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R.J. Jacobs Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

And Then You Were Gone (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Somewhere in the Dark (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Always the First to Die (2022)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

R.J. Jacobs is an American mystery author known for his debut novel, And then You Were Gone. He is a resident of Nashville, where he runs a private practice as a psychologist. After finishing his post-doctoral residency, Jacobs featured in different conferences, taught Abnormal Psychology, and performed PTD evaluations on veterans.

And Then You Were Gone
For lovers of Mary Kubica and B. A. Paris, you will find R.J Jacob’s novel a perfect read. It’s a psychological thriller that poses the question, how can you help a person if you can’t save yourself?
Emily Firestone’s bipolar condition is now under control after she spent years learning how to handle it. Even better, her life is coming together: she has a terrific career, her own apartment, and an adoring boyfriend, Paolo. So when Paolo recommends a weekend sail, Emily agrees- wine, sea, and the guy she adores? What could be more ideal? When Emily wakes up the morning after they set sail, she discovers that the boat is still drifting and Paolo is nowhere to be seen.
Paolo, a great swimmer, could not have drowned, but Emily had no other explanation. Where could he have gone? But why? As the hours and days pass, each second marking Paolo’s departure, Emily’s arduously attained equilibrium begins to deteriorate.

When Emily discovers proof that Paolo was killed, her frenzy goes into overdrive, and she becomes a person of interest in her personal tragedy. Emily must uncover the facts to clear her name, but can she maintain her sanity in the process?
And Then You Were Gone is a thrilling mystery by R.J. Jacobs. Dr. Emily Firestone overcomes her phobia of water so that she and her lover, Paolo Fererra, may enjoy a weekend of sailing. When persons related to Emily begin to die, the police soon take a second look at Emily. Will Emily learn the truth about what happened to Paolo before the timer runs out?

R.J. Jacobs does a fantastic job in creating his characters. Emily is a well-respected child psychologist whose bipolar II condition has been effectively managed for several years. She relies on a regimen of medicine to control her bipolar disease, but her unpredictable behavior eventually propels her into a manic state. Soon after Paolo’s abduction, she makes a sequence of poor decisions that jeopardize her mental health and career. Emily cannot discern between reality and illusion as she develops paranoia due to skipping her medication and forgoing sleep to discover what happened to Paolo.

She is already on the verge of insanity when Sandy delivers her the perplexing information she uncovered while working with Paolo on a vaccine for a terrible virus. Emily becomes increasingly anxious as she nervously waits for Sandy to gather the evidence they may present to the authorities.

And Then You Were Gone is a fast-paced and engaging thriller with a narrator who becomes progressively untrustworthy. Emily’s need for answers is reasonable, but her resistance to taking her medicine gets somewhat makes her a stubborn character.
R.J. Jacobs concludes this complex mystery with an abundance of tension, red herrings, and some unexpected twists, turns, and revelations.

Somewhere in the Dark
Sometimes being alone is better, and it is the safest option. “Alone and untouchable,” says Jessie Duval, the 19-year-old protagonist of R.J. Jacobs’ engrossing psychological thriller Somewhere in the Dark. Her words are both immensely heartbreaking and horrific, and they quickly evoke sympathy for her suffering among readers.

Jessie has several justifications for her feelings. She had a terrible year held imprisoned in a dark closet by a particularly nasty set of foster parents while growing up in Nashville. Jacobs gradually reveals Jessie’s horrible story, allowing readers to assume the unspoken horrors. As she strives to recover control of her life in the present with the aid of a kind therapist, each admission reveals a bit more of her dark past.

Jessie, now an adult with a job at a small catering firm and her apartment, is beginning to emerge out of her shell and live the life she was destined to lead, albeit being profoundly timid and curiously preoccupied.

She avoids social situations as much as possible and fantasizes about her absent beau. During her year of jail, her sole consistent friend was a CD player and a single CD by the husband-and-wife duo Owen and Shelly James, which she played regularly in her gloomy closed cell. We find that Jessie’s pathological fascination with the singers forces her to follow them from city to city on their tour years later.

Her continuous presence in the crowd creates suspicions that a Nashville police investigator moonlights as a security guard. But soon, Jessie is issued a restraining order and told to keep away from James or face up to 15 years in jail. In the meanwhile, a concertgoer is stabbed during an altercation.

She first attempts to avoid attending when one of her culinary gigs brings her to the singers’ Belle Meade home for a celebration. Owen James feels guilt for her prior trauma and seeks to make peace, according to the duo’s manager, who says she is welcome. “The opportunity to make things right feels like a gift that is also terrifying as hell,” Jessie reflects.

When Shelly James is found brutally killed in a neighboring park, however, Jessie becomes the main suspect, and the cops appear eager to shut the book on the high-profile incident as swiftly as possible. Jessie initiates her inquiry out of fear of being put to jail since she’s the prime suspect in the murder. It turns out that there are several additional possibilities, including Shelly’s husband, Owen, adoptive daughter, Finch, new and old secret boyfriends, and her manager.
R.J. Jacobs, a psychologist in practice since 2003 who completed a degree at Vanderbilt, skillfully relies on his expertise in mental trauma in crafting his books. As with his 2019 first thriller, And Then You Were Gone, the outcome is a story that shocks and strongly affects readers with its visceral emotions and fully formed characters.

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