Book one in the Natalie King, Forensic Psychiatrist series. Not only is that sentence informing you that this is the first book in a crime series but it’s also my reason for reading this book – Natalie King is a Forensic Psychiatrist. If it involves the assessment and treatment of those involved in the Criminal Justice System, you have spoken to the Criminologist in me and I’m reading the book!
From the back cover:
‘BREAKING the rules has consequences.’
Forensic Psychiatrist Natalie King has always been a rule-breaker, with a reputation for going beyond her brief. Fighting too hard for the women she sees in the justice system – most of them abused, some violent.
Now it seems someone wants to call her on her rebellious ways. Is it someone with murder on their mind?
There’s a few storylines/cases running simultaneously in this book, each one totally engrossing – Amber, currently in prison for the murder of her child; Travis, the father of a murdered child, with his second daughter missing; Tiphanie, the mother of a missing child; and Georgia, charged with killing her three children. Straight away, I want to say this book is at times hard to read and may be upsetting for some readers due to it’s content but Buist has over 25 years clinical and research experience in perinatal psychiatry and knows her field well, infanticide is never going to be easy reading but Buist writes with decorum. This is a fictional book, it has a plot and elements of humour, it’s a great crime thriller, original, realistic and thought-provoking.
When Natalie starts receiving threats she’s not sure if it’s related to her work or just some ‘sicko’ trying to scare her. This is a complex, layered read, it’s emotionally charged but essentially it is a mystery book with a plot that keeps you turning pages. This book makes you pay attention, due to the many layers of this story, you can become easily lost, the story doesn’t have the smoothest flow, as it jumps back and fourth between cases, so as the reader, you have to keep up!
Natalie, on medication to stabilise her own moods, sings in a band outside of work, rides a motorbike, has a pet parrot, and a wonderful love-hate relationship with a sexy Irish prosecutor, Liam O’Shea. With a fully developed backstory, you really warm to Natalie, and this pulls you into the story as you’re rooting for her the whole time. A protagonist that’s likeable, both strong and vulnerable at the same time.
If you enjoy a slow-burner, can handle the difficult subject matter, then I highly recommend this book. Buist uses humour extremely well to break up the dark content. This book grabs hold of you, packed with tension, an intelligent crime thriller, an overall enthralling read. I’m looking forward to reading book 2: Dangerous to Know.
*My thanks to the author, Anne Buist, for providing me with a copy of this book*