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by Stephen White

Category: Fiction / Mystery
388 pages; ISBN: 0385336209

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Stephen White
Delacorte, Feb 2004, $24.95
ISBN: 0385336209

Boulder psychologist Alan Gregory struggles with balance as he nurtures his MS stricken spouse, is the prime raiser of their one year old child, and provides services to a host of patients ranging the emotional rainbow. With all that on his PROGRAM, Alan does not need a visit from Gibbs Storey, who he has not seen in a decade. She canceled an appointment and moved to Los Angeles with her husband Sterling. He thinks that Gibbs is a phenomenon, as she has not aged, but remains the perfect human specimen.

Gibbs calmly informs Alan that she believes that Sterling murdered his lover back in Laguna Beach. She also thinks that he has killed others and will take more lives in the future. Ignoring WARNING SIGNS and spouting (endlessly) about client confidentially, Alan fails to go the police, but instead turns to his best friend, Boulder Police detective Sam Purdy, on injury leave, for help. They separately investigate whether Sterling is a serial killer or a case of the BEST REVENGE of a scorned woman?

The latest Alan Gregory mystery is different from the previous one because chapters are alternated between the psychologist and in this novel his co-star Sam. This technique works quite well as the audience receives two perspectives that come together with Stephen White’s typical ending twist that is always is fun to follow. Though the ethics issue is tedious and unconvincing, fans will enjoy this combo amateur sleuth-“unofficial” police procedural tale.

Harriet Klausner


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