Phantom Limb: A Daniel Rinaldi Mystery By Dennis Palumbo

Sep 13, 2014 | 2014 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Cynthia Chow

Details on how to enter to win a copy of Phantom Limb at the end of this review, along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL.

Time had definitely taken its toll on Lisa Campbell, failed actress. Several divorces, drug abuse, and estrangement from her family forced her to return to her hometown of Waterson, Pennsylvania in shame.

In a move that would make Anna Nicole Smith proud, Lisa went from a clerical assistant to wife of the CEO within six months, in spite of the fact that Charles Harland was thirty years older and a billion dollars richer. Money has not brought happiness. The foul-mouthed society maven challenges clinical psychologist, Daniel Rinaldi—unless he manages in their one session to convince her otherwise, she plans to kill herself that night. book

Incensed by her emotional blackmail with a literal deadline, he succeeds in delaying Lisa’s decision—at least until their next appointment. As she leaves his Pittsburgh office, Rinaldi is attacked and Lisa kidnapped before she reaches the street. Rinaldi may have his own suspicions about why and who, but he wisely keeps them to himself when he’s forced to meet Charles Harland himself. Money makes its own rules. Even a friendly FBI agent from Rinaldi’s past can’t prevent him from acting as an intermediary to meet the kidnappers’ demands. Bumbling police actions and a military-grade kidnap scheme lead to disasters, as bodies fall and the culprits are left free. Learning who was involved entails breaking down barriers and uncovering secrets that leave Rinaldi shocked at the depravity of men.

Author Dennis Palumbo mines his own background as a psychotherapist and Hollywood screenwriter for this fourth in the series. Rinaldi carries the scars of emotional and physical abuse as a child plus survivor’s guilt after witnessing his wife’s murder. It is this guilt, and the sense of missing someone who was so vital, that creates the “phantom limb” sensation of still feeling the presence of what is no longer there. Rinaldi knows the power and cruelty of love. This leads to his dedication to mending the fractures in the Harland family. A former amateur boxer, Rinaldi is all too aware of the capacity of both physical and emotional damage and how it is the latter that often leaves the worst scars. Ironic humor, strongly written dialogue and characters whose crass and often brutish exteriors conceal a fragile core make this an enjoyable and complex mystery.

To enter to win a copy of Phantom Limb, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Phantom,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 20 , 2014. U.S. residents only.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

Click on this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL!

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).


  1. Sounds intriguing.

  2. Haven’t read any Rinaldi stories yet. Help me remedy that.

  3. We have a winner
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher


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