Death of a Thousand Cuts by Barbara D'Amato

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The first winner of the Mary Higgins Clark Award, Barbara D'Amato has been widely praised for her engrossing novels of crime and suspense. Now she opens the case file on a singularly savage murder, set in a uniquely disturbing setting.

The Hawthorne House School for the Treatment of Autistic Children was once known for its pioneering educational approach and remarkable success rate. Now, fifteen years after this celebrated institution closed its doors for the last time, staffers and former residents have returned to Hawthorne House for its first-ever reunion. The gala event turns into a bloody nightmare when the school's revered founder, Dr. Jay Schermerhorn, is found tortured to death in the mansion's basement.

Teacher, healer, and bestselling author, Schermerhorn enjoyed a worldwide reputation for his innovative therapeutic methods and compassionate treatment of autistic children. How could anyone have hated him enough to kill him? As Chicago detectives probe deeply into the history of Hawthorne House, a troubling picture emerges--of a man who inspired both fear and hatred in the children and families who came to him for help.

Death of a Thousand Cuts is a provocative and compelling thriller that exposes the insidious evil behind a facade of false benevolence. Like Mary Higgins Clark or James Patterson, Barbara D'Amato offers up a gripping tale that will chill and captivate readers long into the night.

About Barbara D'Amato

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Barbara D'Amato has had a checkered career, working in the distant past as an assistant surgical orderly, carpenter for stage magic illusions, assistant tiger handler, stage manager, researcher for attorneys in criminal cases, and recently sometimes teaching mystery writing to Chicago police officers. "Writing is the greatest job of all," D'Amato says. "I get to hang around with cops, go ask people questions about their jobs that I would be too chicken to ask without a reason, and walk around Chicago looking for good murder locales. Best of all, I get to read mystery and suspense novels and call it keeping up with the field." She was the 1999-2000 president of Mystery Writers of America. D'Amato is also a past president of Sisters in Crime International. D'Amato is a playwright, novelist, and crime researcher. Her research on the Dr. John Branion murder case formed the basis for a segment on "Unsolved Mysteries," and she appeared on the program. Her musical comedies, The Magic Man and children's musical The Magic of Young Houdini, written with husband Anthony D'Amato, played in Chicago and London. Their Prohibition-era musical comedy RSVP Broadway, which played in Chicago in 1980, was named an "event of particular interest" by Chicago magazine. A native of Michigan, she has been a resident of Chicago for many years.
Published June 1, 2004 by Forge Books. 352 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Hawthorne House, the residential school he founded, was a coveted placement for patients whose families were willing to pay its stratospheric fees in the hope of seeing miraculous improvement in their afflicted children.

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Publishers Weekly

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Hawthorne House, a mansion that was once home to a residential school for autistic children, is the setting for a reunion-cum-workshop 15 years after the school's closing.

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