The amorous adventures of a sociopathic Bristol psychotherapist and his shrinking list of patients.
On top of his own practice, psychologist Adam Neave volunteers at the bereavement center at Weston-super-Mare. It’s a great way to meet fragile women and talk himself into their confidence before he drugs and rapes them. Sometimes Adam can’t wait for the next eligible patient, so he goes out on the town looking for prey. Lately he’s graduated from rape to murder (his late wife Helen’s death was originally something of a one-off), sometimes accidentally doping his victims to death, sometimes adopting a more hands-on approach. Det. Supt. Bill Winston, duly suspicious, sics undercover officer Olivia Marsden on him as a new widow. His plans backfire, however, when Olivia finds herself falling for the man she’s supposed to be trapping. Things aren’t going much better for Beth, Adam’s partner at the bereavement center, whose boyfriend suddenly turns aloof and critical, or for Nicholas Neave, the brother who’s tried in vain to interest the law in Helen Neave’s death. And they’re going even worse for the innocent relatives of Brandon Petrie, 16, a cold, manipulative patient whom anyone but Adam would instantly diagnose as an apprentice sociopath. In fact, no one in the greater Bristol area seems capable of having a nice day, and it’s easy to see why not.
Not even the most brilliantly repellent earlier work by Davis (Kiss It Away, 2004, etc.) quite prepares you for this seven-course banquet of violence, sex and violent sex.