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Britney King LLC

The Book Doctor: A Psychological Thriller (Ebook)

The Book Doctor: A Psychological Thriller (Ebook)

Regular price $4.99 USD
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A thriller about a writer desperate to make a comeback who realizes that success may cost more than he can afford to pay when a stranger arrives at his door.

About The Book

George is bitter. As he should be. Once a household name, George is dying to make a comeback, and death may be the only option left to get the public’s attention. Ask anyone, his life is unraveling at the seams. Meanwhile, his new apprentice is everything he is not.

The enigmatic man his publisher sends to help is young and ambitious, with looks that could kill, and possibly do.

When George discovers that his apprentice’s talent extends beyond fixing broken plots, that his winning formula may, in fact, be a result of making the crimes in his novels come to life, George has to ask himself how much he is willing to overlook to achieve mainstream success.

Perfectly paced, The Book Doctor is an electrifying psychological thriller about a life’s work, obsession, and the dangerous places ambition can take you. Full of enough tension and twists to make even the most seasoned suspense reader break out in a cold sweat, it keeps you guessing until the very last page.

Read a sample


For a long time, the two of us were friends. Long being a subjective term. Long being the amount of time it takes to write a novel, and in this case, long meaning far more time than any of the parties involved preferred. 

“When are you ever going to learn?” he asks, stepping in front of me. Looking me in the eye, he shakes his head. “When?” 

Believe me, I wish I had an answer. 

“You can’t see it, can you?” It’s an asinine question, considering my left eye is nearly swollen shut and the right is filled with blood. I can’t see anything. 

“Love is blind,” he tells me—a sentiment that has everything and nothing to do with my current predicament and feels like a very good metaphor for my life up until this point. 

“It’s like the whole world—everyone,” he says, “they all went mad.” 

Eventually, he ceases pontificating. He pushes me backward into the office chair, and I tell myself, this is it. This is the point in which you suddenly realize the story shakes out much, much worse than you could have ever imagined. 

“You know,” he says, slapping the back of my head, the force of which causes blood to spray from my lips. “It really can’t get much worse.”

Surveying the blood that coats my desk, I beg to differ. 

He spins the chair around until I good and truly can’t see anything. Then he smacks me with the barrel of the gun. The crack reverberates from ear to ear, bouncing around inside my skull like a snare drum. “Write.” 

When I can manage and not a moment sooner, I flex my fingers. Stretch and flex. Flex and stretch. It’s a scene he is used to, which is maybe why he elbows me in the face. My mouth fills with blood. I spit a broken tooth onto the keyboard. “I told you. I can’t.” 

“You are going to die,” he tells me. “Either way, you are. How it happens is up to you.”

When he moves to strike again, I lean away. This time, I hold my hands up in surrender. I relent. “Okay…just give me a minute.” 

I watch in relief as he shoves the gun in the waist of his tuxedo pants. He walks toward the door and I think this is where it ends, but then, I know him better than that. With a smile, he lifts a plastic bag from the floor and raises it to eye level. “Do you know what this is?” 

I’m a writer. I’m afraid I might.

He pulls out a container of lighter fluid and then another and another, counting as he tosses the empty bottles onto the floor. When the bag is empty, he drops it and fetches a book of matches from his coat pocket. On the front, the name of the restaurant where we had our first meeting. “Don’t worry,” he says. “It’ll go quick.”  

My eyes dart toward the door. “Listen—” 

As he watches me contemplate my next move, a grin spreads across his face. He knows I’m thinking about what’s at stake if I don’t make it out of this room alive. 

She will die. She will burn to death, and while he will have been the one to set the house ablaze, we both know this is a fire that started long before he struck the match. 

“You see? This is what happens when a person doesn’t know their own limits.”

He’s wrong. It’s the dead of night, and even if I could manage the mile and a half it takes to reach the neighbors, it would be too late. 

“You can’t save everyone,” he says, confirming my suspicion. “That’s the problem nowadays. Everybody wants to be the hero.” 

He lifts me by the throat and drags me across the office. I could ask why he doesn’t just put a bullet in my head and be done with it, but I don’t have to. That would ruin the ending. 

“It could have gone differently, you know.” 

I hold my breath as I crane my neck. There’s a car coming up the drive. Or at least I thought there was until I discover that it’s only wishful thinking. Hope will suffocate you if you let it.

My eyes flit toward the gun. His attention is on the door. That’s always been his weakness, his distractibility.

He tears off a match and drags it along the rough edge of the matchbook. “I know what you’re thinking…” 

What I’m thinking is I’ve spent some time in burn units doing research. Even if I didn’t love her, even if I could hate her for what she’s done, I don’t want her to die this way. 

The match ignites. At the halfway point, he leans forward and stubs it out on my hand. I move to block him, to go for the gun, and as I do my hand grazes my face in the process. Bile rises in my throat. What was once my jawline is now just flesh hanging. 

“It’s okay,” he says, shoving me toward the sofa. “None of it will matter when you’re dead.”

“You don’t—”  

“Now is not the time for bargaining.” He strikes another match. “Really, you should be thanking me. At least she won’t have to see you like this.” 

My brow furrows, giving me away. I don’t mean for it to happen. My poker face has a habit of betraying me where she is concerned. Automatic response is inevitable, and if distraction is his weakness, she is mine. 

I’m half-seated, half-slumped on the couch when he pulls the gun from his waistband and aims it at my head. “I thought you’d be more comfortable here.” He motions toward the notepad beside me. “Now write.” 

“You might as well just shoot me.”

Before the sound of the gun firing registers, I feel the white-hot searing pain. Before I feel the white-hot searing pain, I see bone fragments fly from my kneecap. The blood makes me realize I should have made an effort.

Later, when I come to, I hear a mewling sound somewhere deep in the belly of the house. Maybe it’s her. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m dead and maybe this is hell. 

He’s seated cross-legged on the floor in front of me, gripping the gun in one hand, picking pieces of bone out of the carpet with the other. “The things you make me do.” 

I watch as he spreads the pieces of my knee out in front of him and begins fitting them together like a jigsaw puzzle. “Not bad, eh?” He flashes a smile. “What do you think?” 

What I’m thinking is maybe it’s impossible to survive a man like him. 

“Now that you’re awake,” he says, “it’s time to finish the story.”


“Don’t. Remember? You promised.” 

He’s right. I did promise. 

That’s how this started.

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