When Erik discovers her young cousin has gone missing, and the family is acting oddly, she enlists the help of her cousin's therapist. Dr. Liz Gearhart is savvy, smart, tough, and blind. Together the pair search the child's history and the wilds of Oregon.
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Blind Leading the Blind
Defrocked detective Erik Walton seems to have lost everything: her job, her lover, even her father. When her 14-year-old cousin, Ashley, disappears along with a friend, her family insists that she "help" the police. She reluctantly agrees.
Searching for clues, Erik contacts Ashley's therapist, Dr. Liz Gearhart. Liz appears to be wonder woman in Erik's eyes, especially since Liz is blind. Together they probe Ashley's past and family dynamics, and with Liz's dog, Casper, they comb the wilds of Oregon looking for clues.
Erik finds herself flustered by Liz and confused by her own feelings. In the process of exploring her own feelings, and her past, Erik comes to terms with some of her own insecurities.
This is the first book in the Erik Walton/Liz Gearhart mystery series.
I followed the glow of the computer screen and stood in the doorway of Liz’s home office. A small machine was whirring and words were crawling across the screen. Liz sat in front of the computer with a headset and periodically interrupted the machine to type in some notes. She turned toward me when she heard the light switch on.
“Found me, eh? I’m putting today’s session notes into files. Want to see how I do it?”
Before I could respond one way or another, she pointed to the whirring machine. “I speak my notes into the machine and it converts to type by voice recognition. When I want to add or change something, I stop the machine, make changes, and continue. Time consuming but makes it possible for me to do what I do.”
I wasn’t paying any attention. All around me, on shelves, tables, windowsills, were more of the amazing figures of women’s bodies. All shapes, all colors, some not even found in nature, some without heads, some without legs or arms, all sensuous and inviting. I wanted to touch them.
“More of your art?” I forced my voice to be casual.
“Yes. Would you like to see some of them?”
“Huh?” Wasn’t I looking at them already?
“See them the way they were made to be seen. By feel.” She removed her headset, stopped the machine and blanked the screen. Rising from her chair, she reached for a large torso made out of some sort of rough clay, placing it on the credenza. “Give me your hand.” She placed my fingers on the figure’s shoulder. “Now close your eyes and let me guide your hand. Relax and let me be in control. And keep your touch light.”
She moved gently over the scrubbly texture. Was that sand in the clay? Small pebbles? Something about them reminded me of goosebumps. “The woman feels prickly, or maybe afraid?”
“Good, you’re able to experience it. The clay has rice added to it. This piece represents the barriers we put up toward others. It’s the way a lot of clients feel to me the first few times.” She paused. “It’s the way you feel to me, too. Most of the time anyway.”
I left Liz to her notes and headed upstairs. I was exhausted but Liz’s words—and the touch of her hand guiding me over the nubbly statue—kept me awake. I’d heard those words before. Prickly. Defended. Unable to share my feelings. I liked to think I was tough, but—coming from her—it made me wonder if there might not be some truth to the accusations that had ended so many relationships in the past. I puzzled over this until sleep caught up with me.