Monday, July 7, 2014
The Suspect by Michael Robotham
4.0 out of 5 stars -- Cognitive dissonance...
I enjoyed this thriller despite my up front acknowledgement that I detested the character of the (anti)hero and star of this first in a series - renowned psychologist Joseph O'Laughlin who goes from "hero to zero" when he's accused of murder by Detective Inspector Vincent Ruiz of the Metropolitan Police.
Joe lives with his loving wife and daughter in a heavily mortgaged house in London near the London Zoo. He is in a thriving private practice; busy and happy -- but his world starts crashing down when he is diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Despite his credentials, degrees, and experience, Joe can't cope. He makes the first of many mistakes.
Joe continues to see his patients, some more disturbed than others, and volunteers to give a safety lecture at a meeting of prostitutes. Police crash the meeting and Joe speaks with the detective heading an investigation. Though initially thrilled to be asked to help with the identification of the dead woman in the morgue, Joe is soon thrust into a situation out of control when he realizes that he knows, and has a history with, the victim. He soon finds himself the main suspect and is desperate to clear his name and regain the life he totally messed up.
This is Joe: "Nobody likes admitting mistakes. And we all hate acknowledging the large gap between what we should do and what we actually do. So we alter either our actions or our beliefs. We make excuses, or redefine our conduct in a more flattering light." I don't excuse the decisions he made and the lies he told. I'm only somewhat sympathetic because I'm sure it was a blow for him to get that dreaded diagnosis. He needs therapy himself.
Despite that -- I am going to read another in this series hoping he has some HUGE personal growth. He hasn't earned forgiveness nor do I feel he's deserving of the gift. I'm not wild about anyone in this book, not his friends, wife, or family either. Hmmm. Can Joe redeem himself?
What I loved about this book -- the psychology. Very interesting to try to understand the motives and thinking of a disturbed mind though often all the reasons and excuses remind me of something I once learned -- "No, you're probably not responsible for anything that happened to you as a child. But, as an adult, you are 100% responsible for fixing it."
Thank you to NetGalley and Mulholland books for the e-book ARC to review.