Legend Press 2018
Psychiatrist Natalie King is the expert witness in a vicious child custody battle, and the stakes are high. Getting it wrong means handing a child over to an abuser, or depriving that child of the only father she knows.
Is Jenna playing the system, or is her ex-husband as dangerous as she suggests? How can Natalie best protect the child? And now that Natalie’s pregnant, how is a growing preoccupation with her own father affecting her judgement?
Court dramas, cultural clashes and media backlash create an explosive mixture. How far will a parent go to keep – or save – their child?
Set in Melbourne this is the third instalment featuring psychiatrist Dr Natalie King. A rather complex character, Natalie finds herself relating to and affected by aspects of her current case. Parents Jenna and Malik are experiencing an acrimonious split and Jenna is certain Malik has sexually abused her daughter and is not safe to have contact with her. Dr King is an expert witness for the court but struggles with this case where there are no absolutes and the consequences of getting it wrong are unthinkable.
With a contemporary twist incorporating the role of social media, this book was an addictive read offering an insight into the assessment of children and the interpretation of what they say and indeed do not say. The book for me took a somewhat sinister turn midway through and for me the latter part of the book was strongest.
This is the third book in the series and I consider myself somewhat of a ‘purist’ in the sense of preferring to start a series at the beginning. With this in mind I was aware of the gaps, Natalie is a complex character and her personal life forms a not insignificant part of the story, which in a series is a strength. However I felt there was a lot I didn’t know and a number of characters that would be familiar had I read the series from the start but given I hadn’t, I did struggle at times to keep up with everyone. The plot was strong and I particularly liked the way Natalie’s alliances wavered as she worked with Chelsea and reflected through supervision what the child was communicating. Without spoiling anything the conclusion was very good and tied everything up nicely.
A strong series in the world of forensic mental health with an interesting central character, flawed in a way that made her seem very real, but in contrast certainly with my preconceived ideas of ‘Psychiatrists’. For me this would have been improved by reading the other 2 books first but if your not a stickler for detail then this would work fine as a standalone I’m sure.
Thank you to Legend Press for sending me a copy of this book.
Tell me in the comments, is this a book you would pick up? And what are your views about reading books in order?
Thanks as always for reading.