mood swing: The bipolar murders
Suicide can be an alluring option for people with bipolar disorder. Erika Norgren should know. Like Stephen Wright, the gifted young artist she finds sprawled dead behind WellSpring, Erika has experienced the devastating mood swings of the disease.
As director of WellSpring, the social club that's a safe haven for the mentally ill on Manhattan's Lower East Side, Erika has coped brilliantly - till now. Stephen's death throws the club into turmoil. Then another club member with bipolar disorder dies of a drug overdose on WellSpring's front steps. Death by suicide, death by drugs - business as usual, or so the police assume.
Erika suspects murder. But who would want to kill the young men? Could it be one of the club members? The schizophrenic Stan Washington or the edgy, sociopathic Arthur Drummond? Or is someone out to shut the club down? Maybe the real estate mogul with mob connections? Or even one of the men in her life - the charismatic activist or the Wall Street overachiever?
With her sanity at stake and only her German shepherd mutt Rishi to guard her back, Erika steps up her sleuthing to save WellSpring and those who need it most.
A novel that speaks eloquently on behalf of the mentally ill, Mood Swing has received an especially strong reception from those coping with bipolar disorder in themselves or their families. To read the first chapter, go to the author's web site.
Read A Review:

Holds you in suspense up until the very end...sensitive, insightful and authentic.

David Steindorf, PhD, clinical psychologist

A well-written and exciting page-turner...Erika is a savvy and smart denizen of the city.

M.E. Kemp, author: Death of a Dutch Uncle

Erika Norgren, the protagonist of this first novel by Julie Lomoe, herself a mental health professional, is a former social worker now Director of the WellSpring Club, a social club which is a safe haven for the mentally ill on Manhattan’s lower east side. She has a special empathy for the club’s ‘members’ since she has been diagnosed as suffering from bipolar disorder. When she discovers the dead body of one of the club’s members, a young man similarly afflicted, on the ground in the courtyard below her fourth floor window, she feels compelled to determine whether or not he committed suicide, a common-enough risk for those for whom mood swings are the predominant symptoms. And if murder and not suicide, could the assailant have been a fellow club member? The question becomes more urgent when another club member dies, of a drug overdose.

Julie Lomoe conjures up this world in a way that allows the reader to share her concern for the effect these events will have on those who, like Erika, can find their fragile mental state threatened. Their world and its denizens are evoked in a very poignant manner, and the quality of the writing only adds to the enjoyment of this well-plotted novel. It opens a window into the lives of those with mental illness in such a way that the reader sees, at least to some extent, their demons and understand the difficulty of their lives, at the same time presenting a very satisfying mystery.

Gloria Feit, Crimespree