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Publisher's Summary

An edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller that brings a unique mix of psychotherapy and sign language and Coda culture. Just when you think you have it figured out, think again!

Dr. Alicia Reese takes on a new patient. Lucas Ferro suffers with crippling anxiety, and as sessions progress, he begins to share the reasons why he's struggling. As Ferro's narrative becomes more menacing, Reese finds herself wedged between the cold hard frame of professional ethics and the integrity of personal truth. And, finally, when Ferro reveals his secrets, Reese learns how far she's willing to go, willing to risk and willing to lose to do the right thing.

©2019 Deborah Serani (P)2021 Deborah Serani

What listeners say about The Ninth Session

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

From humdrum to HOLY COW!

4.5 STARS. AUDIO BOOK REVIEW. Because I always go there, I’m going to start by saying I love the cover of THE NINTH SESSION because it pairs so nicely with a psychological-themed story, and both the cover and premise are attention-grabbing. Also, because time for even reading with my ears is so hard to come by these days, I love that this audio book has a running time of under seven hours (less than 200 pages in print). Before I even read a word, I already loved three things about the book.

Happily, the book lovin’ continued as I listened to THE NINTH SESSION unfold. Reading/listening is akin to unpeeling an onion, layer by layer, but finding out that the core could be rotten. Main character Alicia is a psychologist, and author Deborah Serani uses the vehicle of Alicia’s therapy notes for readers to not only get a great summary of events with patient Lucas Ferro, but we get real insight and connection to Alicia. We are hearing her thoughts, reflections, and feelings fresh off the sessions with Luke, but Alicia integrates her patient observations and ones of herself. It’s clinical, but it’s fascinating.

Readers may be impatient with the humdrum details, but these are important because they underscore Alicia’s humdrum life. I kept looking at how much time was left in the story because I knew something was coming and then BAM! It does. The pace and plot escalate quickly from humdrum to HOLY COW level.

As much as the novella-length book is perfect for my reading needs right now, I would have liked more fleshed-out characters, some fine-tuning on plot, and a bit more out of the ending. But don’t get me wrong: THE NINTH SESSION is a really satisfying story as it is. I just want more!

If you’re paying attention to loose threads, you might figure out a major component of the big reveal – but there’s no way you’ll predict the details of it. WOW! THE NINTH SESSION has some unexpected and delicious twists. I absolutely recommend it and look forward to this author’s next book.

ABOUT THE NARRATION: The author narrates her book, and she does it admirably. While there aren’t truly distinct voices (she uses different pitches to voice the characters, though), there is never any confusion between characters due to the writing in the dialogue scenes. I really enjoyed the sound effects added in the scratching of pen on paper as Alicia is taking notes in her office. I did bump up the listening speed to 1.5x, but Serano’s pacing is steady, her diction clear. And the quality of the recording was excellent. Without hesitation, I would listen to her narrate another book.

1 person found this helpful

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Just Wow

The Ninth Session
Deborah Serani

The Ninth Session is a can’t put it down, heart in your throat psychological thriller and definitely not for the feint of heart.
With an edge of your seat intense and interesting story line that the audience is left constantly wondering what can possible happen next, an easy to understand narrative and characters that are outlandishly over-the-top yet believable this is one frightening addictive thriller. There are some really interesting aspects of this novel, one is Deborah’s talent of making the therapy sessions seem so genuine and her protagonist Alicia being a child of deaf parents CODA and how she brings sign language, lip reading and other aspects of deaf life into the novel. There is one stand out in this novel and that is unequivocally Alicia, she’s analytic and compassionate, complex and at the same time easy to read.

Narration:
Usually an author who chooses to narrate their own book is a big NO NO but Deborah is an excellent narrator putting just the right emphasizes in just the right places leaving her audience an extraordinary listening experience.

On their first session Lucas Ferro a new patient to Psychologist Dr. Alicia Reese suffers a crippling bought of anxiety and isn’t able to complete the appointment. Curious and hoping to engulf herself in her work and to temporarily stop focusing on her own personal dilemmas Alicia accepts the challenge that Lucas’s case offers her. But soon after the sessions begin and as Alicia learns concerning things about Lucas she finds herself looking over her shoulder wondering if Lucas might be following her or if maybe her personal problems have finally taken a toll and caused her to be paranoid.

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The Ninth Session

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free audio copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Alicia Reese is a widow and dealing with her own issues when she starts seeing Lucas Ferro. Lucas seems like a nice person who wants to get a handle on his anxiety. Even though Lucas soon tells her some disturbing things about his past, she believes that he trusts her and won’t harm her. I understood from their sessions why she thought this, but her thoughts and feelings when not in his sessions didn’t match her clinical observations.

The Ninth Session kept my interest throughout. I wanted to know what was going to happen in the next session and if Alicia was going to be able to help Lucas before it was too late. There were a couple of twists that I expected but one that I didn’t see coming. I felt cheated by the ending. I understand that life goes on and that was probably the reason the book ended like it did, but there were a couple of things that I would have liked closure on.

Authors narrating their own books often doesn’t work out too well but Deborah Serani did a fairly good job. The only thing that I felt was missing was the sound of anxiety, etc., in Alicia or Lucas’s voice.

If you like psychological thrillers, I recommend The Ninth Session. You won’t be disappointed.

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Creepiness, Mystery - Action Packed

Dr. Alicia Reese is struggling to start again after her husband passes away. Going back into practice, she takes on a new patient, Lucas Ferro. Ferro struggles with crippling anxiety and what he reveals puts Dr. Reese on edge and forcing her to put her ethics into question. Faced with the death of a neighbor girl, the creepiness of Ferro, and more – Dr. Reese draws a line in the sand and the suspense takes off full tilt!

The author, Deborah Serani does a great job of building the main characters, authentic dialog, and more than enough suspense to keep the listener on the edge of their chair. The plot and twists were perfectly executed. The plot twists were not expected!

As the narrator as well, Deborah Serani, gives a solid performance. Her delivery is smooth, rhythmic and gives the right amount of emotional feel to the story. I look forward to hearing more from Deborah Serani! I enjoyed how she tied everything up.

There were no issues with the production or quality of this audiobook. However, I will say I am not a fan of sound effects, and the sound of pencil scratching was slightly annoying.

Disclaimer: This Audiobook was provided free of charge by the author, narrator, and/or publisher in exchange for a non-bias, honest review.

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Different and wild

I was really intrigued by the premise of this book! It’s wildly different than anything I’ve read before! It’s about a therapist who meets a new patient who has a confession that is incredibly dark and terrifying but since it a past event, she can’t report it! Which i think is super crazy. I really enjoyed the therapy sessions and discovering more about this patient and how crazy they were. I really liked the audio as well, i liked that the author herself read it. I thought it was awesome too that they made it sound like she was writing when she was recording her notes too. Love how audiobooks bring the book to life! I would definitely recommend this one. I’m not sure how i feel about the ending but it also ended in a way that i really didn’t expect.

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Intense

Way back in medieval times, I majored in psychology; although I never did anything with it, to this day, I’m still fascinated by the abnormalities of the mind and, in particular, implications in criminal justice. The Ninth Session, written by a woman who knows her topic very well, satisfied my interests as well as any crime fiction I’ve read. Luke is a formidable and dangerous man while his doctor, psychologist Alicia Reese, may or may not be truly prepared for what she learns about him from one session to the next and my nerves became ever more tense with every revelation. Like Alicia, the more I learned, the more I realized that he was capable of causing great harm to Alicia and those who were important in her life. “Creepy” doesn’t begin to cover it.

As narrator, Ms. Serani is clear but the various voices are not especially distinguishable. Her pace is a little slow and I could understand very well at 1.45 speed which didn’t make her sound like she’d been inhaling gas.

One thing I especially liked was the author’s method of interweaving sessions and supervision and personal life. It was interesting that the notes Alicia wrote out provided a fair amount of information not heard in the session, meaning I had to always pay attention. All in all, this was a compelling look at a psychopath’s mind and how others, including his doctor, are affected.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Deborah Serani. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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Enjoyable thriller

The Ninth Session is a psychological thriller that follows psychologist Alicia as she digs into the psyche of new patient Lucas. He is struggling with crippling anxiety. As the sessions progress, Alicia begins to sense that she may be in danger. I thought this was an enjoyable thriller. While it was a bit predictable, I still had fun being in Alicia's head as she pieced things together. I also liked the exploration of ethics within the world of therapy. I'm not sure how I would handle the situation that Alicia found herself in, but it's something to ponder. I listened to the audiobook and enjoyed the experience.

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Sigh...another disappointing listen

This book was highly overrated and never really got off the ground in my opinion. Suspense was not even slight. The story was highly predictable and and as usual, the professional in the story was an idiot...so disappointed...

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One word...AWESOME!!!

I’ve read the book. For Deborah Serani’s first novel, it’s a blockbuster in my mind. I’ve never actually used Audible, but I LOVE that she narrates it. I mean, who better to do so than the writer herself!!! Her story is so gripping that it’s almost impossible to put down/stop listening to. She has such a talent. I highly recommend this book if you are into thrillers. And her insight into the world of psychology is fascinating! Download this book. You won’t regret it!!!

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Suspenseful Psychological Story

I really like listening to audiobooks narrated by the author and this was a fun, fast and suspenseful novel. The focus of psychoanalysis was engaging. Listening to "The Ninth Session" really made you feel like you were in a session with a doctor and a patient. I also loved how the sessions were followed with a notes section, and how the scribbling sounds led to a "real feel" of this going on in the story. Another interesting part was the deaf, signing and "coda" backstory of Dr. Reese. A twist of an ending I did not expect! Hoping for a sequel with Dr. Reese and Lucas Ferro.