Heat of the Moon
Sandra Parshall

Book cover image

Narrated By: Tavia Gilbert

Duration: 8 hours and 38 minutes

What to expect

Young veterinarian Rachel Goddard’s world begins to crumble when a client rushes into the animal hospital with a dog struck by a car during a thunderstorm. The woman’s terrified child, 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 when her baby sister, Michelle, uttered the same cry while thunder crashed and rain poured down on them. The unearthed memory feels like a fragment of a nightmare, and Rachel doesn’t understand its meaning or the anguish it stirs up in her.

When she seeks answers, she learns nothing from Michelle or from Judith, their loving but manipulative mother. Judith is a psychologist who is only too happy to have her adult daughters still living in her elegant Tudor house outside Washington, DC. But their apparently serene home is a house of secrets where Judith’s unspoken rules forbid questions about the family history or the daughters’ long-dead father. As more baffling memories surface, Rachel begins to suspect that nothing about her family is what it seems.

Fighting her mother’s attempts to control her, Rachel embarks on a quest that takes her not only deep into her own memory but also halfway across the country. The truth she uncovers will shatter her world and force her to make an unthinkable choice.


Crime and mystery fiction, Crime and mystery: women sleuths

Listen to a sample

“In Parshall’s strong debut, a frightening psychological mystery…the characters are believable and natural. The fresh, mesmerizing plot will keep readers turning the pages to the very end.”

Publishers Weekly

“Parshall’s debut is a captivating tale of suspense and romance with Gothic twists. Set in the suburbs of Washington, DC, the story focuses on Rachel Goddard…Readers will root for Rachel as she fights her cold mother and weak sister for the truth about what happened to her father—and discovers some disturbing things about herself. A standout debut that effectively crosses subgenres—more psychologically astute than many romantic-suspense tales, yet more romantic than high-end psychological thrillers.”


The Heat of the Moon is a stylish, original, compulsively readable debut. Sandra Parshall explores the darkest side of family love and longing with pitch-perfect, highly engaging characters and a stunning endgame surprise.”