New Novel Has Mental Health Care on the Ropes

Richmond, VA, December 26, 2007 --( A failed mental health care system is the backdrop for one man’s chilling story of accusation and redemption in Robert Paul Blumenstein’s new novel Snapping the String, the second book in The Ascension Trilogy, just published by Outskirts Press.

Young Peyton Costello discovers his parents brutally murdered. After the police arrive to find a blood-soaked Peyton out of his mind, he’s fingered as the prime suspect. He must be declared competent to stand trial, a process that lands him inside a secure forensic unit of the Mid-Virginia Mental Hospital. While there, Peyton languishes away for more than two decades receiving treatment—an endless cocktail of tranquilizers and bizarre medical “therapies”—that’s supposed to make him sane.

Through it all, Peyton experiences the entire realm of human consciousness while attempting to maintain a hold on the reality of his innocence. Yet what would happen if he were declared sane and brought to trial? Who would believe him? How would he cope with freedom after so long in custody? And who is responsible for the grisly death of his parents?

“I hope this story will give a voice to those souls abandoned inside the hospital wards who yearned for nothing more than freedom,” Blumenstein says.

Snapping the String also challenges traditional constructs of health and medicine by proposing that herbal treatments can be more effective than a factory’s worth of brand-name pharmaceuticals—reinforcing the need to preserve our rain forests, a prime repository of current and future herbal medicines.

Set primarily in and around Richmond, VA, Snapping the String is a disturbing ride that takes readers inside the rarely seen mental health world with its internal intrigue and dysfunctional cast of characters. Also in the mix is courtroom drama and international adventure, which makes Snapping the String truly a psycho-thriller with something to entice readers of all appetites.

ISBN: 978-1-4327-1520-5 Format: 5.5x8.5 Pages: 260 SRP: $15.95 paperback/$29.95 hardback Genre: Fiction

About the Author: Richmond, VA, novelist Robert Paul Blumenstein drew upon his own experience when writing Snapping the String. In the late-1970s, Blumenstein worked in the mental health care system assisting the state in deinstitutionalizing long-term mental health patients. His work consisted of training the patients in living skills, rudimentary job skills, and reintroduction into the community at large. Snapping the String is the second book in The Ascension Trilogy.

Author Contact: Visit him on the Web at


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