THE REAL STORY, a mystery

This psychological thriller should come with a serious health warning… it’s VERY addictive.

Joe Belmont is a tough, smart, 1st-year medical student who puts in sixty-hour weeks as a waiter to support himself. Then without warning his saintly mother is murdered in her modest home, and his uncle, his only living relative, dies in a suspicious auto accident. Now, for no apparent reason, whoever killed them are trying to kill him.

From multiple hiding places within the Philadelphia neighborhood where he grew up, to the Jersey shore hospital where he was placed at bedrest for 12 nightmarish months, to the financial district of Zurich, Switzerland, Joe and his brilliant girlfriend, Lara, run for their lives.

Lara, who’s into all kinds of Freudian hocus pocus, thinks the answer is locked up deep in Joe’s unconscious mind. Joe thinks that the more practical answer is to get a gun, learn how to shoot the frigging thing, and get the hell out of the City of Brotherly Love… But then what?

Dr. Art Smukler, a psychiatrist in private practice and on the teaching faculty at UCLA, has won numerous teaching and writing awards. He is now a full-time author who uses all his psychological skills to create characters that you’ll fall in love with.


The REAL STORY is a major redo of CHASING BACKWARDS, a psychological murder mystery. It was written 11 years ago and was just a smidgen away from being published by Putnam. My agent, Maureen Lasher and her husband and partner Eric Lasher of Maureen Lasher Literary Agency, loved the book. They were certain it would do well.

They were wrong.

At the last minute, Putnam decided against publication.

Eventually, I decided to self-publish with Telemachus Press. CHASING BACKWARDS did pretty well. It sold over 3000 copies, if you count both EBOOK and Paperback editions. It wasn’t the hundreds of thousands that I dreamed about.

But, I was definitely hooked on writing.

A very good friend, a psychologist, once said, “It’s not the result; it’s the process.” He was both right and wrong. I love writing but I also love selling my books. So here I am back at it, and having a great time.

Thanks for reading BOOKS AND THOUGHTS, Just click on eBook or paperback to buy THE REAL STORY, a mystery.