Write a book description that mentions psychology, cults and suspense and you'll probably have, at the very least, piqued my interest.
This book is set in Oregon in 1989. Laura Covington is a psychologist who has given up private practice to join a community mental health unit, moving from a city to a small town with her mother and 5 year old Wade, who she became guardian of when a client died.
Her new clients range from the slightly odd to the seriously ill. One of those at the latter end of the spectrum is David, who suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder. While her boss doesn't even believe in this relatively new condition Laura is convinced he must have suffered some major trauma. Her digging, work with other clients and research by best friend Helen suggests a link to a cult set up in the desert nearby. When Helen dies in what Laura does not believe was an accident getting to the root of David's problems becomes urgent, and Laura has to decide how far she can go to protect herself and those around her. What happens to ethics when lives are at stake?
This book is written in the third person from more than one point of view, allowing the author to weave in more details about the cult and really build up the suspense. It launches into the main story relatively quickly and builds to a surprising climax at quite a pace. Laura has quite a complicated home life, with a stubborn mum, an unexpected child and a skulking cat to deal with, so I enjoyed seeing her deal with being a parent and was pleased to watch a budding romance grow.
I found the details relating to MPD and its acceptance as a proper diagnosis interesting, and the way the cult was manipulating members and its effect on the victims disturbing. The suspense built up kept me reading, but I also really enjoyed the way the author offset the tension a little with the development of some of the quirkier characters from the clinic.
This was a very good read which made me think, and definitely contained enough suspense to keep me hooked.
Format: Kindle, review copy
My Rating: 4*