trembled with each heartbeat that pulsed beneath the knife’s serrated edge. Only a thin layer of skin contained my precious lifeblood.
In picture-perfect clarity, I imagined the jagged grooves puncturing and tearing my skin. I regretted being so hasty in picking up the first knife I came across. A smoother blade wouldn’t take as long to do the job, and it likely wouldn’t hurt as much. The thought startled me, striking me with its ferocity. My vein jumped beneath the blade.
Was I actually deliberating the efficiency of my own suicide?
No doubts, no hesitating. One slice and this part would be over soon enough. Then I wouldn’t have to think anymore.
Press it down. I did.
I never felt the blade pinch and then slide into my skin, moving right to left, catching on the tiny bone about halfway across. My mind blocked out the pain, focusing my thoughts on one face – the only face that mattered to me now. Under the force of my steadied hand, I pulled the blade across and out, then leaned into the cushions of the sofa, watching blood ooze from the cut, building momentum as it trickled down my palm the way rain collects on a windowpane. The puddled droplets eventually found residence in the quilt beneath me that protected the microfiber cushions, the crimson chaotically adding to the kaleidoscope of colors. Oddly, I cared about the stain, though I wouldn’t be here tomorrow to see it.
Still one wrist to go, but I needed to make the phone call first while I still had the strength and ability to dial. I fumbled to open my cell phone – I was weaker than I thought – then concentrated on pressing each of the memorized numbers. The line rang. Voicemail picked up as I’d expected.
“I kept my promise,” I said, then hung up. There’d be no more pain after this. I’d be gone and everyone else could have their happily ever after.
This was the only way to make everything better. Life had become pain and suffering, and I was tired of suffering. I was tired of making others suffer. If only there was a hope out there to make it all worthwhile … but there was none. None that I knew of, at least.
I closed my eyes, feeling the energy drain from me, through the slit. My body relaxed along with my thoughts.
Some say they envision a collage of memories during a near-death experience. Others embark on that journey toward the white light.
I saw neither. Instead I envisioned one memory. The day that first tore my heart open and my life apart – when she trampled my life.
Pamela Crane is a North Carolinian writer of the psychological thriller The Halo Effect and wannabe psychologist, though most people just think she needs to see one. She’s a member of the ACFW and EFA, and has been involved in the ECPA, Christy Awards, and Romance Writers of America. Along with delving into people’s minds—or being the subject of their research—she enjoys being a wife to her best friend, mom, and riding her proud Arabian horse, when he lets her. She has a passion for adventure, and her hopes are to keep earning enough from her writing to travel the world in search of some good story material.