Now that his patients, his friends, and his wife have all been suspected of murder, what’s left for Boulder psychologist Alan Gregory (The Best Revenge, Feb. 2003, etc.)? An ex-patient whose wife wants to spill all confidentially without turning him in.
Television producer Sterling Storey and his stunning wife Gibbs always enjoyed an adventurous sex life—so adventurous that Gibbs’s brief mention of it years ago drove Sterling out of therapy and out to LA. But if Gibbs can be believed now that she’s back on her own, Sterling’s hunger for excitement wasn’t limited to the occasional taboo-busting rendezvous with a stranger; he may well have strangled his Laguna Beach neighbor Louise Lake, a British flight attendant, six years ago. Even worse, Gibbs eventually confides in Alan, Louise may not have been Sterling’s only victim, and he may be planning even more return engagements to his one-time flings. As Alan agonizes over what to do with this privileged information, his hand is forced when several confidences his other patients have vouchsafed—news that a District Court judge’s husband is selling drugs, the identity of a mystery businesswoman who shut down Denver International Airport when she impatiently breached a security checkpoint to catch her plane—somehow leak from his office. Will Gibbs’s secret be next? If so, Alan can’t expect much help from his wife Lauren, whose MS has been suddenly exacerbated, or from his detective friend Sam Purdy, who’s taken off for Georgia to check out an accident site from which Sterling disappeared, presumed dead by everybody but Sam and Alan and rangy Laguna Beach cop Carmen Reynoso. The stage is set for a breathtaking Thanksgiving climax.
In order to set up the blood and thunder, though, White, who never stints on complications, has to crosscut among so many threats, subplots, and red herrings that you may forget to be thrilled.