“Panic Attack” is book six in the “Daniel Rinaldi” Series, but new readers will be able to easily follow along. There are references to past books both professional and personal, but any information critical to current events is included as part of the narrative. Dr. Daniel Rinaldi is a clinical psychologist; he keeps secrets for a living. He has a contract with the Pittsburgh Police Department to provide necessary services to traumatized crime victims, but as a “civilian,” procedural protocols and strict rules of evidence gathering do not apply to him. He also drives a fully restored green ’65 Mustang.
The story is told in Rinaldi’s detailed and comprehensive first-person narrative. He documents his day, almost minute by minute: his patients, his calls, his food and drink, the intense, the casual, and the ordinary. It is a daily diary of what people say, what he says, and what he thinks about everything that is going on. Sometimes the tone is casual and friendly, but at other times, in some situations, it is clinical and specialized.
Events evolve quickly into something much more complex than first indicated. Fear and paranoia develop in the small western Pennsylvania town; in essence, the community is having a panic attack. Old secrets do not stay secret, and Rinaldi begins to wonder if he is fated to be followed by sudden, violent death for the rest of his days. He shares this ever-increasingly complex case with Pittsburgh Police Sergeant Harry Polk whom he describes as brash, abrupt, and capable with a strong sense of professional duty.
“Panic Attack” is concisely written with a compelling and increasingly complex plot. I received a review copy of “Panic Attack” from Dennis Palumbo, Poisoned Pen Press, and Sourcebooks. It is sensational, well organized, and full of surprises.