Excellent read. Patricia Cornwall meets Keath Ablow! The author has several books out with the same forensic psychologist,Michael Stone , a witty, courageous strong female character.
She is to testify in a child custody case that involves a narcissistic plastic surgeon, his histrionic wife and their two dysfunctional children. Incest and murder bring Dr. Stone to a startling and twisted conclusion.
easy read, lots of psycho-babble, and well written.
This book was recommended to me because I like Jonathan Kellerman's books with Psychologist Alex Delaware. I like hearing the psychologists perspective on the crimes and criminals. I enjoyed this book, and I liked the main character. I recommend it if you like some psychological comments with your crime novel.
From Library Journal
"Michael Stone is a forensic psychologist, a specialist in court-related child abuse and domestic violence cases. A North Carolina native, she is an unusual figure in the Vermont town she now inhabits: a blond, blue-eyed loner who plays basketball obsessively to relieve stress and makes a game of never owning more than 250 things at any one time.
Called to testify in a sensational custody case involving charges of sexual abuse, she advocates for the two small children only to be ignored. The abrupt closure of the case feels wrong to Michael, but she is powerless until the children are sadistically murdered.
Pulled into the search for the killer, Michael is armed with only a clue involving Toni Morrison's classic novel Beloved. In this debut novel, forensic psychologist Salter has graced her protagonist with a compelling and likable voice in the tradition of Patricia Cornwell."
I don't think it's fair to compare this author to Patricia Cornwell. Anna Salter PhD. has far more expertise and background in what she writes about than Cornwell has. Dr. Salter is a specialist in the study of rapists, pedophiles and various other criminals of this ilk. She has written non-fiction works that are in-depth studies of these types of criminals. This book is fiction, but has a lot of factual information included. The heart wrenching story of two young kids who are sexually abused, then brutally murdered, is hard to read, yet fascinating for those of us who can handle it. Dr. Michael Stone is driven to learn who the abuser is, and to find out if he is the same person who committed the murders. Once you get through the early pages, which are admittedly, a bit slow moving, the story picks up speed and has some hair raising moments. It's ending is satisfying and leaves nothing hanging. I stayed awake late reading it, which is more than I can say for a lot of novels that have great promise, but end up as duds. On the down side, the manuscript would have benefitted from much closer editing. I don't understand how so many grammatical errors were allowed to slip through. As for the plot development, I think the author will improve as she writes more fiction, and I'm sure she WILL. Also, eliminating her imaginary conversations with her mother, and her mother's background advice, would help a lot. It's not needed.
I look forward to reading her next one.