Mystery Books for Sale

[ Home ]
[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]


by Stephen White
Delacorte, February 2004
400 pages
ISBN: 0385336209

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

When a psychologist sees a patient, there are certain standards that are used in the interaction between the doctor and the client. As a long-time psychologist, Alan Gregory certainly knows what those rules are. Yet, when stunningly gorgeous Gibbs Storey starts seeing him professionally, he finds himself alarmingly off-kilter. He is consistently manipulated by Gibbs, in a way that hasn't happened to him since he fantasized about hooking up with one of the beautiful popular girls in high school.

Putting that problem aside, what Gibbs reveals during her appointments is an astonishing story about her husband, Sterling. He is a sportscaster and a very attractive man. He travels around the country for his job. What Gibbs has discovered is that he killed a woman with whom he had a liaison. As a matter of fact, according to her, he has killed several women. She doesn't feel threatened by him personally but wants him stopped before he can kill again.

Alan turns to a cop friend of his, Sam Purdy, and gives him just enough information to have him contact Gibbs and get the details that Alan cannot reveal due to professional ethics. Sam is on leave after suffering a heart attack, which was followed by the abrupt departure of his wife and son. He travels to Florida to track down a lead and discovers that Sterling has disappeared and presumably drowned after stopping to aid a car accident victim. That seems just a little too convenient to Sam.

While all of this is going on, Alan is dealing with major issues on the home front. His wife, Lauren, has multiple sclerosis and is undergoing a very bad episode which means he has to take on the care of their young daughter and otherwise manage the household. To add to the stress, he finds that various of his patients' confidences are becoming public, and his career is in danger of disintegrating.

White alternates chapters between Alan and Sam. However, when the book starts, it is told in Alan's voice for almost 150 pages before Sam becomes involved. It was a bit jarring to start seeing things from his perspective so late in the book. That said, I liked the chapters told from Sam's point of view far more than Alan's.

I've enjoyed this series from the very beginning, but the mystery in this book was extremely weak. It was obvious from the start what was going on. The book was saved for me by the strong characterization of Sam and White's skill at detailing the ups and downs of marriage and friendship and the struggle to maintain his professional ethics in the face of startling patient revelations.

Reviewed by Maddy Van Hertbruggen, March 2004

This book has more than one review. Click here to show all.

[ Top ]



Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]
[ Home ]