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The Heat of the Moon (Rachel Goddard Mystery #1)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  747 Ratings  ·  128 Reviews
Young veterinarian Rachel Goddard's world begins to crumble when a client rushes into the animal hospital with a basset hound struck by a car during a thunderstorm. The dog owner's terrified tot, drenched with rain, loses sight of her mother in the flurry of activity and screams, "Mommy! I want Mommy!" Instantly Rachel is hurled back in time to a day in her own childhood w ...more
ebook, 268 pages
Published January 31st 2010 by Poisoned Pen Press (first published 2006)
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Rachel Goddard’s job as a veterinarian was one she loved – but the day the injured dog was brought in by its owners for treatment, Rachel’s life became a mix of confusion and terror. Suddenly fragments of memory flashed through her mind – her little sister Michelle terrified in a storm; Rachel trying to comfort her, not much older herself. But now, in her twenties, it didn’t make sense – because there was nothing else there…

Rachel and Michelle’s mother Judith was a well-known and respected psych
Jen Locke
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, library
I think I can understand all the positive reviews. The story was good. It was gripping and engaging.

But I really had issues with some aspects. It was written in 2006. As far as I can see, the pub date and the award were both 2006. Maybe it had been written long ago, and published later? Hear me out. The only reason a character uses a computer is for school. A mobile phone is only used once in a while for calls. The main character visits the Library of Congress and uses... microfiche? And calls
Rachel Goddard was not an easy person to like. A young veterinarian, her best relationships had always been with animals. Little did she know how screwed up her life had become.

THE HEAT OF THE MOON is the first book in a mystery series about this young woman. It gives you the backdrop of who she is and provides you with an understanding about her insecurities. She has had 'a number' done to her. While reading the story, I had to constantly remind myself of this. One moment she is acting her age
Laura de Leon
I LOVED the first half of this book. I found the setup fascinating, the characters intriguing. I really wanted to know how the situation had come about, and I had a hard time putting the book down.

But as the story went on, the behavior of the main character and her love interest made less and less sense to me. Stupid decisions, out of character for what seemed like very intelligent people just kept stacking up. Coincidences also became more and more common. Hints slipped in at the beginning neve
May 01, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So frustrated with this book. 27 and 23 year old daughters are still living with a "mommy dearest". Very weird about having to go the Library of Congress to look up articles in a newspaper and using directory assistance when the book was written in 2006. Not a mystery, not a thriller and sure not a romance. The main daughter and the weird relationship she is involved with was laughable. Parts of the book were so good and very believable but just hard to reconcile the flat characters. The ending ...more
Barb Radmore
The Heart of the Moon is a compelling debut by Sandra Parshall which hooks the reader from the first page. Rachel Goddard, a young veterinarian, has overwhelming yet confusing reaction after watching a toddler in her office, crying and screaming for her mommy. This scene seems like it is reminiscent of one she experienced in her childhood but it is nothing she can place in her concrete memory. Rachel remembers bits and pieces of such a scene, but a feeling tell her there is more. And the feeling ...more
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Veterinarian Rachel Goddard's world begins to fragment on the rainy night a dog is rushed into the clinic after being struck by a car. The owner's young daughter cries for her mommy and Rachel finds her memory rushing back to a day in her childhood when her sister was crying for her mother while thunder boomed and rain poured down on them. The memory is vivid and Rachel can't understand the anguish she feels. She starts to seek answers as more memories come crashing back but she isn't finding th ...more
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-free
This book isn't a mystery in the usual sense. It isn't a book about solving a murder, but I won't tell you what it is--beyond something I would classify as psychological suspense--because telling you anything might ruin the book.

The author uses foreshadowing to build up suspense initially then maintains it with excellent story telling. I liked the characters and was satisfied with the writing and editing. I did have a formatting issue either with the ebook itself or its display in my android app
Jan 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A few days ago after plodding through the first part of the book, I almost put it down. Actually, I did. Then picked it back up 10 minutes later and am glad I didn't. This is a good book. I'm realizing I don't need to read some books word for word, as I found myself skipping through a page of describing things I didn't care about just to get back to the meaty parts. Nice twists and although I had it figured out about halfway through, I didn't know the whys or hows.

Nov 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Veterinarian Rachel Goddard’s life is pretty much going along OK until a screaming wet child starts to cry in her waiting room. Rachel tries to comfort the child and experiences a flashback moment of deja vu. This leads Rachel on a quest to find out what has happened in her past that she has forgotten.
Dec 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This of course was the first book in a series of Rachel Goddard
Mysteries. It gives you an insight in her past and how she
became the person she is now.
So many twists and turns. I didn't even see coming.
Very good. Held my interest through out.
Ed Scott
Oct 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book from start to finish. But like almost all these type of books, it never ceases to amaze me how the "amateur" sleuths can just go from town to town following meager clues, while I sometimes have trouble finding my local 7/11. Only kidding about that but you get the point, right!
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Disappointing. I know it won an award, but to me it read like a romance novel, not a mystery. The characters never really came alive. About halfway through, I started speed reading--never a good sign.
Buried memories surface to reveal a past.
M. Dobson
My first Rachel Goddard mystery. Audible has it as the Daily Deal for $3.95. Narrator sounds intriguing. Looking forward to this!
Karl Williams
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Novels by their very definition require a degree of suspension of belief, otherwise it would be news, not a novel. For me, the closer to that line, the line between fiction and nonfiction, the better. Real locales, realistic situations, no superhero characters, a believable plot, romance and violence that are not over the top, all characteristics that contribute to a great novel. I hope the rest of the series remains similarly positioned.
Paula Newbanks
Would have made a whole lot more sense to read these books in order, but I didn't...I have enjoyed this series, but the writing is a bit disjointed and the main character needs a good shaking and should be told to get out of her own way!!
Excruciatingly boring because of its predictability.
Jan Norton
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would. The ending is different than I was expecting, but I think this ending is perfect.
Donna K
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very manipulative Mother but how sad the daughter had to do so much digging on her own.
Debbie Oxier
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received book #5 in the series and read it, loved it, and decided to go back and start the series at the beginning. This is book #1. Rachel Goddard is just starting her veterinarian career, living at home with her mother and younger sister, Michelle. Her mother is a psychiatrist, a widow, her husband, the girls' father, having been killed in a car accident when Rachel was five. She has no memories of him at all, something she considers strange, but her mother refuses to talk about the man, say ...more
Cathy Cole
Dec 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First Line: I drive slowly past a familiar house where strangers now live.

Until the rainy night when a Basset Hound named Maude is hit by a car, veterinarian Rachel Goddard was happy with her work at an animal hospital in McLean, Virginia. As Maude's owner rushes the dog to the hospital, Rachel finds herself trying to comfort the woman's terrified three-year-old daughter. Rachel is reminded of her own sister as a very young child, and the entire episode triggers flashbacks that make her feel as
Denise Zendel
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
read this novel, the first in the series, after I’d read Nos. 2 and 3. In fact, I didn’t realize it was the series starter until I opened it up. All I can say is wow, what a ride.

The main character, Rachel Goddard, is a young veterinarian in a practice that’s just been sold to a new owner. She’s worried about keeping her job, pleasing her biotch of a mother and trying to maintain a decent relationship with her sister. (Frankly, I’d have cut them both off at the knees, but that would shorten the
Feb 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

First of all, I took a few psychology courses during the first year of my university career and they scared the heck out of me. I did not (then or now) want anyone to get into my head and tell me why I thought and acted the way I did. I did not (then or now) want to analyse my thoughts too deeply or have anyone else analyze them for me. Secondly, hypnotism is a powerful tool and I saw firsthand how using it can get out of hand. Once during my high school years, a friend was hypnotized by a magic
May 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rachel Goddard is a veterinarian who works in the Washington DC area. It is great to hear about all the posh parts of Fairfax county and hear her talk about the cages in the backyard for possums and hawks. Definitely not what her neighbors are doing in their backyards! But she is a vet, her sister is a grad student studying psychology, and her mother is a famous psychologist with success stories of phobic people who no longer have any issues with heights, insects or claustrophobia. They are the ...more
The Heat of the Moon by Sandra Parshall is the first book of the Rachel Goddard mystery series set in contemporary McLean Virginia. Veterinarian Rachel Goddard is treating an emergency patient (a dog hit by a car) when the dog's owner panics - her daughter is missing. When Rachel locates the missing 3-year-old, the little girl's cries for Mommy evoke memories from Rachel's childhood. Off and on for years, Rachel has had disturbing dreams about the past; now for her peace of mind, she needs answe ...more
May 28, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't make up my mind about this book.

The story is a well constructed psychological drama, maybe even thriller, that keeps you guessing. I could have sworn I knew how the story was going to play out by chapter 3. But I was wrong ... oops;-)

So I was sucked in by the story to the very end. Which is good.

But.. two buts:

1. I found the conclusion unsatisfying. I'm not sure I can square Rachel's decision to leave things in such a way with the expected instincts of the characters. This felt much more
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book at one sitting. Need I add that I really enjoyed it? The story opens with Rachel driving past a former house she, her mother and sister lived in. She want to see if a happy family lives there now, a foreshadowing that the situation was not idyllic when her family did. The inciting force occurs when in a flashback Rachel remembers working as a vetenarian in a animal health clinic when a youn woman bursts in the door holding an injured basst hound that had been hit by a car. The t ...more
Sep 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Newly minted veterinarian Rachel Goddard is startled, during an emergency, to find herself in the grip of a long buried memory. Over the next few days, she becomes convinced that there's more to her childhood than her mother, a respected psychologist, has ever revealed. Rachel's queries to her mother and sister are coldly rebuffed, and she becomes resolute in her quest to uncover hidden secrets, whatever they may be. What she gradually discovers is far from what she expects, however, as she stru ...more
Aug 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*Agatha Award [Mystery award] - Best First Novel*

A highly satisfying psychological suspense read - I was surprised this is a debut novel! Author Sandra Parshall writes a story of a controlling Mom, a psychiatrist, whose two adult daughters still live at home.

Young veteranarian Rachel & psychology grad student Michelle enjoy the beautiful home and lifestyle with Mom, but Rachel is troubled my dreams and thoughts ... why won't her Mother EVER talk about the death of the girls' father 20 years
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Sandra Parshall is the author of the Rachel Goddard Mysteries: The Heat of the Moon, which won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2006; Disturbing the Dead; Broken Places; Under the Dog Star; and Bleeding Through (Sept 2012). A former reporter on newspapers in her home state of South Carolina as well as West Virginia and Baltimore, MD, she now lives in the Washington, DC, area with her journ ...more
More about Sandra Parshall

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