Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Kill Switch by Neal Baer & Jonathon Greene

Authors: Neal Baer & Jonathon Greene
Publisher: Kensington Publishing group; 
Audiobook by Blackstone Audio
Date of Publication: December 2011

Meet Claire Waters, a young, dedicated forensic psychiatrist with unnervingly personal insights into the criminal mind. Haunted by a disturbing childhood incident--and driven by her demons--Claire has always been drawn to those rare "untreatable" patients who seem to have no conscience or fear. She has a natural ability to put people at ease, to help them face their darkest secrets. But one shocking case could make or break her career--and it's waiting for her in the psychiatric wing of New York City's Rikers Island. 

His name is Quimby. A deranged inmate whose boyish good looks hide a sordid history of dysfunction and abuse, Quimby triggers something in Claire she'd rather not face. As she tries to unlock Quimby's past, she unwittingly reveals her own painful secrets--leaving herself dangerously vulnerable. For Claire, the patient's obsessions are just the beginning. When the case propels her into the mind of another killer--a homicidal maniac who's watching her every move--it could only end in madness, or murder, or both. . .

When I saw that the writing team for this book are former producers of Law & Order: SVU, I became very interested.  While I love the Law and Order series, I am happy to say that this was nothing like a  TV episode. I was hoping for something a bit different. Although, I did think it would make for a great movie.  Claire is a forensic psychiatrist who has dealt with a major trauma in her past.  This is one of the forces that drives her career.  I liked Claire's character.  She is tough and determined, but you can see her human side as well.  She definitely has issues with her past and knows deep down that she needs to heal from them.  I did think her therapy ideas were a little unconventional and a bit overly dramatic, such as dying and cutting her hair to get a suspect to confess.   I can't see a psychiatrist doing that in real life.

The other characters in the book were interesting.  I especially liked Nick.  He is a cop who has a secret of his own.  He is going blind and no one knows.  He is brought in to work the case and finds himself having to rely on Claire to help him solve it.  There is no romance in this book. So this book was a little outside of my comfort zone, since I am a sucker for romantic suspense. In the end, I was surprised to find it was actually kind of refreshing that Nick and Claire don't fall in love, but instead parted friends.  They both had a lot of stuff to still deal with and a romance would have felt forced.

This book has a few mysteries going on at once.  It was at first hard to figure out how they were all related, but the authors did a great job of tying them up in the end. I wasn't able to fit all of the pieces together and that makes it a better book to me. The twist at the end was interesting and not what I was expecting.     I listened to the audio version and the narrator was pretty good.  The authors make a great writing team and I look forward to seeing what they come up with next!

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