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Archive for the ‘intrigue’ Category

 

Beneath The Surface

Author: Heidi Perks
Published: 24 March 2016
Reviewed: 3 June 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24


Copy supplied by Red Door Publishing in return for an honest review

5 out of 5 Stars

 

Description:   

My Thoughts & Review

Every once in a while there’s a book that appears in the post that just blows you away, and this is definitely one of them. 
From the beginning the author draws you in, dangling the mysterious plot of a mother walking out on one of her children and taking the two youngest ones with her, and the one left behind has no idea why or where her family has gone. It’s compulsive reading, the need to find out why teenage Abi was left to fend for herself by her mother is strong.  

I won’t lie, my maternal instincts kicked in at this point, I felt I wanted comfort Abi and pull her into a motherly embrace.  The abhorrence at what her mother had done was palpable and incomprehensible.  I needed to find out why.  

Abi’s struggles to come to terms with what happened are cleverly detailed in the form of letters to her husband Adam.  Her therapist Maggie advised her that this might be a good way to get out how she feels about what has happened between her life before Adam and where she is now.  As she recounts the tale of her life up to that point it’s difficult not to feel some compassion towards her.  The irreparable damage to her mental state and her trust issues are so deeply rooted because of that disappearing act fourteen years ago.

As the story develops, things become less clear, characters evolve and you begin to see things from other points of view.  The narration from Abi’s mother Kathryn was particularly interesting.  She was a well portrayed character, incredibly meek and highly anxious.  Her mental health definitely seemed questionable at times, the girls often mentioning about her being in a constant state of anxiety or unease about things.  The controlling influence of her mother Eleanor was too much for her to bear, and the constant need for approval from her mother was definitely heartbreaking to read.  

Whilst this story was about secrets, lies, families and betrayal, there as a lot of emotion in this too.  For a writer to create characters that you could feel an absolute loathing for, ones you desperately wanted to comfort and ones you wanted to take and shake some sense into is a mark of good writing.  
Weaving such a delicate issue into a wonderful story like this is also brilliance, for some people, the idea of a mother abandoning a child is a step too far, but this was well handled throughout.  In fact, all of the sensitive issues involved in this story were well written and thoughtfully detailed and for that I applaud the author.  

The characters were all well detailed, and three dimensional (even the flawed Kathryn), they appeared very lifelike and believable.  The writing is superb, detailed and well researched, the skill at maintaining the suspense and intrigue throughout really means that Heidi Perks is a name you want to look out for in the future.  It’s the sort of story that stays with you after you’ve read it, almost making you wonder what you would do in that situation. 
This was an all consuming and compulsive read, I would have no hesitation in recommending it to others.  

You can buy a copy of Beneath the Surface here. 
 
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Every Fifteen Minutes

Author: Lisa Scottoline
Published: 19 November 2015
Reviewed: 21 December 2015
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by Headline in return for an honest review.

  3 out of 5 stars  

 

I plan everything. I set everyone in motion, and when the moment comes, I strike.

Psychologist Dr Eric Parrish is unwittingly under threat.

Recently separated from his wife, Eric is learning to become a single parent to his seven-year-old daughter, and life is far from straightforward.

Now Eric has a new patient who could be a severe danger to others. And he must make a decision that will leave deadly consequences in its wake.

The clock is ticking, and someone is hell bent on destroying Eric’s practice, his family, his life.

But how can you defend yourself against an enemy you don’t know?

And can you ever win a game you don’t even know you are playing?

   
The protagonist Dr Eric Parrish heads up the psychiatry unit of the local hospital and it’s not unusual for him to be called for a consultation by the Emergency Department when a patient has been brought in, the unusual thing here is that it’s the patient’s grandson that needs Eric’s help.  Max is 17 and his grandmother is worried that he will be unable to cope when her times comes, I should add that it’s being hastened by cancer.  She fears the worst for Max and wants someone to help him.  Eric seeing a soul in need agrees to speak to Max and see what he can do to help the lad out.  
Max suffers OCD, and seems very well informed from his searches on the Internet what this diagnosis and treatment should be, urging Eric to prescribe him drugs to fix the problem and trying to close down the lines of communication that Eric is trying to open up with Max to get to the route of his issues.  
Whilst Eric is treating Max privately, he’s running the unit at the hospital and battling his soon to be ex wife over custody and divorce proceedings.  

Interspersed with the tale of Eric is narration by the “unknown” sociopath in the story, telling how they hide in plain sight, how you never suspect them, the questions used to test the scale of their personality “malfunction”.  Never is detail really given as to the identity of the person, mention is given to “keeping him guessing” right after Eric has dealt with someone but the reader is kept in the dark until the end of the book as to who this person is.  

Events unfold in story that see Eric calling in to question his ethics, his oaths to keep patient confidentiality secret are tested – especially when they could help him or in some cases help the patient.  
There’s not really much more about the story I can say without massive spoiler alerts, and on the face of it, this is an interesting story so I won’t ruin it for others.

The story is interesting, the descriptions are good, you can imagine the settings like the houses of both Eric and his ex wife, the hospital, the characters but where this falls down for me is there just too much to this book.  At points it seems that there’s dialogue just for the sake of dialogue – Eric constantly bemoaning that he can’t discuss things because of patient confidentiality…..but at the same time unhappy that he’s being held by the police for things or can’t help his patient when the police are interviewing them because saying something would violate this oath – but he’s happy to carry out his own wee criminal investigations and meddle with things that he really should be steering clear from – just seemed a little unbelievable to me and took up pages in a book that could have been atleast 30 pages shorter. 

It was a quick paced read, but for me, there was just something missing from the usual standard of Scottoline.  Having read previous books of hers I was expecting more.  That said, this is still a good read, there’s suspense, mystery, plenty twists and turns that would have Miss Marple out of breath chasing them.  The final realisation at the identity of the sociopathic mastermind is good, Eric finally “sees” what he’s been looking at but not seeing, it’s well done but because it took so long to get to that point my attention was waning a little.  Glad I finished the book to find out “whodunnit” and who the evil genius was, but I really, really wanted to kick Eric Parrish up the backside at times.

I would recommend this to fans of Fiction, Psychological Thrillers, Suspense and Thriller genres, but would add that I felt the blurb on Amazon etc made this book out to be a better read than it actually was, but that’s just my opinion. 

I would like to thank Headline for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book was published on 19th November 2015, a copy can be purchased here Every Fifteen Minutes (UK Kindle Version).

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