Sunday, November 22, 2015

Book Review: The Forgetting Place

Kerry Hammond is here to review a book by new-to-her author John Burley.

The Forgetting Place by John Burley was published on February 10, 2015 by William Morrow. I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book at Bouchercon in Raleigh, North Carolina, at an event sponsored by Harper Collins Publishers. I was even able to get the author’s signature in my book. The book’s cover immediately intrigued me, and when I read the synopsis on back, I was completely sold. It went to the top of my To Be Read pile a soon as I returned home.

Dr. Lise Shields is a psychiatrist at Menaker State Hospital, a Maryland institution that is populated by the criminally insane. She’s been at the hospital for 5 years, working under Dr. Wagner. When a mysterious patient arrives, with absolutely no records, Lise is troubled at the lack of protocol being followed. Dr. Wagner ignores her worries and she must treat her patient with nothing of his past to go on. As she gets more involved in his case, she learns that there is more to the story than she originally suspected. She becomes extremely worried when she realizes that two men are watching her, and that Dr. Wagner may be part of the conspiracy. Her professional need to protect her patient leads her to go to great lengths to try and figure out what brought him to Menaker, and whether or not he will make it out alive.

I really enjoyed the author’s writing style. It was so descriptive that I felt like I was there, so eloquent that I felt like I was being told a tale by a master storyteller, and so enthralling that I was drawn into each twist and turn that took place. I’m happy to report that I lost a night’s sleep to Lise and Menaker hospital, but I have no regrets. There’s nothing like a satisfying ending to a great book to help you get through a sleepy day.

The Forgetting Place is the second book by John Burley. His first, Absence of Mercy, now sits atop my pile. Both books are standalone novels. 

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