A sociopath targets a suburban Pennsylvania psychiatrist whose success is only the prelude to a series of nightmarish reversals.
It’s true that Dr. Eric Parrish doesn’t have everything. His wife, Caitlin, is divorcing him and being difficult over the joint custody they’ve arranged for their 7-year-old daughter, Hannah, and his latest private patient, 17-year-old Max Jakubowski, seems much more in need of help than his dying grandmother does. But Eric’s colleagues like and admire him—one of them, medical student Kristine Malin, is clearly in hot pursuit—and so does U.S. News and World Report, which is about to announce that the psych unit Eric heads at Havemeyer General Hospital ranks second in the nation. It all goes south with a suddenness that would be shocking outside the pages of Scottoline. Kristine files harassment charges after Eric rejects her come-on. Max phones Eric to say that his grandmother’s died and then takes a powder. Renée Bevilacqua, a girl Max tutors in math and otherwise worships from afar, gets murdered the morning after Eric follows her home, looking in vain for a lead to Max’s whereabouts. The cops haul Eric in as a person of interest, then invade his office and home looking for evidence when he demands they find Max, whom he considers a suicide risk, but won’t say any more about him. The colleagues who so recently toasted Eric lock him out. And that’s all before Max takes five teenagers hostage and announces that he’s going to kill one every 15 minutes before he blows up the King of Prussia Mall. Who can possibly be pulling so many different strings?
A proficient, mounting-stakes actioner that proves Scottoline is just as comfortable with a shrink determined to go to the wall for a troubled teen as she ever was with Bennie Rosato’s all-female law practice (Betrayed, 2014, etc.).