May 4 2013 9:00am

Fresh Meat: Night Terrors by Dennis Palumbo

Night Terrors by Dennis PalumboNight Terrors by Dennis Palumbo is the third novel in the series featuring Pittsburgh-based psychotherapist Daniel Rinaldi (available May 7, 2013).

Once again, psychotherapist Daniel Rinaldi has been called in to consult with the police. This time it’s in Wheeling, West Virginia, where a guy has killed a local businessman, but will only lead detectives to the body if Rinaldi rides along. No sooner does he get back from Wheeling than FBI agent Alcott shows up, reluctantly asking for Rinaldi’s help with retired agent Lyle Barnes, whose years as a profiler have apparently taken their toll. To complicate matters, Barnes might be on a hit list related to the case of a small-time serial killer with a lone, angry fan. And, oh yeah, he has no intention of sitting around a hotel room like a sap when he can’t even get a decent night’s sleep.

Now, Rinaldi’s a likeable guy for the most part. He may have a hero complex and get himself into more trouble than his cop friends and enemies would like. Well, “enemies” might be a slight misnomer since about the only ones who don’t seem to think he’s charming are the stressed-out cops and agents who don’t care for “shrinks.”

He’s friends with former patients, even his ex-girlfriend and her new fiancé. He gets along with his family. He has a nice house, a thriving business, and he keeps himself in shape. He even goes out of his way to talk to the mother of the killer he feels is guilty, mostly to assuage her concerns. In other words, aside from his apparent need to chase after shooters and rogue agents, Rinaldi is perfect boyfriend material. And he’s sort of available, ladies.

“Fine lookin’ woman, that Lowrey. Totally buffed. Epic tits.”

“Funny, that’s the same thing she says about you.”

“Bite me. But I mean it, I envy you, Rinaldi.”

“Afraid there’s nothing to envy. We’re just friends.”

“Uh-huh.” A bleary-eyed conspiratorial look. “Just make sure you tell your ol’ buddy Dave all about it when you close the deal.”

“Right, you’ll be the first one I call.”

I was getting pissed off now. It wasn’t just the boozy familiarity. It was the casual way he spoke about Eleanor Lowrey. Though we’d only seen each other for drinks a few times since the summer—busy schedules, some family issues on her part, the usual contemporary approach-avoidance dance—I felt a pang of disloyalty allowing Parnelli to speak crudely about her.

Even drunk, this notion managed to penetrate his thick Italian skull. He tried to get to his feet.

“Hey, Danny, c’mon...Don’t get your shorts in a twist. I like Lowrey. Really. Great cop. Helluva girl.”

He’s patient and understanding with Lowrey, who has feelings for him, feelings for her ex-girlfriend, and feelings of guilt and responsibility related to the family issues.

Then again, there is that hero complex. Might be a little hard on a relationship to know he can’t stop himself from chasing killers through warehouses and alleys whenever the opportunity presents itself.

It wasn’t merely guilt. It also flew in the face of my own self-concept. Over time, belief in yourself and your actions becomes habit. A hard one to break, especially when you’ve allowed yourself to be seen as someone who usually comes through. Once you believe in your skills, your own convictions. Your own publicity.

Is that what I’d been doing the past few years, involving myself in these police cases? Making promises I couldn’t keep? Turning my desire to help those suffering from trauma into some absurd pseudo-heroics? Mere ego disguised as courage, narcissism disguised as compassion?

Probably not questions I could ever answer. Not for sure, anyway. No matter how hard I explored my own motives. As the Buddhists say, “The eye cannot see itself.”

And, he can be a bit of a smartass. In fact, he’s not above a petty dig now and then.

Biegler scratched his chin. “By ‘significantly involved,’ he means you’ve been shot at. On two separate occasions. Not to mention all the goddamn cuts and bruises. Whatever. How valuable that makes your so-called input is open to dispute.”

Eleanor gave me a sympathetic look, but I pretended I hadn’t seen it. Kept my eyes on Biegler.

“You know, Lieutenant, as much as I normally enjoy trading insults with you, I’m not really in the mood right now. A good person was killed just hours ago, right in front of me. A person who was constantly assured by the people in this room—including me—that she’d be safe. Protected.”

“Yeah, I know. So?”

“So let me just say, from the bottom of my heart, go fuck yourself.”

Bristling, Biegler got to his feet. Fists pressing down on the table, knuckles going white. “Listen, you arrogant piece of—”

“Lieutenant!” Alcott had risen, too, squaring his big shoulders. “Shut the hell up! I don’t care what your beef is with him, this isn’t the time or the place.”

Still fuming, Biegler whirled to face Alcott. “Since when did you start kissing Rinaldi’s ass?”

“Since the Director ordered me to cooperate with him. To include him in the investigation.”

“But he’s a goddamn civilian—!”

“Paid consultant,” I corrected him, turning to Alcott. “Though I don’t think the lieutenant has ever gotten over it. I swear, he brings it up every time we’re in the same room. In my clinical opinion, it’s becoming an obsession.”

On the other hand, maybe there is a good reason he’s single. If you’d like to spend some time with him, Night Terrors is Rinaldi’s third adventure.

See more coverage of new releases with our Fresh Meat series.

This Sweepstakes has ended. Check out our feature page for current opportunities!

To enter for a chance to win one 3-book set of the Daniel Rinaldi novels Night Terrors, Mirror Image, and Fever Dream, signed by Dennis Palumbo, make sure you’re logged in as a registered member of the site, and then simply leave a comment below.

TIP: Since only comments from registered users will be tabulated, if your user name appears in red above your comment—STOP—go log in, then try commenting again. If your user name appears in black above your comment, You’re In!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 or older. To enter, fill out entry at beginning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) May 4, 2013. Sweepstakes ends at 9:59 a.m. ET on May 11, 2013 (the “Promotion Period”). Void outside of the 50 US and DC and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules at Sponsor: Macmillan, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010

Neliza Drew is a tofu-eating teacher and erratic reader with a soft spot for crime fiction. She lives in the heat and humidity of southern Florida with three cats and her adorable hubby. She listens to way too much music, writes often, and spends too much time on Twitter (@nelizadrew).

Read all posts by Neliza Drew on Criminal Element.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
Jody Darden
1. jldarden
I enjoy psychological thrillers. This sound promising.
Katherine Marion
3. stitchkat
This is a new author for me. Looks promising.
Joan Coussoule
4. yiayia79
They seem to be

like the kind of story lines that I like.
5. shannon Baas
Looks like a good book.
Bob Keck
6. ky2here
I'm in the mood for a compelling psychological drama. Thanks for including me in your giveaway.
Juli Lear
8. jlear
This series is new to me. It looks like a good one!
9. Niki ZD
Oooh, this looks like a good read :)
Karen Hester
14. rosalba
New series for me - looks promising
Loren Palmer
15. lordor1
my kind of reading, thanx 4 choosing me
16. em kaplan
book club woud love them..
18. runner
Groovy time!
Jeanne Agee
19. jta
I love to read these type books
Marie-Louise Molloy
24. Wezzie
Definitely a page turner, would love to win!
Patricia Nicklas
25. pmernick
A new author for me that I'd like to read.
Dorothy Newmark
27. bookgirl1
This is a new author for me. Love psychological novels!
Maureen Wynn
28. red-cat
I'm looking for a new series, and this one looks good!
Kelley Tackett
30. tackettfamilyky
If Thomas Perry recommends this book then I am reading it for sure!
Carol Reiley
34. writingangel
A promising thriller title engages my
curiosity immediately. Wow, I would
love to win this one! Thanks for the chance.
Ann Stolinsky
36. gontzagames
thanks for the opportunity to win. This sounds like a great read.
Tina Branco
37. TinaTutu
Would love to read this series. Thanks for the giveaway.
Pat Murphy
38. murphyp2011
Would love to read. Wheeling is only 15 minutues from my home. Count me in .
Rosemary Simm
39. Ocalarose
Psychological thrillers are my regular genre of reading and I'm always amazed at how many ways an author can create gruesome murder and instill fear in the reader. Night Terrors is on my list and I would love to win the set and read these in the order they were written. Why, oh why have I missed this author, Dennis Palumbo????
Karl Stenger
40. Stenger
I would love copies of these books especially since they are signed
Anna Mills
42. Anna Mills
Hats off to her choice of crime location! Even more intriguing.
Don Gentry
43. traumadon
Excellent books, and I can't wait for each Email !
Patty Deming
44. demingp
I just looked these books up on B & N to check the prices & see if they have e-books. But winning these would be so much better!
Jennifer Beers
45. jlb226
Looks like it will be a great read!
Jackie Wisherd
46. JackieW
I would love to read this book to report on at my Mystery Book club.
Sharon Shumway
48. Shellen
This book sounds like a delicious thriller. Suspense is my favorite. Reading a great book gets me out of my life for a while and that's a good thing. I would love to win this set so I could start from the beginning. Thanks to Dennis Palumbo for writing good books. They really make a difference in my life
Rosa Abraham
50. ravensfan
Hmm...looks interesting. Would love to win this.
Joyce Delaney
52. joycedelaney
This is a brand new author for me. I'd like to try his books.
Andrew Kuligowski
53. KuligowskiAndrew
You had me at "Pittsburgh" - a white collar investigator (at least I assume a psychotherapist would qualify as such) in a blue collar community.
pat Baker
54. pebaker
would love to have a chance to read a new author.
Susan Pertierra
60. orchidlady01
I'll have to read the other books about Rinaldi if I win.
Rose Milligan
61. harnessrose
Fun title. Thanks for having the giveaway.
Barbara Bibel
62. bbibel
Very intriguing. I want to read it.
Karen Terry
63. bblol65
I love mysteries. Sounds real good.
Anne Muller
67. anne38
Sounds like a good read I can share with my dad.
Joyce Mitchell
69. JoyceLm
Would love to win - thanks for the chance.
71. Mimi
Give it up for my home state WV :)!!!!!
Melissa Dials
72. Mimi
Give it up for my home state WV :)!!!!
susan beamon
73. susanbeamon
Three books at once, and thriller mysteries, one of my favorite flavors of book. Count me in on this drawing.
Patrice Gottfried
77. pkg427
Have read one other book by this author and loved it! Would love to win this one.
Karen Martin
80. tattwo
I enjoy reading a book that takes a lot of thought and this one sounds like it would keep me interested.
Cindi Hoppes
82. CindiHoppes
This definitely would not be a boring book...
Many thanks, Cindi
83. mosaix
I don't need a psychotherapist but I need this book! Yes!
84. jseels
They sound like good reads and I would love to win them.
Karen Koziczkowski
85. zoom38
A 3 Book set giveaway. Love it. A story about a psychotherapist, working with police and the FBI... Intrigue all the time!
Joshua Atkins
87. atkinsj
Pittsburgh is my home town and I'd love to read these! Thanks for the giveaway.
jim brissette
88. westernmassjimbo
Pittsburgh has always had a special place in my heart as a long-time Pirates fan!
Doris C. Losey
90. loseydoris
Read the first in the series and would like to read the other 2.
91. vikki p
Would like to read not that I have nothing to watch on TV at night.
Anita Yancey
95. yellowrose29
Sounds like a really good book. I love the setting. Thanks for this chance.
Marisa Young
96. Risa
Exciting book - can't wait to read.
Karen Upson Dodge
Ok, I'm hooked. Don't leave me hanging. I HAVE to read the rest! I would LOVE the chance to win copies of Rinaldi's books signed by Palumbo! I could review them and share them with my friends! Thank You and best wishes for much success!
Melissa Keith
98. melly801
I've been to Wheeling, WV. Nothing exciting then....until now.
It would be nice to have Daniel as a shrink. I know he'd have plenty to talk about. ;-)
Send ME the 3 book set. Thanks!
99. pegni
love, love, love what I read so far! I'm tired of reading the same old thing. This is fresh and new. Thanks!
Patricia Fultz
100. pnfuab
Always interested in reading new authors (to me). Thanks for the opportunity.
101. Don Hornbaker
I would really enjoy these books!
Kari Flores
105. kari944
I love psychological thriller, this looks like a great book!
Jeane Howell
106. jeaneintexas
Since I have not read any of this writer's books, I think it would be a good read for me from the description.
kathy pease
107. klp1965
Thank you for the great giveaway please count me in :)
109. CherylMc
good read
Kimberly Hilbert
110. asketcher2
I love reading books in which Pittsburgh is featured. He's on my list to read.
Ed Nemmers
112. saturdaynightfever





















Buddy Garrett
It sounds very interesting. Thanks.
Heather Cowley
117. choochoo
This would make my summer! Three beach reads all at once!
Sheree Algie
120. sheralgie
Sounds like a great book, would love to win
Beth Talmage
122. wordygirl
Three books--what a great way to get to know an interesting character.
Donna Dorothy
125. ddorothy64
This looks so impossibly thrilling! Can't wait to read it!
LeAnn Knott
128. knottlady
This looks very good, a little out of my norm, but about time I read some different books.
Aaron Polish
129. cactus ack1
Oh, you know I gotta read this. It looks that good.
Debra Kidle
130. lubelle
This sounds so interesting would love to read!
Gwen Stackler
133. ChewDigestBooks
“You know, Lieutenant, as much as I normally enjoy trading insults with you, I’m not really in the mood right now. A good person was killed just hours ago, right in front of me. A person who was constantly assured by the people in this room—including me—that she’d be safe. Protected.”
“Yeah, I know. So?”
“So let me just say, from the bottom of my heart, go fuck yourself.”

That was where I was sold. He may have a God comples, but there is nothing wrong with reminding the cops what their job really protect and serve.
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