Well, hello there, bookworm! It’s so lovely to see you again. I hope you weren’t knocking at the door long before you came and found me in the garden; I thought it was high time I tidied up the mystical garden. Just watch your fingers as you walk past the snap dragon plants – they bite. Would you care for a glass of homemade raspberryade? Help yourself, the glasses are on the table. Speaking of glass, have you heard about the latest book by Louise Worthington called Dr. Glass? Here, have a freshly made Bakewell tart while you soak up the sunshine and I’ll tell you all about it.
Firstly, here’s the blurb: Clinical psychologist Dr Emma-Jane Glass falls for her captor when the roles of client and therapist are reversed in a psychologically layered story of revenge and grief. Is it a case of Stockholm Syndrome, or something else? When Dr Emma-Jane Glass’ interview on local radio is deemed to be sympathetic towards a mother’s actions to kill herself and young child, Drew Rogers hatches a plan to teach the psychologist a thing or two about being left behind as a spouse. Abducted and held captive in an empty property, Dr. Glass swaps places in the psychologist’s chair. Drew puts the motivation of his wife’s actions down to his extra-marital affairs, but then the sordid truth behind his family’s disappearance is revealed. Hard-hitting and emotional,Dr. Glass is the first novel in the Glass Minds Series from the author of Rachel’s Garden, The Entrepreneur, Willow Weeps and Rosie Shadow.
Now a little about the author: Louise is the author of the psychological thrillers Rachel’s Garden, Willow Weeps, the Entrepreneur, and the horror novel, Rosie Shadow, book one in the Black Tongue Series. Born in Cheshire, England, Louise studied literature at the University of Essex. As a teenager she read until the small hours, enjoying the darker worlds conjured by Stephen King and Daphne du Maurier. When Louise isn’t reading or writing, you’ll most likely find her outside enjoying the Shropshire countryside with her husband or messing about with her daughter, and furry and feathered friends.
And here’s my review: This was a captivating read, full of menace and tension from the very start. Knowing from the outset that Drew Rogers isn’t the person he pretends to be made it nail-biting as a reader as both Emma-Jane and her friend and colleague, Lucy, were taken in by his polished veneer. In other novels involving a hostage-situation, the kidnapping takes place towards the end and is quickly resolved but in this case, it forms the majority of the book and is delivered with tantalising suspense.
Emma-Jane’s cool and professional demeanour reminded me in some ways of Dr. Kay Scarpetta from the series I adored from a teenager and still sometimes re-read, so unsurprisingly I loved her. It was hard to see how her character was affected by the situation, being wholly reliant on Drew and grateful for his ministrations. Her compassion towards him at first seemed to come from her psychological training and understanding of more about the human psyche than the reader but when this turned into a form of love, it felt uncomfortable and I felt my anxiety rising.
Drew’s descent into his darkest moments, a journey of self-harm, rage, grief and blame, was disturbing and the knot in my stomach kept getting tighter as I wondered what his ultimate goal was.
The story is made all the more dark by the similes and metaphors the author uses; they stood out for me as they differed from the usual imagery I’ve come across in books and were more emotive, visceral and dark. For example, in the reader’s encounter with a secondary (but crucial) character: “Pity the person whose mother abandoned them, whose father disowned them and then died, leaving her an orphan. A contract is made with her face to keep the snake of secrets firmly in her mouth.” The snake imagery was used throughout the novel in various situations, giving me chills each time I encountered it.
This was a stunning and haunting novel, one which will have me thinking about the experiences and characters for long after I’ve finished it. It’s a 4.5 star read for me and I’m recommending this to anyone who enjoys a tense and disturbing read.
Well, bookworm you’re welcome to stay and look around my library while I continue my chores. Unfortunately I suspect some of the horror genre and witch themed books have sneaked into the garden and are bustling around the more poisonous plants to cook up something unpleasant so I’d better disarm them before they continue their long-running feud with the vampire books… until next time bookworm, farewell!