Doctor Glass - a psychological thriller
Doctor Glass by Louise Worthington
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Published January 2021; 256 pages
Thanks to the publisher TCK Publishing for the complementary copy for review. The opinions are my own. I agreed to read this book because the premise sounded so interesting - a psychologist so focused on helping her patients and when she is abducted, she persists in thinking she can help the sociopath.
First Sentence: "Under the canopy of a sycamore tree, the world is a kinder place."
Doctor Emma-Jane Glass and her best friend Lucy, a nutritionist, share office space as they meet with their various clients. Emma is a focused, almost obsessive therapist and particularly focuses on helping people through grief. Lucy is setting up her new office and has some uncertainties about her success and clients. We meet a few clients of each practice and get a glimpse of the friendship between the women.
Emma has written a very controversial article in support and understanding of women who kill their young children and often then take their own lives. She gets some unwanted attention and threatening letters and then is abducted by one of her patients. Even in her distress and fear she continues to try to help her abductor and even begins to feel sympathetic and .....wait, is that attraction?
I had some problems with this story, starting with the prologue. I have no idea what it meant or what it has to do with the story. Then, the first chapter. It took a long time to connect that with the rest of the story.
The characters are mostly damaged, unpleasant people with no redeeming qualities which isn't an automatic disqualifier for me, but..... I had mixed emotions about psychologist Emma-Jane, and maybe that's what the author intended. Strong woman or obsessive, helpful or damaged?
I found the side story of her friend Lucy and her obese client kind of unnecessary and unpleasant. Emma-Jane's client Drew is represented appropriately as a mentally ill person that sometimes I felt sorry for and sometimes I thought he should be locked up. Kat - well, a nasty piece of work that let jealousy get out of control. And I never really figured out AJs motivation for his actions or even why he was in the story. This is a dark book with little redeeming pleasure or joy or contentment or anything positive for any of the characters.
On the plus side, the author does put content warnings for suicide, self harm, and eating disorders on the front page, which are appropriate. I thought the descriptions of the countryside and people were well done. There is a certain level of suspense built up leading up to the abduction and curiosity about how that will resolve. Overall I have to say this book wasn't for me, but that's why there are so many readers in the world. It may be for you.
This book works for my Coyer Challenge #20/54