THIRTEEN WEST

Author(s): 

Toombs' latest release has an intriguing foundation that will have readers scrambling to learn more about Sarah's past in a creepy psychiatric hospital ward. Within the first several chapters, readers are introduced to a large cast of characters comprised of both the hospital staff and the psych patients, forging a sense of impending suspense and mystery regarding how all the characters will end up intersecting with one another. However, the end result is a huge collection of irrelevant and failed sub-plots that may or may not have been intended as red herrings. Regrettably, this novel completely lacks in hair-raising suspense, and both the plot and romance fall flat, which may leave most readers feeling cheated of valuable reading time.

On a normal day in downtown San Diego, Sarah Goodrow Fenz is walking with her grown daughter when she recognizes a bum — a man named Frank Kent that Sarah met decades ago while working as a student nurse in a psychiatric hospital. Feeling an urge of compassion for Frank, who is now an incoherent alcoholic, Sarah drops everything and pushes Frank into a cab, determined to find him shelter and nurse him back to health. However, Sarah knows that if she takes care of Frank, she will be faced with answering his questions about their history together at the hospital, and must revisit a tumultuous and traumatizing past she was once desperate to leave behind forever. (BOOKS WE LOVE LTD., Feb., $2.99) 

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Reviewed by: 
Sarah Eisenbraun