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The Suicide Gene

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  37 ratings  ·  34 reviews
She thought they were her siblings. By the time she realized they weren’t, one of them was dead.

Doctor Emma Kerr had no right counseling them. Adopted and her birth records lost, she believed she was born a McKinney. Her face, intelligence, and depression resembled theirs. For years people mistook her for their sister. So she devised a plan. What begins as a scheme to coun
Kindle Edition, 276 pages
Published September 19th 2018 by The Wild Rose Press, Inc
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Average rating 4.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  37 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Kayla Krantz
Very intense.

A burning psychological mystery that starts with just a handful of pieces about a family after suicide takes another member. As the story progresses, we are put into the middle of this family, to see the way they think and feel about each of the other members. As more therapy sessions are revealed, the pieces are slowly put together revealing a twist of an ending.
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Suicide is such a controversial subject. Emma Kerr is a psychiatrist counseling siblings. In the siblings family there's a history of female twins and suicides. Emma has always wondered if there's a suicide gene. Emma had a lot on her plate with her job, pending divorce, questions about her birth parents and new relationship.
I liked that I wasn't beat over the head with the suicide subject in a bad way. The pace was nice and the characters were interesting. Sharon and Giff had me laughing a few
Apr 02, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-thrillers
I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via - this in no way influenced my review.

This book grated on me. I made it about a quarter of the way in and I just knew it wasn't for me. My issues were as follows;

The writing.

I don't appreciate authors who feel the need to describe minute detail of what a character is doing. I just don't care. This book could have been half the length without the needless minutiae. In my opinion, au
A complimentary audio was provided in exchange for an honest review.

I like a good mystery/thriller/suspense story and the blurb for The Suicide Gene really got my attention - it made me think of stories like Dan Brown or Michael Crichton. Unfortunately the writing style was different than those authors and I found the story outline to be hard to follow at times. There was a lot to keep track of, so many "M" names and background information mixed with what felt like unnecessary minutia details ab
Bill Callahan
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a thought provoking novel about the idea of our predetermined destiny. It holds your interest in many areas of intrigue complex family relations. Situations play out in ways that are not predictable or maybe in a way the reader might not think.
InD'tale Magazine
A very interesting theory of suicide being a possibly inherited gene is explored, while the beginning takes a close look at one on one counseling sessions.

Read full review in the 2018 Oct issue of InD'tale Magazine.

Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fantastic piece of writing this book was and just got my attention from page one and never let go till the last page. A hard book in many ways because of the intensity of the subject matter and a very different plot line full of many different subject. the characters were exceptionally well described and developed more as the book went on. Although perhaps not a book for everyone due to the subject matter I would recommend if you want a real page turner. my thanks to NetGalley and wild Ro ...more
Diane Hernandez
Sep 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Dr. Emma Rose is convinced that there is a Suicide Gene that makes some families, like the Hemingway’s, more likely to kill themselves in this introspective thriller.

Emma is a psychiatrist counseling the McKinney family before one of their members commit suicide. Emma struggles with her own marital and psychological issues. She was adopted and her birth files have mysteriously disappeared. Her lifelong obsession with genetics leads her to conclude that her patients are her long-lost siblings. Th
Christine Grabowski
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
The Suicide Gene hooked me from the first chapter when the book started out with the death of a woman. (I’m not giving anything away there.) But some key facts, such as the person’s identify, were held back. When the author made a leap into the past, I wanted to keep reading to find out who the person was and what series of events led to her death. The plot was unlike any other I’ve read. It touched on so many interesting things from identical twins to adoption to Ernest Hemingway, and of course ...more
Jayne M.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this book! A great combination of mystery and introspection. I absolutely loved the ending.
( Format : Audiobook )
"Shuffle, cut, burn."
It begins with a funeral, then jumps back to six months before the death, working forward week by week until that start point in time is reached again, and the story continues.

The four adult McKinney siblings, Matthew, Melanie, and twins Mary and Minnie, seem never to have recovered from their mother's suicide some years before. Dr.Emma Kerr is persuaded to take on the whole family as clients, despite her vague feeling that she could in some way be rel
Colleen Driscoll
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
CJ Zahner writes a compelling story in the Suicide Gene. When Emma Kerr counsels four members in the McKinney family, she struggles to understand the siblings’ troublesome family history and make sense of their secrets. The novel’s dialogue flows naturally with believable characters who shoulder painful pasts. The reader follows Kerr’s steps into dangerous schemes and feels for Kerr as she is caught in the McKinney’s web of deceit. Zahner brilliantly draws in the reader as the plot unravels and ...more
Sharon M.
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This thought-provoking page turner will keep you wondering until the very end. Has a little bit of everything, mystery, suspense, romance, etc. Will make you wonder about your own genes and family traits. This is a great debut novel by an author who knows how to pull you in. Can't wait to read more of her work. ...more
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The title and description of this book intrigued me, and I was pleasantly satisfied with this book! Thank you #Netgalley

As I read about Dr. Emma Kerr's journey, I become invested in her birth journey and the lives of the McKinney family. I was genuinely surprised with many of the twists and turns and was very happy with the conclusion of the book. I appreciated the author doing an epilogue of "where they are now" type of update to wrap up each characters story.
Amk256 King
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Brilliant piece of writing ... gripping, dark, twisty and most definitely thought provoking. I hope to read more by this author and would recommend this book.

Thank you to Net Gallery for an ARC of this great read.
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
she was not sure if they were siblings. She decides to find out and help the family come to terms with secrets. is he in love with her? Who is following her? See where dimensionally take her

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great slow burn mystery
I like how the story unfolds through multiple therapy sessions keeps you guessing who’s telling the truth
With good characters and narration I’ll definitely Check out more from this author
I received a free review audiobook and voluntarily Left this review
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, I thought it was a very interesting read and have been thinking about it off and on since finishing. Love a book that stays with me.
Illustrious Illusions
I'm not really sure how I feel about The Suicide Gene. I'm usually a very character driven reader - if I don't like the characters, it's hard to read the book. And I don't like any of these characters, but the plot and twists kept me thumbing through the book just to see what happens. ...more
C.J. Zahner
Aug 18, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
A psychological thriller where patient interviews and numbers mean everything.

Who are these McKinneys? How do they know more about Dr. Emma Kerr than she knows herself?

Is this genetic depression or a game of deception? You decide...
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a fantastic piece of writing this book was and just got my attention from page one and never let go till the last page. A hard book in many ways because of the intensity of the subject matter and a very different plot line full of many different subject. the characters were exceptionally well described and developed more as the book went on. Although perhaps not a book for everyone due to the subject matter I would recommend if you want a real page turner. my thanks to NetGalley and wild Ro ...more
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The main character in The Suicide Gene is Emma Kerr, a psychiatrist who is counseling a local group of siblings whose mother committed suicide. Emma is adopted and has always thought this may be her biological family, so she begins to explore the possibility of a suicide gene. Emma counsels each sibling individually and soon discovers some dark family secrets. During this time, Emma is sure someone is following her, which adds to the mystery. Meanwhile, Emma is struggling in her marriage and her ...more
Carolyn LaFata
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Suicide Gene by CJ Zahner is a book that will easily captivate your attention!! I did not want to put this book down, and neither will you! It is suspense filled and intriguing!! Enjoy reading this amazing book by author, CJ Zahner. You will not regret purchasing the Kindle Edition or book!
Jean Grant
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was compelling read by CJ Zahner. I couldn't put the book down. It kept me guessing at turns, second-guessing at other turns, and remembering the clues. Was it murder? Was it suicide? Could these people have a happy ending? Though not marketed as a mystery (I think), it is full of mystery, suspense, and romance meets women's fiction. The characters all had depth and were well-written, and I found myself rooting for the protagonist, Emma, and for the secondary characters as well. Is there re ...more
Karen Curtis
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Suicide Gene” will have you asking questions along with Dr. Emma Kerr. You will be analyzing the relevance of each counseling session as the coincidences and mysteries unfold. The main character’s self-doubt strikes a chord in each of us and envelops us in her search for answers.
Jane Mccartney
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The intertwining themes in this mystery leaves the reader on edge up to the very end. CJ Zahner is on her way to a great future as an author! I highly recommend reading The Suicide Gene. It's like no other page turner!! Read It!! I will definitely read this again. ...more
Randy Overbeck
Feb 19, 2021 rated it really liked it

C.J. Zahner’s The Suicide Gene is a harrowing trip into some twisted minds and wounded psyches, all hidden inside a multi-layered whodunnit…or perhaps a “what really happened.” Her mystery and suspense thriller unravels the tale of the McKinley clan, a family that appear to be cursed with “a suicide gene” as multiple generations of McKinley women have taken their own lives. Only Psychiatrist Emma Kerr, who’s been asked to counsel the current generation of four disturbed s
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a fascinating psychological mystery about Emma, a psychiatrist who is counseling the McKinney children as they deal with the suicide of their mother. As the counseling gets deeper Emma finds out about some McKinney family secrets and starts to wonder if she is part of this family. Emma's story is full of heartbreak, mystery, suspense, obsession, and twists that pulled me into the story. Great writing, well-developed characters, and a captivating story make this a must read. I voluntarily ...more
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a gripping psychological suspense story that is a brilliant introduction for me to this author’s writing. You need to pay close attention to what you are reading as this plot has a lot of twists and turns in it that shall have you constantly rethinking what is happening and why. The story appears well thought out and runs smoothly. The characters are well developed, and they have fitting dialogue. This is a wonderful read.
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntar
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Twists on Twins

To be honest, the title had somewhat put me off. Who wants to read depressing stuff? But a friend had assured me I'd enjoy this book and he was totally right! What we have, although clinical discussions of depression slide in here and there (hey, the protagonist is a shrink!), is a bit of a thriller, a cold case or two, a mystery and a romance all rolled into one, with some interesting twists. Lovingly narrated by Bob Johnson, I kept finding excuses to listen when, perhaps, I sho
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Question from the Author to the Readers of The Suicide Gene 1 2 Oct 09, 2018 09:39AM  

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Cyndie "CJ" Zahner is a digital-book hoarder, lover of can't-put-down books, runner, author, and Mensa wannabe. That last trait explains the inspiration for her first novel, The Suicide Gene. Her second book, Dream Wide Awake, was inspired during long runs on Presque Isle State Park in her hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania. She is a proud mother of three and an even prouder grandmother of one.


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