Pseudo-psychological thrillers are a dime a dozen, real ones rarer, and great ones surface once in a blue moon. As soon as I read the book description, I immediately grabbed THE PATIENT, and I'm happy to say it met all my expectations. Danielle Rycroft is a therapist in a small town where a serial killer has been wreaking havoc. While one of her patients, Ella, seems a likely candidate, Danielle is firmly convinced Ella is not the murderer, but what of her other two regular patients?
I have two ways of going about when reading a novel like THE PATIENT: either I let the author take me along for the ride, not thinking too much as I go, or I question and analyze everything, looking for clues, red herrings, not missing a single word. THE PATIENT belongs to the latter category. I don't believe I've ever worked so much intellectually reading a book and it was so much fun! I suspected everyone at one time or another, everyone! I took notes while reading on whom I suspected, who meant what to whom in which way, to end up completely confounded - too many times to count! - and tickled pink to be so masterfully manipulated!
I loved that the theme of Alice in Wonderland is almost a character in the story, and now I'm wondering if I missed some clues. . . Steena Holmes was a new-to-me author, but after reading THE PATIENT, she's now on my authors-to-watch list. Ms. Holmes' crisp and smooth writing style makes this intense and harrowing novel a joy to read. The story is impeccably structured, told in first person POV, mostly from Danielle's perspective. This is difficult to explain adequately: at first, the pace seems slow - therapy sessions do not wild action scenes make - yet the story moves along at breakneck speed because of all the twists and turns, the need to know what will happen next, what is true and what isn't, and is anyone who they appear to be. THE PATIENT is one heck of a thrilling ride!
A therapist must face her own worst fear—one of her patients is a serial killer. Dani Rycroft suspects someone close to her has a dark secret. In the confidential setting of therapy, her patients share their anxieties and fears. Now, with a string of murders in town putting her on edge, Dani’s own worries come close to eclipsing her patients’. In each case, the pattern is the same: parents killed while their children sleep blissfully unaware in their beds. Her best friend, Detective Tami Sloan, is the only person she has confided in. Dani believes that there’s still a secret one patient has yet to share. But which one? Behind a familiar face is a stranger who’ll do anything to hide their worst compulsions. The anxiety brings Dani to her own therapist’s office, seeking counsel and comfort. But what is she willing to risk, and how much closer must she get, to stop them?