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She helps people conquer their demons. But she has a few of her own... In the halls of the psychiatric ward, Dr. Zoe Goldman is a resident in training, dedicated to helping troubled patients. However, she has plenty of baggage of her own. When her newest patient arrives - a beautiful sociopath who murdered her mother - Zoe becomes obsessed with questions about her own mothe She helps people conquer their demons. But she has a few of her own... In the halls of the psychiatric ward, Dr. Zoe Goldman is a resident in training, dedicated to helping troubled patients. However, she has plenty of baggage of her own. When her newest patient arrives - a beautiful sociopath who murdered her mother - Zoe becomes obsessed with questions about her own mother's death. But the truth remains tauntingly out of reach, locked away within her nightmares of an uncontrollable fire. And as her adoptive mother loses her memory to dementia, the time to find the answers is running out. As Zoe digs deeper, she realizes that the danger is not just in her dreams but is now close at hand. And she has no choice but to face what terrifies her the most. Because what she can't remember just might kill her. Little Black Lies is about madness and memory - and the dangerous, little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.


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She helps people conquer their demons. But she has a few of her own... In the halls of the psychiatric ward, Dr. Zoe Goldman is a resident in training, dedicated to helping troubled patients. However, she has plenty of baggage of her own. When her newest patient arrives - a beautiful sociopath who murdered her mother - Zoe becomes obsessed with questions about her own mothe She helps people conquer their demons. But she has a few of her own... In the halls of the psychiatric ward, Dr. Zoe Goldman is a resident in training, dedicated to helping troubled patients. However, she has plenty of baggage of her own. When her newest patient arrives - a beautiful sociopath who murdered her mother - Zoe becomes obsessed with questions about her own mother's death. But the truth remains tauntingly out of reach, locked away within her nightmares of an uncontrollable fire. And as her adoptive mother loses her memory to dementia, the time to find the answers is running out. As Zoe digs deeper, she realizes that the danger is not just in her dreams but is now close at hand. And she has no choice but to face what terrifies her the most. Because what she can't remember just might kill her. Little Black Lies is about madness and memory - and the dangerous, little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

30 review for Little Black Lies

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mary Beth

    3.5 Stars I won book 3 in a book giveaway of this series. Since this was a series, I decided to start with book 1. I really did enjoy this book. I found it very interesting. I almost gave this four stars but found the beginning to be a little slow but the second half is extremely excellent. I ended up loving this book. This is a great read for anyone who loves a fast paced and completely engrossing psychological thriller, once you have gotten through half the book. There are many dark twists and 3.5 Stars I won book 3 in a book giveaway of this series. Since this was a series, I decided to start with book 1. I really did enjoy this book. I found it very interesting. I almost gave this four stars but found the beginning to be a little slow but the second half is extremely excellent. I ended up loving this book. This is a great read for anyone who loves a fast paced and completely engrossing psychological thriller, once you have gotten through half the book. There are many dark twists and some unexpected turns, I honestly did not see the twist coming so I was blown away! It’s hard to believe that this is a debut novel; it’s beautifully crafted and expertly written. Sandra Block does have a medical background and it’s clearly evident. The inner workings of the hospital and its psychiatric ward along with its cast of doctors and patients ring absolutely true and make this story that much more believable. Zoe, is a resident in training at a psych ward, who needs quite a bit of psychological help herself. She's imperfect, impractical, and, well, human. It's not so much her story that is interesting in this book as much as it is the hospital and their patients. Zoe's patient Sofia, a ruthless killer, may be set free if Zoe cannot determine a convincing reason against it! As we delve more into Zoe's subconscious to find the truth about her childhood, we also take steps to uncover the motives behind Sofia's murders. As promised, the story ends with a twist that will (hopefully) catch you as surprised as I was. Zoe is a wonderful, fully fleshed out character. She is one you will fall for. Her hope and frustrations. Her deep loss and her belief in going forward. With her you will unravel the truth that is hidden in all the little black lies. Her fellow residents feel utterly like real people and the best part was that, although Zoe puts the pieces of the puzzle of her life together, it's not a perfect life or a happily ever after ending. The ending just blew me away. It was a burst of surprise. I have already read book two and loved that one a lot more. I will be reviewing that one very soon.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Dr. Zoe Goldman, a psychiatric resident in a Buffalo hospital, has some problems. She has ADHD, controlled with medication; her adoptive mom is in a nursing home, suffering from dementia; her boyfriend, Jean Luc - a chemist in Washington, D.C. - seems to be distancing himself from her; and she has recurring nightmares about the night her birth mother died in a fire. In the disturbing dream Zoe is a little girl hiding from someone in a burning house. Zoe, who was four years old when she lost her b Dr. Zoe Goldman, a psychiatric resident in a Buffalo hospital, has some problems. She has ADHD, controlled with medication; her adoptive mom is in a nursing home, suffering from dementia; her boyfriend, Jean Luc - a chemist in Washington, D.C. - seems to be distancing himself from her; and she has recurring nightmares about the night her birth mother died in a fire. In the disturbing dream Zoe is a little girl hiding from someone in a burning house. Zoe, who was four years old when she lost her birth mother, remembers almost nothing about her. Zoe's adoptive parents said her mother was named Beth Summers, and gave Zoe a photo and a few records, but nothing else. Zoe is desperate to know more and - thinking her bad dreams might provide clues - discusses them with her psychiatrist Sam. Zoe even undergoes hypnosis in her search for clues. Zoe also asks her adoptive mom about Beth Summers, but her mom gets agitated and says she can't remember. Meanwhile, Zoe is treating psychiatric patients in the hospital where she works. One of them is Sofia Vallano, a striking black-haired, blue-eyed, thirty-something woman who's constantly reading magazines, filing her nails, or doing charcoal sketches. Sofia's been in mental hospitals for 20 years, ever since she stabbed her mother to death as a teen. Part of Zoe's job is to assess Sofia's mental state, since the hospital is considering releasing her. As the story unfolds, Zoe works hard to uncover clues about her past. She also continues to assess Sofia, which involves meeting Sofia's estranged brother Jack Vallano, who was stabbed in the eye by his sister. Jack says Sofia is too crazy to be released. Eventually Zoe learns the truth about everything in a very dramatic surprise twist. The explanation of what happened, though - and the aftermath - isn't completely believable and I was a tad disappointed. BEWARE SPOILER (view spoiler)[ Part of the explanation involves separating young orphaned siblings (would this really happen?) and the siblings not remembering each other at all. (hide spoiler)] There are plenty of lighter moments in the book, especially when Zoe interacts with her fellow psychiatric residents, Jason and Dr. A - a foreigner struggling to master American idioms. There's even time for recreation, and Zoe drinks a lot of coffee in her brother, Scotty's, cafe; visits her mom in the nursing home; has some drama with Jean-Luc (though some of this doesn't ring true); has a few dates with an appealing E.R. doctor; goes jogging; etc. Though the book has some problems, the story is entertaining and a good break from more grisly fare in the mystery/thriller genre. I'd recommend the book to mystery fans. You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....

  3. 5 out of 5

    Margitte

    This was a great psychological thriller. Spooky and believable. The nutty, flawed, insecure and little crazy psychiatrist, Dr. Zoe Goldman, is looking for her mother(s) - supposedly Sarah Meyers, Beth Summers... But wait a minute! There's a Beth Winters too! One dies in a fire, and one is slowly giving up life through dementia (early onset Alzheimers). She needs to figure out the confusing, recurring dream. Unbeknownst to her, she might get killed for not knowing the truth about her background. The This was a great psychological thriller. Spooky and believable. The nutty, flawed, insecure and little crazy psychiatrist, Dr. Zoe Goldman, is looking for her mother(s) - supposedly Sarah Meyers, Beth Summers... But wait a minute! There's a Beth Winters too! One dies in a fire, and one is slowly giving up life through dementia (early onset Alzheimers). She needs to figure out the confusing, recurring dream. Unbeknownst to her, she might get killed for not knowing the truth about her background. There is a little bit of dragging here and there, but not too annoying. The characters all play an important role in the story and the spreading out of their development all over the narrative, makes it a riveting mystery. Dark, often bizarre, but very good. This book is a page-turner and a perfect selection for a cozy winter day in front of a warm fire. Recommended.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    Lies. When do white lies become black lies? When do the protective little lies that (m)others tell us become the lies we tell ourselves? I did a double-take when I saw the title of Sandra Block’s book featuring psychiatric resident Zoe Goldman, Little Black Lies, as one of my favorite authors, also named Sandra, has a thriller by the same name. This one is quite different. Dr. Goldman is assigned a small caseload of patients in a Buffalo, New York, psychiatric ward. Along with several other resid Lies. When do white lies become black lies? When do the protective little lies that (m)others tell us become the lies we tell ourselves? I did a double-take when I saw the title of Sandra Block’s book featuring psychiatric resident Zoe Goldman, Little Black Lies, as one of my favorite authors, also named Sandra, has a thriller by the same name. This one is quite different. Dr. Goldman is assigned a small caseload of patients in a Buffalo, New York, psychiatric ward. Along with several other residents, she strives to learn the art of psychiatric medicine under the guidance of Dr. Grant, who, she is certain, dislikes her. The opening chapters are informative and entertaining, even amusing. Dr. A, a foreign-born resident who is working hard to learn American English idioms and Jason, a stereotyped fashion-conscious gay man, provided some smiles along the way. The references to Zoe’s tall stature became tiresome, however (a point she herself makes). I’ve heard it said that many psychiatrists have their own unresolved “issues,” and Zoe Goldman is a prime example. She has weekly sessions with a therapist, Sam. One of her chief complaints is a recurring nightmare involving a fire, of which she has no memory. Her adoptive parents told her that her mother died in the fire when Zoe was young. She has scars on her arms that she believes resulted from the fire. Her mother – her adoptive mother – is now in a senior living facility due to “problems with memory.” As the nightmares become a nightly occurrence, Zoe becomes more and more obsessed with finding out more about her birth mother. Her mom, not always able to recall names and events, is vague about the details, recalling that Zoe’s birth mother was her school friend but remembering little else that is helpful to Zoe. Scott, Zoe’s brother, wishes his sister weren’t so consumed by her need to know. When Zoe is assigned a new patient, the sociopathic Sophia, Zoe’s nightmares escalate, as does her desire for answers. At this phase of the story, I really wondered if she were capable of doing her job. Initially, she struck me as immature and ill prepared to deal with difficult patients. As I noted her interactions with Sophia, she seemed woefully inadequate, unable to formulate proper questions and responses. However, Sophia was someone who had been hospitalized in multiple facilities and was a proficient manipulator, so I doubt that anything Zoe could have said or done would have made an impact. That did not change my impressions of Dr. Goldman. She is young, inexperienced, and in need of coming to terms with her own demons. What about those demons? Does Sam, the therapist, help Zoe find the right path? Or does she find the truth in her own way? Zoe’s own explorations had some quirks and mistakes that were too convenient, but that all led up to one heckuva twist. I’ve read half a dozen or so reviews and every single one said the same thing: I didn’t see that coming. I can honestly say that I did not see it either. Holy smokes, Dr. Freud! Jean Luc, Zoe’s one-time boyfriend, said, “We are all looking for our mothers, no?” The guy Zoe’s mom called ‘The Frenchman’ got it right, both literally and figuratively. This book is listed as “Zoe Goldman #1”. I hope that in the followup novel, Dr. Goldman shows that she has indeed learned from this experience and has grown enough to share some of that wisdom with patients. She is a likable character surrounded by good people. There is a lot of potential here, and I found Little Black Lies to be quite a page-turner. 3.5 stars

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    When I got approved for reading and reviewing, “The Girl Without a Name” by Sandra Block, though Netgalley, I felt in order to do it justice, I should start with her debut novel, called “Little Black Lies”. This is the review of “Little Black Lies”, her debut novel, a totally involving psychological suspense novel, based on dark secrets, and lies. Dr. Zoe Goldman, a psychiatry resident at a Buffalo, N.Y., hospital, suffers from ADHD, and a troubled past. Her biological mother, died in a fire…for When I got approved for reading and reviewing, “The Girl Without a Name” by Sandra Block, though Netgalley, I felt in order to do it justice, I should start with her debut novel, called “Little Black Lies”. This is the review of “Little Black Lies”, her debut novel, a totally involving psychological suspense novel, based on dark secrets, and lies. Dr. Zoe Goldman, a psychiatry resident at a Buffalo, N.Y., hospital, suffers from ADHD, and a troubled past. Her biological mother, died in a fire…for which Zoe now suffers from recurring nightmares. She needs to know more about the past, her mother and the events surrounding her death. “I am hiding, but I don’t know why. I don’t know where I am, or who I’m hiding from.” Zoe was adopted by a former social worker, and her adopted mother told Zoe, that her biological mother died in a fire twenty years ago. And now time is running out as her adopted mother suffers from dementia and lives in a home…and time is running out to uncover the mysteries and truth of her past. “My mom would tell me this and that, little things. But I’ve always felt like a piece was missing. But I guess I also felt guilty that, if I told my mom, she would feel bad, like she wasn’t a good enough mother for me. But now I have my chance. I can’t hurt my mother by finding out-she won’t even know.” The novel takes place over three months, November through January, and the first half of the book centers around her practice, her patients and their treatment. One of her patients is Sophia, a sociopath, who has been institutionalized for having murdered her mother, and the attempted homicide of her brother. Zoe must unlock the secrets that Sophia has hidden for so long. I loved how the author was able to lace the story with humor. “Patient in Flight!” Put a smile on my face. I have to say that I found the first half of the book, while well-written was a little slow for my liking, but then at the half way mark-WHAM- it took off by leaps and bounds, and I was racing to keep up. It is for this reason, that I rated this debut novel as a 3, but recognize that this author shows much potential and I am looking forward to reading her next novel. Being a fan of psycho-thrillers, I enjoy the suspense level, the humor, and deception and lies, and the characters that gave it meaning. “The Truth will set you free.” Now looking forward to reading Block’s second novel, “THE GIRL WITHOUT A NAME”, thanks to the generosity of Netgalley, the author and her publisher.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    This is the first book I have read by this author and wouldn't have known about this but for Net Galley. I love a good thriller sometimes and this one was based around a psychiatric hospital, along with the differing patients and their mental health along with the varied psychiatric staff. Dr. Zoe Goldman is one of the main trainee residence, if not 'the' main one on the staff there that we come to meet and get to know, she has many things in her past that she wants to discover and uncover. It wa This is the first book I have read by this author and wouldn't have known about this but for Net Galley. I love a good thriller sometimes and this one was based around a psychiatric hospital, along with the differing patients and their mental health along with the varied psychiatric staff. Dr. Zoe Goldman is one of the main trainee residence, if not 'the' main one on the staff there that we come to meet and get to know, she has many things in her past that she wants to discover and uncover. It was quite fascinating getting to know her inside and out. She had a few issues to work through. BUT these issues were so dragged out throughout the pages I felt like the pages of the book were growing faster than I could read them!!! Zoe was dedicated to her job, to her patients. She also had a love, his name was Luc, a frenchman, however, one day over Skype he told her he had fallen in love with someone else. That was a considerable blow to her. But instead of that being the end to the relationship, the author decided to draw it out some more, with nothing of use for us readers to get ourselves excited about, plain and simple, he was a skunk. A bad smell. He should have been dumped not only by Zoe [with any common sense] but also by the author. I saw no use for him in the book whatsoever after that, but he still cropped up. We also meet her Mother who is in a home for people with dementia. Sometimes the conversations could be quite amusing. BUT Zoe was adopted, there is a whole big story around this [or so I thought]. Zoe's adoptive Mother though is living in a care home for people with dementia and time is running out for Zoe to know about her biological mother, but bear in mind, Zoe is now in her 30's? She was adopted at 4 years old and its taken until now? I'm very confused over that bit of information. Even though I have read it until the end. The downside to some of the writing was issues appertaining repetitively to Zoe's height, she was exceptionally tall, I did feel like saying "OK we got that as a reader already". Please don't underestimate the readers memory. If it had been mentioned twice, OK...ride through it, that's fine, but more than three times, no need I personally don't think. This didn't distract from my reading, just annoyance, small one, but my gray matter picked up on it! There is a patient that stands out in the Psychiatric wards, her name is Sophie, she has been in the mental health section for many years. She too is now in her 30's. She killed her Mother. I haven't managed to give any spoilers away. How did the book make me feel? Well, it was a slow burner, but that was OK as sometimes it did speed up a bit, especially when in the Wards of the hospital, but the keep going back over Zoe's 'problems' and her researching [which I must say was done badly until right at the end when it paced up A LOT] There were 2 things which kept me reading until the end [leisurely] 1. What is the BIG secret over the adoption and will Zoe get to the bottom of all it all, and get all the answers to her 'issues'. 2. Sophie, who has 'forgotten' if she indeed killed her Mother as a young age, if indeed what she has revealed recently is true [as it's only come out now since she is in her 30's!] and what is going to happen to her? Did she kill her, or was there a twist? This is NOT an edge of your seat thriller. It is a brilliant story, the psychiatric side is very believable and research has been done on drugs used, I recognized quite a few of them [only because I know someone close to me who has Bi Polar so I've had over 30 yrs experience with dealing with hospitals appertaining to mental health] I do think some more research needs to be done on the giving out of tablets so readily though as they don't do that so much now. CONCLUSION I stayed with it, I read it, I didn't put it down, I wasn't flicking through the pages in eager anticipation, but there was 'something' that kept my attention and that is mentioned above. BUT once we found out what was what at the end I was "oh, is that it" I understand this is Sandra Blocks debut novel. Its a hard market out there. I see it first hand because of the closeness my book buddy and myself have with struggling authors, over 15,000 in our group alone, so an author has to REALLY stand out, I think that Sandra Block can be such an author. I am 100% sure she could write that "edge of your seat thriller!! Its her first book, and based on that I am giving it a 3.07, almost 4. I have faith that this author can improve where I really want to read her next book. Its not great, its just not a 'standout wow' book. But its GOOD. *My review and my feelings on something are my own thoughts, own feelings and never a reflection on anyone else's and certainly not meant to frustrate or upset the author, I try to be honest as I can be*

  7. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I actually went and revised my review of Book 2 based on my increased reading pleasure with Little Black Lies. I now believe book 2 to be interesting, but a disappointing follow up. Perhaps because the story in this book was more personal. Dr .Zoe Goldman, a psychiatric medical resident, is interested in learning more about her past. Who was her birth mother? Why is Zoe having nightmares? Who is the woman named Tanya that her adoptive mother keeps talking about? The plot was a bit more fast paced I actually went and revised my review of Book 2 based on my increased reading pleasure with Little Black Lies. I now believe book 2 to be interesting, but a disappointing follow up. Perhaps because the story in this book was more personal. Dr .Zoe Goldman, a psychiatric medical resident, is interested in learning more about her past. Who was her birth mother? Why is Zoe having nightmares? Who is the woman named Tanya that her adoptive mother keeps talking about? The plot was a bit more fast paced and the personal drama worked well with the story and never appeared to distract from the central storyline. Just one criticism to point out and place into the bookuniverse- Why must authors include characters that are of different nationalities, such as, Jean-Luc, Zoe's on again- off again boyfriend, if he is only going to repeat one word in his native tongue, over and over again? All in all, a decent series!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    This book caught me off guard a little. It started off much lighter than most mysteries I read. Meaning not with a murder or traumatic event. It jumped right into life in the psychiatry ward of a Buffalo hospital and its colorful cast of doctors. Dr. Zoe Goldman, one of those psychiatrists, is our main character. Extremely tall, as referenced throughout the book, adopted at the young age of four by her mother’s best friend, and in a relationship with the “Frenchman”, Zoe has some issues of her o This book caught me off guard a little. It started off much lighter than most mysteries I read. Meaning not with a murder or traumatic event. It jumped right into life in the psychiatry ward of a Buffalo hospital and its colorful cast of doctors. Dr. Zoe Goldman, one of those psychiatrists, is our main character. Extremely tall, as referenced throughout the book, adopted at the young age of four by her mother’s best friend, and in a relationship with the “Frenchman”, Zoe has some issues of her own. Recurring dreams and inconsistent information she has been receiving (or not receiving) from her mother, have Zoe questioning some things she has been told about her past. Going only off a picture and a newspaper article, she begins diving into her past. Her mother, in a home, suffering from Alzheimer’s, isn’t much help, and anyone else that would know anything is long gone. With Sam, her psychiatrist (is it odd that a psychiatrist sees a psychiatrist?), she explores dream manipulation and hypnosis. When those don’t work out, she starts her investigation. The story moves along well, but I don’t feel like we hit the story line till at least halfway through. And even then, I didn’t feel like I was in mystery mode. The book goes between Zoe’s personal life, some romance, some encounters with her mom and brother, and then her work life. She has a few patients who we come to know, but the two worlds just seem so separate. Without spoiling anything, my brain just wasn’t scrambling to come up with guesses like I usually do in mystery books. And this one, as I stated, from the beginning, just didn’t fit the stereotype. Not saying this is a bad thing at all, and actually I liked it because I was really caught off guard when I got to the “big reveal”. Really caught off guard. Emphasis added. Maybe you will have figured it out, I honestly had no idea. And I love that when a book can do that! I was hanging on to every word until the very end and finished this book pretty quick! And shout out to Ms. Block for her letter and notes at the end. That is seriously my favorite part of a book to know a little back story on where this story came from! Definitely a great book and another shout out to NetGalley for allowing me to preview, look for it on February 17th! http://mydogearedpurpose.com/2015/01/...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Laura Rash

    Loved this book & can't wait for the next one! Loved this book & can't wait for the next one!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tiffy

    Holy freaking crap. Just when I thought I had everything figured out Block throws in a HUGE plot twist that almost had me jumping out of my seat. I totally did not see it coming. Well written and a suspenseful page turner. Definitely will be reading more of her books.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Krystin Rachel

    Book Blog | Bookstagram "Gorillas in the dining room. Dinosaurs in the backyard. That's the least of it. The truth is, we are all a little crazy." I really liked this book. Really. I liked the secondary characters and all their unique personalities that came to life with small, but thought-out details. I liked the pacing of each chapter and each milestone. I like the narrator's voice and the easy-breezy quality of the storytelling, despite the serious subject matter. I was utterly engaged in e Book Blog | Bookstagram "Gorillas in the dining room. Dinosaurs in the backyard. That's the least of it. The truth is, we are all a little crazy." I really liked this book. Really. I liked the secondary characters and all their unique personalities that came to life with small, but thought-out details. I liked the pacing of each chapter and each milestone. I like the narrator's voice and the easy-breezy quality of the storytelling, despite the serious subject matter. I was utterly engaged in everything that was going on with the main character of Dr. Zoe Goldman - from her quest to find out more about her birth mother, to her strange broken memory, to her interactions with matricidal patient Sophia, and even her rather pedestrian love life foibles, because I just liked her so much and wanted to be involved in her world. And the twist ending actually surprised me! I don't know much about mental health medicine or the life of a resident doctor, but it rang true to me and for a laymen, that's all that matters. The medicine and the daily life of Zoe working in the psych ward of a Buffalo hospital was not boring like a medical textbook or outlandish and dramatic like an episode of Grey's Anatomy. It was just the right mix of both. Truthfully, I've always been fascinated by psych wards, so I might have been more into this book then other readers. I've always gravitated towards that setting in books and movies. I don't know why, but I have no desire to talk about how that makes me feel. I grew up on the Niagara border between Canada and the U.S., and spent the first two years of my relationship with my husband driving through Buffalo every other weekend to see him. So, it was nice to read a book set close to home - I was able to feel an extra connection to the story. Sandra Block, a native Buffalo girl, used the city and the true details to create an anchor for the reader, at least that's how it was for me. Despite the psych ward - the patients making claims about Satan or cutting their wrists open, and Zoe's personal life and family feeling all up in the air - Buffalo brought a sense of reality and honesty when you needed it. The search for Zoe's birth mother, the unraveling of her adoptive parents' lies and the muddy waters that was Sophia's case, brought up themes of trusting your own memory, the human mind's power and family bonds that are always changing, straining and repairing. As Zoe's ex, Jean Luc, said, "We're all looking for our mother's, no?" This was not only literal, but figurative too. Yes, Zoe is searching for her real birth mother, both out in the world and in her own fractured dreams, but she's also trying to "find" her adoptive mother, who every day slips more and more behind the veil of early-onset Alzheimer's. Block handled this with nuance, bringing things to the reader's attention without ever being heavy-handed. This made it more than a mystery/thriller - it was a human experience. The only reason I'm not giving this book 5 stars is because... (view spoiler)[I had a problem with how it was revealed Zoe and Sophia were sisters. Sophia has been in a psych hospital for twenty years because she killed her mother. And when Sophia's brother, Jack, comes to visit her, he speaks to Zoe about that night and about what he remembers of his family. But never in that time does he say he has another younger sister who he hasn't seen since she was adopted? Not likely. Block makes a point of saying Jack was only eight and doesn't remember much, but it turns out Jack lost his eye saving Zoe from Sophia's knife-wielding murderous rage. He tells Zoe about this, conveniently leaving out the part about the sister whose life he saved? Again, not likely. And Zoe, a doctor very intrigued by her patient's mental state, never researches the crime herself to better understand the 'why' of Sophia, and thereby reveal that a third mystery child was involved, who had the same name her adoptive mother randomly called her one time in a dementia fog? Please. I probably wouldn't have been so surprised by the twist ending if at any point in the book a third sibling had been mentioned. (hide spoiler)] That the whole plot balanced on never revealing this detail is a little bit sloppy. Just saying. But it still wasn't enough to ruin the story for me - I liked Zoe too much, and the personal-mixed-with-mystery writing style. In the end, Zoe's issues are wrapped up cleanly, except for that one little thread and I'm totally here for book #2! ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | 4 stars

  12. 4 out of 5

    Karyn Niedert

    RELEASE DATE: February 17, 2015 RATING: 2 Stars Maybe, if you can check it out at the library for free GENRE: Women’s Fiction / Mystery and Suspense AUDIENCE: Fans of Jonathan Kellerman may enjoy this book. SERIES: Standalone SUMMARY: Blurb from Netgalley: “From first-time novelist Sandra Block, a gripping pageturner about a psychiatrist determined to discover the truth about her past.” REVIEW: Immediate problems I had with this book are plentiful. Zoe is supposed to be plain, average, and a little t RELEASE DATE: February 17, 2015 RATING: 2 Stars Maybe, if you can check it out at the library for free GENRE: Women’s Fiction / Mystery and Suspense AUDIENCE: Fans of Jonathan Kellerman may enjoy this book. SERIES: Standalone SUMMARY: Blurb from Netgalley: “From first-time novelist Sandra Block, a gripping pageturner about a psychiatrist determined to discover the truth about her past.” REVIEW: Immediate problems I had with this book are plentiful. Zoe is supposed to be plain, average, and a little too tall but she has a drop dead gorgeous boyfriend, Jean Luc-a French chemist. Poor Eddie at the coffee shop her brother works at also has a crush on her. ER resident Mike asked her out. Yes, she must be hideous. Readers get it, she has ADHD. It’s grilled into us every other page (at least) and we promise to remember. No need to bring it up constantly. Author’s view of psychiatric residency (or any med residency) could use a little more research. By a third of the way through the book, I’m mightily convinced I know more about psychiatry than heroine does. You expect readers to swallow that she (during visit with her shrink Sam) doesn’t know what “susceptible” means? As a device used to explain to readers what it is, I gotta say it’s pretty shaky. NOTE: After googling author learned she is a neurologist who attended Harvard. This says that she either didn’t trust that readers could keep up with the story if she got too technical or she just didn’t want to bother with it. Either way, the whole Zoe Goldman as a psych resident just fell flat for me. Zoe has all of these questions about her “birth mother” which she flails around like a fish out of water to answer. By the way, she was with her “birth mother” until age 4, so it’s not as if she was left on an orphanage doorstep. I find it hard to swallow that her adoptive mother was a social worker but “couldn’t really remember” the details about how Zoe came to be under her care other than she and birth mother were best friends and it was promised about six months prior to the fire. It must have been “in the will or something”. Yes, I get that adoptive mother is suffering from a degenerative memory disorder, but that whole explanation was about as clear as mud. Zoe also does nothing to get to the facts other than drill her adoptive mother for incoherent, elusive answers. Apparently, in this book there’s no internet, back issues of local newspapers, or state record archives to dig into. How badly does she really want to know if she’s not willing or able to perform these simple searches to unearth more details about the fire and death of her mother? Not until the very end of the book does she start doing some real research, and that was using an old school friend who works at the local newspaper and then using her brother to do facial recognition on the only picture Zoe has of her mother. (view spoiler)[I predicted 1/3 of the way through the book that the psychopath Sophia Vallano was her birth sister and was in the house with Zoe when her mother was killed. (hide spoiler)] At the end of the book, the author didn’t really seem to know who to end it. Each time I closed a chapter and thought, “Okay, it’s done”, a new chapter would emerge. That’s a lot of negative feedback. I gave it as thoughtfully and clearly as I could because, even with all of the things I wasn’t fond of, I DID read the whole book. This wasn’t a case where the writing stinks; the story is for the birds, so let’s move onto something else. I liked enough of Block’s writing style to keep with it. She allowed the characters to have a good sense of humor, and that was enjoyable. Though the path was predictable, for the most part I think she introduced the facets of the story in a reasonable and measured way. Chances are very good if she writes another book, I’ll read it. If she repeats some of the same mistakes I outlined above, it would be the last Sandra Block book I’ll read. *Tremendous thanks to Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. FYI: This is author Sandra Block’s freshman effort. Key quotes from this book that made me roll my eyes. “That night I lay beside him in bed, wide awake, wired to the gills, watching his chest rise and fall and the rust-colored stubble on his chin. The foolish rush of dopamine, the tingling of every Pacinian corpuscle in my dermatome”.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Judy D Collins

    Sandra Block introduces an intriguing new complex character, Dr. Zoe Goldman, with her debut, LITTLE BLACK LIES -- A gripping psychological suspense of a tragic past, suppressed memories, family, dark secrets, and lies. Black lies involve an underlying secret that is hidden with lies, deception and secrecy. Dr. Zoe Goldman, a psychiatry resident at a Buffalo, N.Y., hospital, suffers from ADHD, with a number of personal issues. She is haunted by her past. Her biological mother, died in a fire, a t Sandra Block introduces an intriguing new complex character, Dr. Zoe Goldman, with her debut, LITTLE BLACK LIES -- A gripping psychological suspense of a tragic past, suppressed memories, family, dark secrets, and lies. Black lies involve an underlying secret that is hidden with lies, deception and secrecy. Dr. Zoe Goldman, a psychiatry resident at a Buffalo, N.Y., hospital, suffers from ADHD, with a number of personal issues. She is haunted by her past. Her biological mother, died in a fire, a trauma that still gives her nightmares. She constantly wonders about her mother and the events surrounding her death. Suffering from recurring dreams, she tries desperately to make sense of her dreams, memories, reality, and her own madness. A blank slate with broken memories. She also has other problems, dealing with her adoptive mother's (a former social worker) descent into dementia in a nursing home. She is of little help with answers about her biological mother. Her mother is not even sure who she is now, much less who she was. Zoe, becomes more obsessed with uncovering the mysteries and truth about her past. If this is not enough to drive someone over the edge, she now has a patient, Sofia, a sociopath, who has been institutionalized for more than two decades for having murdered her mother, and the attempted homicide of her brother. As Zoe comes closer to learning the secrets behind the lies, can she come to terms with the real truth? A fan of legal, medical, and psycho-thrillers, I enjoy the intensity, research, and suspense surrounding the environment, patients, and of course the professional’s personal/work interactions. My negative with LITTLE BLACK LIES was the narrator, Kara Bartell; found her voice annoying while listening to the audio, with the ongoing need to fast forward. I would also have preferred more focus on Zoe’s past, which I found intriguing, versus her present relationships. Overall, a good mix of medical (mind), family, humor, sarcasm, deception/lies, and an array of secondary characters for a slow paced psychological suspense. While currently reading an ARC of Block’s second novel, upcoming, Sept 8, THE GIRL WITHOUT A NAME, wanted to read/listen to the first book, to explore a little more about Zoe, the main protagonist. I think fans will enjoy the second installment featuring Zoe, and another patient with a mysterious past, and her obsession to find answers. With Block’s own professional career, she definitely adds inside expertise which further enhances the overall reading experience. “Black lies are about simple and callous selfishness. We tell black lies when others gain nothing and the sole purpose is either to get ourselves out of trouble (reducing harm against ourselves) or to gain something we desire (increasing benefits for ourselves).” Like malevolent spiders, liars of black lies often draw others into their web of deceit. "Are we all a little crazy?" JDCMustReadBooks

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This book was a happy accident. Kandice has been telling me about a book she loved called "Little Black Lies". So I went on Audible, typed in the title, and this is the only thing that came up. I bought it. I started listening to it. And though it had my attention, I knew it wasn't a Kandice-type-book, at least not a Kandice-five-star book. So I checked and low an behold, this is a totally different book. HA! (Turns out that the one Kandice loved isn't even available to us readers in the states) This book was a happy accident. Kandice has been telling me about a book she loved called "Little Black Lies". So I went on Audible, typed in the title, and this is the only thing that came up. I bought it. I started listening to it. And though it had my attention, I knew it wasn't a Kandice-type-book, at least not a Kandice-five-star book. So I checked and low an behold, this is a totally different book. HA! (Turns out that the one Kandice loved isn't even available to us readers in the states). But guess what? I really ended up liking this book. I was even going to recommend it to Betsy and Shelia, but then I looked and they both already read it and gave it 4 stars. Well I agree, ladies, and I will also put down four solid stars for this one. I think I'll even go ahead and use one of my new credits for book #2! This is a smart psychological thriller that never once resorted to flashy gimmicks or cheap tricks. Just good, classic storytelling. Very enjoyable.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    Zoe, a resident in training in a psych ward, has her own set of issues to deal with -- a recurring nightmare from her childhood, questions about her birth mother and how she died, a not-so-great boyfriend, etc. Her main patient has a LOT of problems since she is in the psych ward for murdering her mom when she was 14. I couldn't put this one down, although there were parts that weren't as interesting for me, and left me anxious to get back to the good stuff. The twist at the end is a doozy. I do Zoe, a resident in training in a psych ward, has her own set of issues to deal with -- a recurring nightmare from her childhood, questions about her birth mother and how she died, a not-so-great boyfriend, etc. Her main patient has a LOT of problems since she is in the psych ward for murdering her mom when she was 14. I couldn't put this one down, although there were parts that weren't as interesting for me, and left me anxious to get back to the good stuff. The twist at the end is a doozy. I don't think anyone would see it coming, but I could be wrong.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Woodbury

    This is a 3-star read that ended up getting bumped down to 2 in the final chapters. It starts out with a lot of promise: menacing suspense about Zoe's memories that she's somehow suppressed but are now popping up in her dreams. A psych resident, Zoe is also fascinated by a young woman who's spent most of her life in the psych ward after killing her mother. Unfortunately Block's writing occasionally felt a little flat, but then I kept getting pulled out of the story by little screw-ups. She nails This is a 3-star read that ended up getting bumped down to 2 in the final chapters. It starts out with a lot of promise: menacing suspense about Zoe's memories that she's somehow suppressed but are now popping up in her dreams. A psych resident, Zoe is also fascinated by a young woman who's spent most of her life in the psych ward after killing her mother. Unfortunately Block's writing occasionally felt a little flat, but then I kept getting pulled out of the story by little screw-ups. She nails the medical stuff, it's obvious she's comfortable there, but the way Zoe investigates her history feels false and weird (so do the subplots with her former boyfriend and new prospective love interest). An example: Zoe finds someone on Facebook that she wants to get information from, drives to their house, then finds out on arriving the person is dead. Anyone who has been on Facebook for more than a little while would find that sentence kind of laughable. (Any dead person on Facebook has a wall plastered in memorials, it would be impossible to miss. Plus no one shares their address publicly. I could've forgiven those flaws but the ending itself felt manipulative and like my chain had just been yanked. I think Block has potential, but I'd like to see her make her plot more organic. Her scenes in the hospital also ring so much more true than any others in the book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Icewineanne

    This is an enjoyable story about a resident trainee psychiatrist. Although it is a mystery, that seems to be almost secondary to the story of the main character's (Zoe) life as a resident in a Buffalo area hospital. A large focus is on the relationships that she has with her co-workers, patients, and her adoptive mother, who is now in a nursing home with dementia. The mystery involves a mysterious dream that keeps haunting Zoe and the questions about her natural mother's death. Although the myst This is an enjoyable story about a resident trainee psychiatrist. Although it is a mystery, that seems to be almost secondary to the story of the main character's (Zoe) life as a resident in a Buffalo area hospital. A large focus is on the relationships that she has with her co-workers, patients, and her adoptive mother, who is now in a nursing home with dementia. The mystery involves a mysterious dream that keeps haunting Zoe and the questions about her natural mother's death. Although the mystery was somewhat interesting, what kept me reading were the other aspects of the story. Having had a father in a nursing home with alzheimer's, I could relate & found the scenes in the nursing home to be spot on. Sandra Block brought insight and humour to these scenes and to the day to day life of a resident. The mystery itself has a few holes, but because of the other storylines in the book, I wasn't overly bothered by any of them. I'm looking forward to Sandra Block's next novel. A solid 3.5 stars!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Albert

    Little Black Lies by Sandra Block is a psychological thriller that sets a tempo and pace that will draw you in slowly until like a literary anaconda, it takes you in its coils and squeezes you until it makes you its own. Tense and powerful. Little Black Lies heralds a new series by a talented new voice in this genre. One that takes her place, with authority in the genre. "...She rubs her arms. 'I'm getting cold, honey. Ready to go back in?' 'Sure,' I say, fighting a yawn. I have to get home to s Little Black Lies by Sandra Block is a psychological thriller that sets a tempo and pace that will draw you in slowly until like a literary anaconda, it takes you in its coils and squeezes you until it makes you its own. Tense and powerful. Little Black Lies heralds a new series by a talented new voice in this genre. One that takes her place, with authority in the genre. "...She rubs her arms. 'I'm getting cold, honey. Ready to go back in?' 'Sure,' I say, fighting a yawn. I have to get home to study anyway. So we wind our way back into the Victorian palace, past the disinfectant smells, the nurses laughing at their station, back to Mom's small, rose-pink-carpeted room, with her roommate mercifully gone. 'Home,' I say, depositing her in her favorite corner rocker. I smooth the blanket around her and gather up my things. 'See you later, Mom, I love you.' 'I love you, too, Tanya,' she answers, her eyes closing. I stare at her a moment as she descends right into sleep, her breath evening into a soft snore. Tanya? I jiggle my car keys, debating, but don't have the heart to wake her. And the whole drive home the name burrows itself in my head: Tanya. Who the hell is Tanya..." Dr. Zoe Goldman is a resident in training, working with her patients in the psychiatric ward of the hospital. But Zoe has plenty of her own mental and emotional issues. An adoptive mother who is slowly fading away in a retirement home. The keys to her past and her birth family fading with her. A boyfriend whose sense of fidelity and love are as fleeting as the time he gives Zoe. An incredibly demanding career that take of the most of her life, and her own therapy sessions that deal with dreams and memories of a prior existence. Of a little girl hiding from a horrible creature, of blood and death. Becoming obsessed with her birth mother, she digs into her past and finds that the carefully woven tale of her life has been a web of deceit and lies. The little girl she was led to believe she was never existed and with her adoptive mother's increasing dementia, she finds the opportunity to learn the truth drifting away. Into this time comes a new patient, a sociopath, institutionalized for years. The new patient Sofia Vallano, is not what a murderess should look like. Quiet and demure, she spends her time with her art and with Zoe. She looks little like the fourteen year old girl who killed her own mother. "...It turns out that matricide is less common than you might think, if you thought about it much to begin with. Only a handful of cases per year. Infanticide has a much higher rate, though it's an undeniably easier affair. A couple of pounds of screaming newborn versus a hundred-plus-pounder who has raised you form birth..." The more Zoe learns of her past and the past of her patient she begins to feel the two worlds begin to collide. Who really is Sofia and what can she possibly know of Zoe's missing past. As Zoe begins to recall what had happened when she was a child, along with the memory, comes the danger of the past. Little Black Lies is a tense atmospheric thriller that builds and moves with a steady ebb, dropping clues and questions as it weaves a tight little mystery of loss and deceit. Who is Zoe really? That is center to this tale. Her past locked away in the fading memory of her adoptive mother. Her dementia closing and locking the doors to the truth of what once was. Her dreams and memories of a bloody and terrifying night. Block does an amazing job of weaving this tale, you will find it hard to believe this is her debut. The character of Zoe is one you will fall for. Her hope and frustrations. Her deep loss and her belief in going forward. With her you will unravel the truth that is hidden in all the little black lies. A terrific novel and a writer to be followed!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    This is just an ok book about a psychiatrist, Zoe Goldman, who was raised by adoptive parents after, what she was told, her real mother died in a fire. Now Zoe's adoptive mother is fading away into dementia and for some reason Zoe begins doubting the story about her birth mother. As her adoptive mother's memories fade, and as Zoe finds clues that show her that the story just doesn't add up, she is in a race to find out who her real mother is before it's too late. While trying to figure out her o This is just an ok book about a psychiatrist, Zoe Goldman, who was raised by adoptive parents after, what she was told, her real mother died in a fire. Now Zoe's adoptive mother is fading away into dementia and for some reason Zoe begins doubting the story about her birth mother. As her adoptive mother's memories fade, and as Zoe finds clues that show her that the story just doesn't add up, she is in a race to find out who her real mother is before it's too late. While trying to figure out her own mystery, Zoe has been given a new patient, Sofia Valerno. She has been institutionalized since she was a teen for killing her mother and the attempted homicide of her brother. Now the doctors must decide if Sofia is ready for release back into society. For some reason, Zoe has this nagging doubt about Sofia even though she has shown exemplary behavior at the hospital. Zoe just can't get her out of her head and she doesn't know why. With a heavy handed psychiatric treatments and story lines along the Freudian line- mother issues, subconscious, dreams, hypnosis- this is not a psychiatric book. This is a normal everyday book that anyone could read. It moves very slow. It took me quite awhile to read it. I didn't connect with the characters at all. They were written all very superficially. The author's knowledge of the DSM V and Freudian theories were great! Maybe she should stick to writing in medical journals. 3 stars.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I loved, loved this book and highly recommend it. It doesn't come out until February, so you have a chance to buy it ahead of time now. I was lucky enough to receive and Advanced Reading Copy. The story takes place mostly in a psychiatric ward with Dr. Zoe Goldman, a resident in training, as the heroine. Not only is she faced with problem patients daily, but she has her own skeletons in the closet. She wants to know what exactly happened to her birth mother. Her adoptive mother knows or knew, bu I loved, loved this book and highly recommend it. It doesn't come out until February, so you have a chance to buy it ahead of time now. I was lucky enough to receive and Advanced Reading Copy. The story takes place mostly in a psychiatric ward with Dr. Zoe Goldman, a resident in training, as the heroine. Not only is she faced with problem patients daily, but she has her own skeletons in the closet. She wants to know what exactly happened to her birth mother. Her adoptive mother knows or knew, but now is in the throes of dementia so Zoe never knows if what her adopted mother tells her is true or not. That's the only part of the plot I think I should reveal. This is Dr. Block's debut novel and a hard hitting, intriguing, page-turning one at that. She draws three-dimensional characters, manages several plot threads masterfully and will keep you on the edge of your seat. Keep the lights on when you read this one.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kate Moretti

    I love any type of psychological thriller, but this one actually took place in a psych hospital so it gave it that extra little oomph for me. Dr. Zoe Goldman is an exceptional character: whip smart with a little bit of sass, but flawed. Clearly Block knows her psychiatric disorders (she IS a neurologist, after all). The mystery was compelling and the writing was top notch! Loved this book!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Maureen DeLuca

    This book was just OK for me. Nothing special xx

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    Review Originally Posted:Traveling With T This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration. Little Black Lies Dr. Zoe Goldman is a resident in training at the local psychiatric ward. Helping people is something that gives her joy- and she feels that she is good at her job. Even though she definitely picks up on the fact that one her supervisors is not always her biggest fan. When Zoe meets Sophia Vallano- her newest patient- she has a dislike to the girl. But she puts on a professiona Review Originally Posted:Traveling With T This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration. Little Black Lies Dr. Zoe Goldman is a resident in training at the local psychiatric ward. Helping people is something that gives her joy- and she feels that she is good at her job. Even though she definitely picks up on the fact that one her supervisors is not always her biggest fan. When Zoe meets Sophia Vallano- her newest patient- she has a dislike to the girl. But she puts on a professional face and deals with Sophia as best she can. Although when talk begins to happen about releasing Sophia- Zoe is reluctant to think this is the best course of action. Considering the fact that Sophia killed her mother and now Zoe is dreaming about the fire that killed her biological mother and her adoptive mother has dementia- it’s no wonder that Zoe has lot on her mind. Add to that her relationship/dating problems- Zoe is just trying to handle things. Maybe it’s because of the dreams, maybe it’s because her adoptive mother has dementia- but Zoe now has a desire to find out more about her bio mother. She presses her adoptive mother for details and when that proves to not be as successful as she’d like- she asks her therapist to use hypnosis to help her decipher her dream. Zoe begins to find out, though, that some secrets are best kept in the past. And that some lies are told with the best intentions at the heart of them. Traveling With T’s Thoughts: So…. When Liz @ Wunderkind PR offered me this book, I was pretty excited. Always having enjoyed a mystery/suspense type novel- this one had those markings, plus the psychological aspects was intriguing to me. And, ok, the cover- hello the cover! It was like Zoe was whispering “Come find out all the secrets, T!” I started reading and it was interesting. I was getting to know Zoe and the cast of characters- and while I didn’t care for everyone (I’m looking directly at you Jean Luc) I was ok. I understood Zoe’s desire to find out what her dreams meant- even though when she under hypnosis, I thought I was going to scream my head off. And yet- while I did enjoy this book (and no, I did not guess the ending) I was still not 100% “you gotta read this fab book”. Maybe it was because there were some aspects that I felt did not need as much space given as they were (again Jean Luc, even Eddie- he was mentioned so many times, my Spidey sense was tingling about him!) The good: I thought this was fairly well plotted out (especially for a debut novel). The idea definitely had merit! The bad-ish: Sandra Block does mention things a few too many times (Zoe’s ADHD) and some of Zoe’s relationship woes was dragged on a touch too long. Overall: I was definitely pleased with this book. It had way more good and the things that were bad-ish were just personal feelings/thoughts to me. I finished the book and felt satisfied- maybe not “Whoa, BEST ending ever” but def fulfilled and pretty happy. I would def say to give this book a try- and I would absolutely check out future work of Sandra’s because I think she might be an author to watch when you desire something in the mystery/suspense/psych thriller line. *This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration by WunderkindPR. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone. Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours, T @ Traveling With T

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn in FL

    Sandra Block has created an interesting character in Zoe, who is doing her residency in psychiatry at a Buffalo hospital. Zoe has returned to the area to be closer to her brother, Scotty and her adoptive mother, who has dementia and lives in a memory care facility. In this first book (in a series), Zoe is trying to unlock the secrets of her patient, Sofia, who murdered her family without ever stating her motive. Zoe is also trying to use therapy with Sam to unlock her blocked memory of a fire th Sandra Block has created an interesting character in Zoe, who is doing her residency in psychiatry at a Buffalo hospital. Zoe has returned to the area to be closer to her brother, Scotty and her adoptive mother, who has dementia and lives in a memory care facility. In this first book (in a series), Zoe is trying to unlock the secrets of her patient, Sofia, who murdered her family without ever stating her motive. Zoe is also trying to use therapy with Sam to unlock her blocked memory of a fire that killed her birth mother and dealing with the loss of her relationship with fiance, Jean Luc. Sofia makes Zoe's job very difficult. She refuses to speak initially and as their time together moves forward, Zoe's supervisor, Dr. Grant, pushes her to make a connection with her patient. When Sofia finally begins to confide, Zoe has difficulty with her reasons. Soon, there is a very unhealthy connection forged between them, Sofia becomes progressively creepier but Zoe tries to suppress her negative response. What startles the reader is Sofia's true agenda, which made forms the book's artistry. Making it one I would recommend. I do have one issue with the storyline. As it misrepresents the suppressed memories as bogus. I know more than one person with this condition and it is very valid. There were a few minor errors in the story but it did not impede the story in any fashion. Overall, it is a great read and I hope to read the next installment.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I thoroughly enjoyed this debut novel and am looking forward to reading the next in the series. Zoe Goldman is working in Buffalo as a psychiatric resident. She is haunted by dreams of a fire where she lost her mother. Zoe was raised by an adoptive mother, but can remember very little about her biological family. She is struggling with this, the loss of a boyfriends, and her ADHD. I think there was a little too much emphasis on the ADHD. I found it annoying at times. Otherwise, this book moved a I thoroughly enjoyed this debut novel and am looking forward to reading the next in the series. Zoe Goldman is working in Buffalo as a psychiatric resident. She is haunted by dreams of a fire where she lost her mother. Zoe was raised by an adoptive mother, but can remember very little about her biological family. She is struggling with this, the loss of a boyfriends, and her ADHD. I think there was a little too much emphasis on the ADHD. I found it annoying at times. Otherwise, this book moved along well and was very readable.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Eileen Goudge

    Intriguing & Absorbing I love when I discover a new series and I know midway through the first book I'll want to read all the rest. Such was the case with my introduction to the Zoe Goldman series. I was intrigued by the setting, written by an author who obviously knows psychiatric residency well, and was quickly caught up in the story. I didn't see the surprise twist coming at the end, and I'm usually good at guessing endings. Highly recommended for anyone who loves a good story. Intriguing & Absorbing I love when I discover a new series and I know midway through the first book I'll want to read all the rest. Such was the case with my introduction to the Zoe Goldman series. I was intrigued by the setting, written by an author who obviously knows psychiatric residency well, and was quickly caught up in the story. I didn't see the surprise twist coming at the end, and I'm usually good at guessing endings. Highly recommended for anyone who loves a good story.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christina Tamboli

    4.5 Great mystery story, with a slight dash of thriller. Highly recommend, especially as a beach/pool read. Bit of a slow start, but once the book gets moving you get sucked right in. Flew through this first book, excited to start on the next in the series.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ali Mark

    Read more reviews at http://alisbooklife.wix.com/freeyourread Zoe finds herself at the start of her career working on the psych-ward. But when she moves home, she is reminded of the fire that took the life of her mother, and so she begins on a journey with her psychiatrist, her brother and mom, and the on-again-off-again boyfriend. But what she discovers on the search to find out about her biological family could put her life in extreme danger. Goodreads readers ranked this book a 3.77 and I'd rec Read more reviews at http://alisbooklife.wix.com/freeyourread Zoe finds herself at the start of her career working on the psych-ward. But when she moves home, she is reminded of the fire that took the life of her mother, and so she begins on a journey with her psychiatrist, her brother and mom, and the on-again-off-again boyfriend. But what she discovers on the search to find out about her biological family could put her life in extreme danger. Goodreads readers ranked this book a 3.77 and I'd recommend it if you're into: suspenseful story lines semi-factual story lines psycho-babble a psychological thriller/mystery This book was a page turner, maybe tied in curiosity with Your Voice is All I Hear. I was heart-broken with two things throughout this book... that it was moving so quickly, and that I was at the end so quickly. I'd love to see a sequel to this book and the expansion of the end of this story, which seems to disappoint some on Goodreads. Pros: the entire book? I know that isn't a satisfactory answer, so we'll start with the character development. When you're dealing with mental disorders, it's important to highlight the person first, and the disorder second, and this book does this all at the same time as they are simply secondary characters. Which leads me into the purpose and presence of the secondary characters in this book - they're extremely prevalent, and they're done in a way that they matter, but they don't overshadow the importance of the main characters. The psychobabble was done really well - it made sense (and maybe it's because I have a minor in psychology, or maybe it's because I have been on too many of the medications listed in this book), but simply put - anyone could've skimmed through the disorders and through the medications listed and still have a complete understanding of the book itself. The details help you really explore every step of the journey that Zoe is going on - from the curiosity, to the exploration and searching, the pain, and the triumph. The mystery in this book made it a psychological thriller, and I'm not sure if I was having some minor heart palpitations or if I, too, needed a Xanax to ease the evening. But, Sandra Block wrote this book in a way that makes it impossible to read "just one more chapter" before bed. Cons: the psychobabble may be too much for some (but for me, it felt like I was back in the 10th grade and my teacher was running down a list of disorders, and then back in college in this teachers class who only cared about medications). The detail may be overwhelming for some. If you don't want to feel like you know every detail of Zoe's life, it may just be worth skipping half the book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Serenity

    *Received through Goodreads First Reads* Did anyone else figure out the big twist way before it was actually revealed? All of those clues. Despite the fact that I figured out the twist before I was meant to I still really loved this book. A new favorite for sure. It was well written and I loved all of the characters. It was amazing how everything tied together— the author definitely thought it through and explained everything very well.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    It is hard to review this one without giving up the plot. Dr. Goldman who has issues of her own stemming from a childhood trauma is treating psych patien.ts and one in particular, Sophia. I in all honesty thought the first 3/4 of the book went kind of slow but the last 1/4 was super!

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