A female psychiatrist at a state mental hospital finds herself at the center of a shadowy conspiracy in this dark and twisting tale of psychological suspense from the author of The Absence of Mercy.
Menaker State Hospital is a curse, a refuge, a prison, a necessity, a nightmare, a salvation.
When Dr. Lise Shields arrived at the correctional psychiatric facility five years ago, she was warned that many of its patients-committed by Maryland’s judicial system for perpetrating heinous crimes-would never leave.
But what happens when a place like Menaker is corrupted, when it becomes a tool to silence the innocent, conceal an injustice, contain a secret? Why is it that the newest patient does not seem to belong there, that the hospital administrator has fallen silent, and that Lise is being watched by two men with seemingly lethal intent? The answers are closer than she realizes and could cost her everything she holds dear.
In this chilling follow-up to The Absence of Mercy, author John Burley—a master at medical and psychological detail—showcases the many ways in which the dangers of the outside world pale in comparison to the horrors of the human mind.
Burley follows his fine debut, 2013's The Absence of Mercy, with an even more impressive psychological thriller. Menaker State Hospital in Maryland houses those who are not fit for society, especially those whom society wishes to forget. Dr. Lise Shields, a member of Menaker's psychologist team since receiving her medical license, works with patients who will likely never recover, or even improve discernibly. Nevertheless, she's content with her routine until she gets a new patient, Jason Edwards, who arrives unannounced and without documentation. Though she's immediately suspicious, she can't help bonding with her amiable, good-looking, but reticent patient. As her doubts about Jason's institutionalization increase, so do the efforts of Menaker's chief medical officer, Dr. Charles Wagner, to tamp down her investigations. Burley, himself a physician, renders the manifestations of psychological illness in such a way that both Lise and the reader must confront the terrifying nature of reality itself.
Very good book!
I read the author's first novel, and enjoyed it, so I was excited to find another book by him. SPOLIER ALERT: at the height of the novel, it reminded me of a similar book (and movie)that I read a few years back. At first I thought wow copycat, but as a read the next few pages the author does an awesome job tying loose ends together, and bringing back "insignificant events" to the readers attention and reveling there true importance in the plot. I would definitely recommend this book, as well as his previous "absence of mercy" to those who enjoy a good thriller. Looking forward to reading more of his work! 😄