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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Perfect Patient

Narrator: Emma Newman

ISBN: 9781837903382

Publisher: Bookouture Hachette UK

Publication Date: 09/28/2023

Format: e-book

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)

As I walk into my therapist’s office, I’m finally ready to answer the question on everyone’s lips… Am I a murderer?

It’s been six months since I woke up next to the body of the man I’d chatted to in a bar the night before. I still remember the metallic scent of his blood, the stillness of the room, and the panic that rose in my throat when I realised he was dead.

I remember him buying cocktails. We talked. We went up to my room. And then… nothing. But I know I didn’t kill him.

Now, as my whole world is picked apart by the police, the only hope I have of clearing my name is with my therapist, Dr Tara Black. As soon as we meet, I feel at peace. Her kind, dark eyes make me want to talk for hours, and she tells me she can help me access my memories of that night. But it soon becomes clear there is more to my past than even I remember…

Why does a flicker of recognition cross her face as I talk about the crime scene? And why do my parents look scared when I tell them I discussed my childhood with Dr Black?

Did I put my trust in the wrong person?

And how far will I have to go, to prove I’m innocent?

This absolutely gripping psychological thriller will have you hooked from the very first page to the last jaw-dropping twist. Perfect for fans of The Housemaid, The Girl on the Train and The Perfect Marriage

My Review

Luana Lewis, clinical psychologist, and bestselling author, returns with her latest innovative, intriguing, and gripping psychological thriller, THE PERFECT PATIENT— where she showcases her brilliant skills and expertise in this complex medico-legal case—A young woman with an abusive, traumatic childhood charged with the murder of a retired police officer, found in a hotel suite owned by her father. However, she does not remember.

Psychologically rich and absorbing, this multi-layered, well-written, intense domestic suspense infused with legal and medical will hook you from page one to the conclusion, and never let's go!

THE PERFECT PATIENT opens with Jade (age 17), the daughter of Ray and Sandra Jameson. She is in the Red Suite of The Onyx, a glamorous hotel, and there is blood everywhere. The victim is Carl Ress, a retired divorced former police officer in his fifties.

He was stabbed 11 times in an intense, brutal murder attack. However, there was no connection between Jade and the victim. Jade recalled him buying her a drink at the bar and remembers nothing afterward.

Dr. Tara Black, single (age 42)— for the last fifteen years, has been at Royal University Hospital as the head of psychology in the Neurology Department and is now in private practice. She is delighted to land this case from the solicitor with the influential and affluent real estate mogul Jay Jameson. Anthony Edwards was the first expert appointed to the case but had to step down due to an illness. What happened?

Tara is dating Daniel, who works in mergers and acquisitions and is married with two children. Daniel was a friend of her older brother, who is still missing after her parent's murder years ago. She was away when it happened, and the cops think the murderer was Matthew. She has since changed her name due to the publicity surrounding the case.

Others involved in the case, in addition to the family:

  • Valerie Bennett, Jade's solicitor

  • Lucy, Jade's best friend who also works at the hotel

  • Risha Bassi, the manager of The Onyx and the stepsister.

Tara becomes intricately involved in the case, trying desperately to crack this case and dig into Jade's past. Jade has an ankle monitor, so Tara has to set up the visits at Jade's home, where she lives with her parents in a four-story townhouse in St. John's Wood, one of London's poshest suburbs. She had never interviewed an accused murderer at home previously. Jade wants to be a veterinarian surgeon.

However, the controlling and influential father, Jay, seems to have something to hide. Does he not want his daughter to remember? Jade appears quiet, and her teachers say pretty much the same—no clue as to why she had committed an act of extreme violence. However, she is facing a murder charge. Did someone set her up or something else?

Years ago, Jay (at age 28, married) was a bouncer and later managed a strip club, The Diamonds, and the site of the current hotel. There were drugs and strippers. Sandra was a dancer with her younger sister, Paula. Paula is dead due to an overdose.

Tara has worked with many memory loss patients and feels she can break through with Jade; however, the father wants her to withdraw and keeps her from her interviews. She must finish and submit her report. She is tenacious and has integrity. However, there are threats and a hint of a bribe. He knows about her past. Someone winds up dead, and she is in danger.

How far will this family go to keep their secrets? Who murdered Carl? Motive? Will Tara be able to solve the puzzle before she is kicked off the case, or worse, dead? The web of lies slowly unravels.

The past isn't going to stay buried forever. Disturbing, absorbing, compelling, and deliciously sinister—THE PERFECT PATIENT is a novel readers will devour in one sitting. The story unfolds in layers, each one more shocking than the last.

Highly impressive, I thoroughly enjoyed the author's writing style with finesse and expertise. I read Lewis' debut in 2014, Don't Stand So Close (4.5 stars Random House), when I started my blog and enjoyed it, too. The author handles the abuse, trauma, and mental issues with sensitivity and compassion. With clever misdirection and twists, you will be guessing until the satisfying conclusion. Medical, Legal, and Literary are my favorites.

SEQUEL: I would like to possibly see a sequel to catch up with the characters and dive deeper into Dr. Tara Black's (I loved her character) background, the murder of her family, and the missing brother, among other things.

I highly recommend the author and the book and look forward to reading more.

Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for a gifted e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. Bookouture has been cranking out some exciting, talented 5-star winners recently!

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: Sept 28, 2023

My Rating: 5 Stars

UPCOMING: More on the above with a forthcoming blog post. Exceptional 5-Star Psychological Suspense/Thriller/Fiction titles & authors by Bookouture!

For now, my reviews & more:

THE PERFECT PATIENT Luana Lewis 28 Sept 2023

THE BABY LEFT BEHIND Jen Craven 20 Sept 2023

THE FAMILY GUEST Nelle Lamarr 21 Sept 2023

About the Author

Luana Lewis is a chartered clinical psychologist and writer. She was clinical supervisor at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation in South Africa, and since 2004 has worked in England, both in the NHS and in private practice.

She currently teaches and practices Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy.

She has previously written two non-fiction books related to childhood trauma and and post-traumatic stress.

Don’t Stand So Close and Forget Me Not are published in the UK by Transworld, as well as in Germany (Goldmann), The Netherlands (Cargo/Bezige Bij) Italy (Longanesi), Brazil (Rocco), Turkey (Kahve Yayinlari) and Korea (Arumdri Media).

She is currently working on her third novel, a thriller, set in 1987 Apartheid South Africa, centering around the disappearance of a young actress. WEBSITE



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