Wednesday, February 18, 2015
The Forgetting Place by John Burley
Dr. Lise Shields has been a psychiatrist for five years at the state correctional facility where perpetrators of the state's most heinous crimes have been committed. Her job is stressful and grueling but she has come to think of the hospital as a sanctuary where the staff is like family. She is totally committed to her patients and helping them where she can, although the truth is that most will never leave or get better in a conventional sense.
When she gets a new patient named Jason, something is different. For some reason, he is there without the normal paperwork. Her boss is reluctant to talk about Jason or explain why he isn't like the other patients. He is there for killing his lover but as Lise gets to know him she comes to believe that he is not guilty of the crime but is either falsely accused or covering for someone else.
Lise is determined to help Jason but her efforts prove useless. Soon she is faced with the choice of remaining in a professional relationship and just chalking him up as one of the patients who can't be helped, or putting her career and everything she has worked so hard for on the line. What will she choose?
John Burley has written a fascinating thriller. It looks at the world of the colliding fields of medicine and law and explored what happens when the perpetrator of a crime is mentally ill. Burley is a physician himself, serving as an emergency room physician while writing as a second career. His insight into the field adds realism to his portrayal. This book is recommended for mystery readers.