Revenge of the Scapegoat: A Novel Read


As a psychiatrist I’ve see many, many scapegoated individuals. They come bearing their abuse, hoping for a breath of freedom from nightmares, unrealistic fears, and the general havoc that trauma brings to its victims. Often just talking about and gradually accepting what has happened is healing. But not always. The need for a “day in court,” a truly civilized way of talking about the human desire for revenge, is ubiquitous.

I began writing the Revenge, Inc., Thrillers series as my own therapuetic answer to the problem of revenge. There were so many people I saw in my office who never got a modicum of what they deserved from scapegoats, bullies, groups, and the violent collectives and nations that create them. My first novel, Cloud of Terns, was inspired by a rape victim in a hazing situation at college. The writing process was a balm for me, since the person never got a personal apology for what happened, let alone some monetary, emotional or legal recompense. No amount of work that we could do together could make up for a need for retribution that was never filled.

The second book, Revenge of the Scapegoat, is just out and available on Amazon and elsewhere. Its inspiration came from my long connection as Professor of Psychiatry at U.C. Berkeley and U.C. S. F. Medical School in San Francisco. In that tenure, I consulted to departments, as well as professors and students, all of whom came to me for help related to scapegoating systems within these highly rated educational institutions. Even with the recent, sometimes helpful development of committees to deal with various forms of professor/student abuse, the hegemony of rank and status still protects the worst offenders.

Therapists can almost never intervene in the outer world of their patients. So even when sessions had ended in relative success, I was left with some of the same feelings of unrequited anger and impotence that my patients felt. One particularly odious behavior so demanded some counterbalance of decency that it and a series of other incidents became the stepping-off point for a plot, which led to Revenge of the Scapegoat.

I hope the book is enjoyable—it is a psychological thriller with the return of two hunky heroes who take on a difficult adversary and situation. But I also hope it successfully argues an important point. Sicilians have a saying that “revenge is best served cold.” “Never again” is Israel’s unofficial motto. The point is that it may take a while for its enactment but scapegoats have a way of taking revenge. Of course it helps if Wiley Stone and Dave Blue, the heroes of the Revenge Inc. thriller series, are around to help a “natural” human process along.

I hope you enjoy the read!

Dr. Scapegoat

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