Seven patients. One dark secret.
Jenny Nilsen hasn’t seen her former psychiatrist since she left the Hillside Psychiatric Unit eight years ago. She wanted to forget everything about her time there, so she kept her secrets buried deep. Especially from her new husband.
But now the police are knocking at her door with evidence of her involvement in Phillip’s death and everything she’s kept hidden is starting to spill out. Jenny desperately needs to speak to old friends, and old enemies, from those dark years at Hillside to clear her name before more of her past is unearthed and her new life is destroyed.
Because they are the only ones who know what really happened at Hillside. About the secret that Phillip kept for them all.
Having previously worked in a psychiatric unit, this book immediately appealed. Set in a then and now format we learn about Jenny’s time in Hillside Psychiatric Unit and how this links with the current situation – the murder of Philip Walton, on the brink of retirement, killed while clearing his desk at the unit.
A comprehensive murder mystery and a well developed cast of characters make this novel a strong debut. Lots of potential suspects maintain the suspense and the reuniting of the group of patients harbouring a secret from their time in treatment with Philip Walton was particularly interesting – seeing them now and then when their only common ground was being inpatients in a psychiatric unit together. This was a group of individuals who were struggling their time together on the unit was challenging and not always pleasant reading, of particular note was the vulnerability of the female patients.
This was a fast read, although at times I felt there was a lot going on and a lot of information hidden from the reader. The portrayal of the psychiatric unit was interesting and I wondered about the author’s experience in this setting. That said, for things to go wrong in the way they did when Jenny was there, it needed to be poorly run and this was evident.
For readers who enjoy an intricate mystery and like to follow the clues this is a perfect read. Decent crime fiction, this will also appeal to fans of that genre as well as for anyone looking for a gripping read as the nights draw in.
About the Author
Louise McCreesh is a freelance journalist working in London. She is an alumnus of the Curtis Brown Creative Writing Course, where she was offered a scholarship to continue work on this novel. Cracked is her debut novel.
This is a blog tour, celebrating the publication of Cracked on August 20th. Check out the other bloggers involved and see what they are saying about this book. Thank you to Jenny at Hodder Books for inviting me to be involved in this blog tour and providing me with a finished copy of the book.