Why Does a Psychotherapist Become a Sleuth in This Book?
As the book jacket tells you, Alicia Berenson has a perfect life in London. She is a famous painter, and she is married to an equally famous fashion photographer. One night, she kills her husband shooting him five times in the face. From that point she goes silent, unable or unwilling to speak.
When we meet Alicia, years after the murder, she is a patient in a psychiatric hospital called The Grove. She is about to meet her new therapist, Theo Faber, who is a criminal psychotherapist. The reader knows that Theo went to a great deal of effort to get a job at The Grove and we know it’s because he wants to work with Alicia.
After he gets the job and is assigned her case, he becomes part detective as he doggedly seeks out all the main people in Alicia’s life pre-murder. Thus, we meet a jealous brother-in-law, an angry business associate, and other suspicious characters, as we are made to wonder if they are they somehow mixed up in the murder.
More than just learning about Alicia’s prior life, we also learn about Theo’s. Both suffered emotional abuse from their fathers. The reader is given more to wonder about — is there some sort of transference going on? Is he resolving her life issues to resolve his own? Is that why he is so stuck on this case? But if it’s not that, what is the issue? Why is he so involved?
Frankly, I didn’t care for any of the characters. The only reason I stuck with the book is that it’s been on the best sellers list for weeks and I wanted to know why. It took until the last dozen pages for a big plot twist to occur and explain everything. By then my only emotion was relief that the book was over.
As it continues on the best sellers list, I’m sure you’ll want to read it. Let me know what you think after you do!