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The Grift


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About the Author

Debra Ginsberg is the author of the memoirs Waiting , Raising Blaze , About My Sisters and the fiction bestseller, Blind Submission . She lives in Southern California.


Marina Marks is a psychic who doesn't believe in what she does. She doesn't mind taking people's money to tell them what they want to hear, but she understands that powers of close observation are her stock-in-trade, not some unique gift from beyond. The child of an alcoholic mother who believed her daughter had a gift, Marina has moved to California to get away from old memories and frantic clients as well as to ply her trade on a new group of souls who need help. Marina is hired to work a party for a wealthy couple, where she begins to meet new clients. There is Cooper, a homosexual who is desperately in love with a closeted man; Madeleine, Marina's employer, who is trying to give her rich husband an heir; and Cassie, the young, innocent hairdresser who is having an affair with Eddie, a married man and a complete cad when it comes to women. Marina's observations and insights draw these clients into her life. It isn't until she meets Gideon and their blossoming love affair comes to a tragic end that her talent really comes to life. Marina is visited by powerful visions of the future that will affect this disparate cast of characters and help her unravel many puzzling mysteries. Ginsberg (Blind Submission) has created an interesting cast of characters to explore a world that is embraced by some and viewed by many with deep skepticism. The story flows along, and readers looking for a different twist on the psychological novel will enjoy the trip. Recommended for most public libraries.--Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., OH Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Ginsberg's second novel is an entertaining whodunit and an invigorating tale about a damaged young storefront psychic who learns how to live truthfully. Although she has worked as a psychic since childhood, Marina Marks does not believe that psychic abilities exist. Instead, she uses her intuition and observational skills to hoodwink her clients. Arriving in Southern California from Florida, she acquires a new set of clients: Madeleine, the hostess, desperate to maintain her hold on her wealthy husband; Cooper, in love with a psychiatrist who refuses to admit that he is gay; and Eddie, a married womanizer frustrated by his inability to seduce Marina. Ginsberg deftly shows how Marina cultivates her clients' dependency--and her own income--from their desperation, as well as how easily her clients' trust in her deteriorates. Soon, the threat of violence that Marina left Florida to escape flares up anew, and Marina begins to suspect, to her confusion and dismay, that she may actually be psychic. Ginsberg thoroughly exploits her clever premise, and Marina's handling of her troubles--romantic, professional, mystical--ring true through to the redemptive end. (Aug.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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