I received The Blind and The Misfortune of Marion Palm as ARCs from the publishers in return for a fair review.
The Blind is a psychological character study. Sam is a psychologist with years of experience and an enviable professional reputation. Her personal life, on the other hand, is a train wreck of drink and abusive relationships with men. A new mysterious patient enters her rotation at the institution at the same time that her own psychiatric staff review is performed and this collision of events has results that will change Sam’s life…except…really?!?
First, how does Sam not understand legal committal procedures? How is she able to show up at work as a psychologist in an institution drunk, hungover, with blood in her hair from fights and you know, not even get a letter in her file? Is no one concerned about their insurance premiums, because she sounded like a lawsuit waiting to happen to me. How has her one co-worker “known” her DSM diagnosis all along and no one else has noticed? And why has he compromised patient safety and the facility by not reporting her behaviors? He should lose his license and so should she. Finally, who is paying for all these people to stay in this lovely mental health facility? Particularly the mystery patient, who just left prison after a twenty year stint and has no family money behind him? These places do not come cheap. I can suspend disbelief for fiction to a certain extent, but this expected too much. Add to that the fact that the great reveal was pretty obvious early on and the main character (and many others) were thoroughly unlikable, I would not recommend it. Themes of alcoholism, mental illness, redemption and forgiveness.
The Misfortune of Marion Palm is another book with thoroughly unlikable characters, Marion, her husband, and even the kids. This was supposed to be humorous or at least, it was marketed as a “funny”, “darkly comedic” read. I just didn’t see it. A story about people who don’t love or care about anyone centered around the embezzlement of what is really a rather small amount of money. Not recommended.
The Silence by Alison Bruce is the 4th in the DC Gary Goodhew series. I have only read the first one and this one so far. The novel begins with the stabbing of Joey in a pub parking lot. Joey had been a local lad who had perhaps made a bit more of himself than most but still visited his local. It soon becomes clear that this was not a simple robbery or a case of jealously. More deaths occur and DC Goodhew has to reach back into the past to find a connection between them all. A well done police procedural, nicely developed plot with ample characters and victims to keep the reader guessing!
I think I would like the Silence but may pass on the other two. Good reviews.