Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline; 2015
Where to begin? I liked this book as I was reading it. It was fast-paced and fairly thrilling. But then I got to the end.
The basic premise: Dr. Eric Parrish is a very successful psychiatrist; he is chief of the psych unit at Havemeyer General Hopsital and also sees private clients at his home. Eric is a shining picture of humanity, and his morals are FIERCE. Probably too fierce – more on that later. He’s also recently separated from his wife, and is in the middle of a custody battle for his seven-year-old daughter, Hannah. While that’s happening, he takes on a new client, 17-year-old Max, who is suffering from OCD and violent thoughts about a girl he likes. Good. And, it that wasn’t enough, Eric is also unknowingly being targeted by a sociopath out to destroy him. Dun dun duhhh.
The best part about reading a thriller is for the twist ending – obvi. The end of this book, however, was like wait wut? It ended SO abruptly and sort of randomly that I felt like I had invested the time to read 432 pages without a reward. What was most disappointing is that it could have been so much better if more time had been put into laying out the ending, including more detail about what the sociopath really did. Instead it was basically like: Yeah, it’s me. I’m the sociopath. The end.
Eric is also incredibly dumb. It’s just one stupid decision after another for this guy. SO dumb that I didn’t even feel bad for him because the only reason he landed in bad situations was 95% of the time thanks to himself. He’s supposed to be a psychiatrist, yet he can’t seem to make any logical decisions. There is a truly ridiculous scene toward the middle-end that I won’t elaborate on for the sake of spoilers, but oh man.
ALSO, pretty much the entire book hinders on the doctor/patient confidentiality law ad nauseum. I wish I had counted how many times Eric said that he couldn’t talk about something because of the confidentiality. Okay, GOT IT!!! The whole confidentiality thing started to feel like a crutch/excuse for the entire book. It would have been about 100 pages if Eric had just broken the confidentiality for the sake of, oh, I don’t know, helping to solve a murder?
All of that said, it was a fast, mostly fun read. This reminded me of a less-flowery Jodi Picoult minus the courtroom drama. Scottoline is a good writer, and I’m interested in reading some of her other stuff. And, like I said, it’s definitely thrilling.