The Analyst by John Katzenbach

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Happy 53rd birthday, Doctor. Welcome to the first day of your death.

When a mysterious letter bearing these threatening words is delivered to Dr. Frederick Starks, his predictable life is thrown into chaos. Suddenly, the psychoanalyst is plunged into a horrific game designed by a man who calls himself Rumplestiltskin. The rules: in two weeks Starks must guess Rumplestiltskin’s identity and the source of his fury. If he succeeds, he goes free. If he fails, one by one, Rumplestiltskin will destroy fifty-two of Dr. Starks’ loved ones–friends, relatives, children–unless the good doctor agrees to kill himself.

You ruined my life. And now I fully intend to ruin yours.

Ignoring the threat is not an option. When one of his patients dies under the wheels of a subway train and a detective investigating the case is struck by a hit-and-run driver, Starks knows his tormentor means business. And then there are the messengers sent to guide Starks on his descent, from the seductive woman in a trench coat who calls herself Virgil to a lawyer named Merlin weaving a spell of havoc and lies. His bank account rifled, his credit ruined, and his reputation dragged through the mud, Starks must rouse himself from the cocoon of his life, unlock the secret of Rumplestiltskin, and find a way to stop the madman–before he himself is driven mad.

One thing of which you can be absolutely certain: My anger knows no limits.

A mesmerizing thriller that gives a wicked new twist to the doctor-patient relationship, The Analyst’s Last Days weaves a blistering race against time with a tale of identities shattered and chosen, disguises taken and discarded. With his trademark style, breathless plots, and brilliantly realized characters, John Katzenbach proves once again why both critics and fans alike have crowned him the master of suspense.

From the Hardcover edition.

About John Katzenbach

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John Katzenbach has written ten previous novels, including Hart's War, Day of Reckoning, The Shadow Man, and the New York Times best seller, The Traveler. Katzenbach was a criminal court reporter for The Miami Herald and Miami News and a feature writer for The Miami Herald' s Tropic magazine.
Published January 29, 2002 by Ballantine Books. 512 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Crime. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Meanwhile, Rumplestiltskin has lost no time isolating Ricky from the rest of the world by driving one of his current patients to suicide, arranging to have charges of sexual abuse brought against him, canceling his credit cards, seizing his financial assets, stealthily invading his apartment, and...

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Publishers Weekly

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Ballantine, $25 (576p) ISBN 0-345-42626-6A note left in the waiting room of New York City analyst Dr. Ricky Starks reads, "You ruined my life.

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Book Reporter

The sender advises Starks that Starks, somewhere, somehow, in the past, ruined his life, and now he is going to ruin Starks's life.

Jan 20 2011 | Read Full Review of The Analyst

Reviewing the Evidence

On his fifty-third birthday, Dr. Ricky Starks receives a letter, in which the writer, who calls himself Rumpelstiltskin, threatens to ruin his life in revenge for something Starks did years ago.

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Reviewing the Evidence

I was astonished at various places to note Dr. Starks, whose list of habits had not included any overt physical training , jogging happily for miles with no obvious effort.

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Reviewing the Evidence

Dr. Frederick Starks, who prefers to be called Ricky, is a New York analyst, a widower in his private life, a man who enjoys routine.

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The Best Reviews

Over the next two weeks till his fifty-third birthday Ricky can try and guess the identity of the avenging angel while one by one fifty-two people close to the doctor will be destroyed or Ricky can end the game with a suicide.

Jan 29 2002 | Read Full Review of The Analyst

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