By K. S. Culling
Key Themes: fiction, thriller, manic depression, bipolar disorder
Dr. Rachael Chenoweth is a young, brilliant doctor who also happens to be a murderer. In her childhood she was brutally sexually abused by her father and uncles, and when at the age of 27 she decides she wants to go to the police she finds nothing but enemies at every turn within her household, based in a large old house known as Chenoweth Mansion, nobody wanting to rock the boat or put their inheritance at risk. So, Rachael reluctantly takes matters into her own chilling hands. The result is a macabre series of odd deaths gradually bumping off family members in ways that don’t appear to be murders, but will Rachael kill all twelve people she holds responsible? Are they all responsible? Will she get away with murder 12 times? Do you think she deserves to? She has a damn good motive. The only way to find out is to read this book.
About the Author
Katy Sara Culling was born in Liverpool, North England, in January 1975, sharing her birth date rather aptly with Virginia Woolf. Daughter of Sue and Paul Culling, her family moved back to its roots in Derbyshire, where she grew up along with her younger sister Beth, in the village of Castle Donington, on the Derbyshire-Leicestershire border. However, even as young as 5 she exhibited symptoms of bipolar disorder – leading her to be loud and talkative, often in trouble. She also worried a great deal about death to an extent that is very unusual in one as young as she was. Not just her own death either.
She attended a private school for girls, Loughborough High School, where she was an extremely high achieving student. Unfortunately, due to bullying and also to numb her rampant mania and depression, she developed anorexia nervosa and began to self-harm. She found that the anorexia took over her life and made coping with mood swings easier because she did not feel their full effect anymore.
Katy Sara then went to The University of Nottingham, where she studied Biochemistry and Nutrition. She did her (1st class) thesis on alcohol and metabolism, interested in the psychology of Alcoholism. All this was done despite considerable illness including over 60 suicide attempts and purging-type anorexia – and yet more bullying. She was bullied for being anorexic by her fellow floor-mates. However her good academic work at Nottingham lead to an offer of a place at The University of Oxford, where she studied for a PhD (DPhil) in Clinical Medicine. Here she was a full time member of Linacre College Oxford and was never bullied. Linacre is a graduate only college. She took part in many cycling events for charity.
In her final year she became so ill with anorexia and bipolar depression that she agreed to take time off her PhD (the worst decision of her life) and go into hospital (first as a day patient, then an inpatient on the general ward, and eventually a sectioned inpatient on the general ward). During those two years she attempted suicide over 300 times, dying twice, only to be revived. She finally, at the age of 28 got a diagnosis of bipolar I disorder and the correct medication, and had been mostly fine ever since. Her eating disorder spontaneously recovered when her bipolar disorder became more controlled. She later wrote up her PhD thesis and published her results.
Katy Sara now works for the Bipolar Foundation Equilibrium, an independent, international, non-governmental organisation dedicated to improving treatment and understanding of the causes and effects of bipolar disorder ('manic-depression'). Katy Sara also works for Stephen Fry as an administrator and moderator of his website, focussing on The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive section, which is a supportive section of the forums for people who have mental illness or not. Obviously mainly people with bipolar disorder and depression write there and Katy Sara’s personal experience is of great help. Katy Sara speaks publically at events about her experiences where many people feel ashamed to do so, her personal mantra being, "I do not hang my head in shame" (for being ill).
Now Katy Sara is mostly well and has become a writer, wanting to prevent others from suffering as she did. She writes mainly about bipolar disorder and anorexia but also other psychiatry/mental health topics, and her first book, her bipolar memoir Dark Clouds Gather (autobiographical) was published by Chipmunkapublishing.
Her second book, Too Good For This World, a collection of stories from people with bipolar disorder and major depression is also available, including people with eating disorders. Katy Sara’s third book, Reflective Reflections was a comprehensive but easy to understand book on all eating disorders – Katy Sara being a recovered anorectic herself. Both were published by Chipmunkapublishing – The mental health publisher.
Katy Sara also spends her time working in medical research, and helping fellow survivors of anorexia, bulimia and bipolar disorder through charitable organisations whilst trying to maintain her own good mental health. She is an advocate for all survivors of these illnesses and believes that an "expert patient" system could be highly beneficial. She has not ruled out the possibility of doing another PhD, this time in Psychiatry.
Every day is a battle with illness that she wins, and she hopes that 443 suicide attempts will never reach 444 and that her battle with food remains one that she feels she has won.
Katy Sara is a manic depressive, psychiatric scientist, academic, existentialist, comic, humanitarian, philanthropist, depressive nihilist, pragmatist, ambivalent, non-conformist, suicidologist, survivor, poet, editor and writer!
The ‘Gentle’ Murders?is her first book of fiction.
I take a large swig of vodka, then another, swallowing it fast to rid myself of the unpleasant burning sensation. I don’t even like vodka neat but it was all there was to hand. I slump to the floor and take one last drink; it’s all I can bear. I pick up the syringe I have ready, it is filled with death, my death, and I welcome it. I take the large syringe and connect it to the venflon already flushed and inserted into my cephalic vein in my arm. I believe in being prepared.
One, two, three, and I push down firmly on the syringe plunger forcing a lethal dose of diamorphine, legal heroin, stolen from my place of work, into my bloodstream. I almost hear the blood rushing around my body, my pulse pounding, and for a brief moment I feel warm and fuzzy, before darkness takes over and I fall unconscious to the floor. The drug is so powerful that I stop breathing, though I am unaware of this fact, and after a few minutes I should be well and truly dead.
Suicide you think, but why, what has she possibly done to deserve this oh so final act of desperation? Oh I deserve it all right, and if there is a hell that is straight where I am heading. Straight to the section where they punish murderers, for I have taken twelve lives in the last year. I have gotten away with murder twelve times in just under twelve months, baffling the police as my family members died off or disappeared one by one until I was the only one left. I still believe they were deserved murders; some more than others, and that is why, with one or three exceptions, I was gentle with my victims. Even the non-gentle murders were over quickly.
I am a medical doctor. I love my job; it was all I ever wanted to be and do, and I am so proud to have made a success of that part of my life. Dr. Rachael Chenoweth has a lovely ring to it. Working with patients is something I am really good at, and something I enjoy. I look forward to going to work every day and have just reached the dizzy heights of being a junior registrar at the age of twenty-seven. Chenoweth’s don’t have to study and work you see, we all have a nice, not-so-little trust fund and inherit more when people die off, though I must stress, money had nothing to do with my motive when murdering.
This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 04 November, 2010.