Tag Archives: Bleed for Me

Back from the Caribbean with a new author!

Darling husband and I are back from our trip to Puerto Rico, Saint Thomas, St. Martin, and St. Kitts via the Celebrity Eclipse.   Besides the rain forest hike and the free-lattes-at-any-time extravaganza, a highlight of the trip was the amazing amount of free time to read.   I brought a few paperbacks and a dozen books on my iPad.  One new-to-me author that I highly recommend, cruise or not, is Michael Robotham.

I started my read-fest with Robotham’s most recent book, Say You’re Sorry.  It features a wonderfully insightful but thoroughly flawed protagonist, clinical psychologist Joe O’Loughlin.   Joe has a complicated life, a stressed marriage to a beautiful woman, a shakier-than-he’d-like relationship with his teenage daughter, and an uncanny ability to size people up.  He also has Parkinson’s disease.

O’Loughlin is pulled into a confusing crime scene by a police detective who is looking for one more nail to put into the supposed-prepetrator’s coffin: a married couple has been brutally murdered and a mentally challenged handyman is accused.  But O’Loughlin sees what the police don’t:  there was someone else there – someone who is now missing – and the scene points to a very twisted, and highly intelligent, murderer.

Complicating the plot is a second protagonist: Piper Hadley.  Teenage Piper and her best friend, Natasha McBain, were kidnapped and held captive by a man they call George, who systematically strips away the girls’ defenses and sexually abuses the more attractive, more feminine Tash.   Piper tells her own story, and Robotham’s evocation of this singular character is simply amazing.

It’s not surprising that the two stories come together and – no spoiler alert here – that the handyman is not the bad guy.  Say You’re Sorry is a complete page-turner – awesome plotting and pacing – coupled with compelling characters.  It left me wanting more.  So I used a few of my preciously guarded wi-fi minutes to download more Michael Robotham.

It was all good.  Suspect.  Lost.  Shatter.  Bleed for Me and a couple more, yet unread.  In Suspect,  Joe O’Loughlin is introduced when homicide detective Victor Ruiz suspects him of murder.  In Lost, Ruiz is fished out of the Thames – short-term memory loss means he has to piece together the last few weeks of his life (with the help of O’Loughlin, of course).   Shatter features a worthy adversary – just as capable as O’Loughlin of seeing hidden truths, but much more capable when it comes to manipulating others.  For evil, of course.

I’m continuing to work my way through Michael Robotham’s books.   Love psychological suspense?  Thrillers with a twist?  You’ll go for Robotham.

Relatively random, recently read

Bad me.  I’ve been reading, but not reviewing, and now I have a monumental stack of books and the SWAN library system (because it is not enough to get overdue notices from one library, no, I must have an entire system of interconnected libraries nagging me) is going into overdrive emailing me.

As a result, here is a round-up of super-brief reviews:

The Story of Beautiful Girl, Rachel Simon:  Super-great reviews from critics.  Hemmed-in widow answers her door to a deaf man and a mentally challenged girl who’ve escaped from a special “school,” girl gives birth, trackers recapture girl, man gets away, widow raises baby.  I found the story engaging but a little preachy.

The Diviner’s Tale, Bradford Morrow:  Well-reviewed.  Cassandra Brooks is a diviner in both meanings of the word- she finds water using a dowsing rod and also has paranormal abilities, which she has worked to repress.  Out looking for water, she comes across a hanged girl.  Raising an alarm, she comes back with the cops – no girl.  Is the girl from the past, the future, or some other place?  The novel has great characters, complicated relationships, and a compelling voice.  Big thumbs up.

Bleed for Me, Michael Robotham:  Again, good reviews for this suspenseful crime fiction.  Former cop Ray Hegarty is murdered, and it appears the killer is psychologist Joe O’Loughlin’s daughter’s best friend, Ray’s daughter Sienna.  Called in to do a psychological evaluation of the daughter, Joe becomes convinced that there is a hidden story and despite the odds, digs in and proves it.  There are good guys, bad guys, and complicated guys, and the book is well-plotted and a bit of a nail-biter.  Definitely recommended.

The Rope, Nevada Barr:  I’ve read others in this popular series and enjoyed them, but tried three times to get into this “prequel” and put it down each time.  If you’re an Anna Pigeon fan, don’t take my lack of enthusiasm as any reason not to read the book.

Blue Monday, Nicci French:  Psychotherapist Frieda Klein slowly becomes convinced that her patient may be involved in the recent abduction of a five-year-old child.  Her investigation reveals something even more chilling.  The novel has wonderful, interesting, smart characters and a great rationale for the underlying plot that is revealed at just the right pace.  My only complaint was that I saw the final twist coming, and any frequent reader of the genre will, as well.  A very satisfying read.