A Book by Louise Worthington
This book was a hard sell for me, largely because I am not very into reading about extremely distressing things unless there’s some kind of historic aspect to it. With that in mind, the prologue of this book is rough – like REALLY rough. I see that a lot of other people have the same opinion on it, and to be honest it might be the most impressive thing about this book – the reaction it garnered. it involves a case of a mother murdering her child and killing herself that was done in such vivid detail that it immediately hangs over the book for a while. This is actually why I don’t usually like shows about fictional serial killers, I’ll just say it’s not for me. I eventually picked this up again and made it past that point, and found something fairly akin to many contemporary thriller books involving a psychotherapist who has basically worked herself ragged and seems to come under great stress due to her opinions on the topic of maternal filicide. Doctor Glass has written a paper giving a slightly out of the norm opinion on it, as she feels that women who kill their children are altruistic in some way. She is seemingly appalled by the backlash this has garnered, and eventually starts receiving hate-mail that escalates into far more threatening letters. What follows is a roller-coaster of odd characters and crazy plotlines that don’t really live up to the outrageous initial chapter.
“THE DOCTOR WILL SEE YOU NOW. Psychotherapist Emma-Jane Glass has prioritized work over leisure for far too long. She does whatever it takes to help her clients, and it’s bordering on professional obsession. When she publishes a controversial article about unstable mothers murdering their children, an anonymous letter arrives on her doorstep: “I will expose you. Then, I will mutilate you… Wait for me. “
My main issue with this book is that it starts out on such a HUGE emotional moment, then somewhat gets lost in subplots that don’t really add anything to the story. Colorful characters show up that we get to learn about, and they all rely on some sort of weird hang-up like zoophilic sexual fetishes involving snakes, or obese sexual feeder/feedee relationships. I feel like some of these mental health issues should have been treated more seriously instead of being trotted out like a sideshow that the other characters scoff at and ridicule. The way issues like this are presented made me not like the actual characterization of Dr. Glass at all, and her friends like Lucy the fatphobic “nutritionist” are almost anger-inducing as well.
Overall, I feel like this had a lot of potential that was never really realized. The introduction was such a crazy moment that I figured would come back around at some point, but it’s just kind of there to show an example of a mother killing her child. The book gets lost in side-stories and disjointed POV switches to the point that the second act seems like filler. The overall kidnapping plot was fairly underwhelming, and the resolution of the story seemed weird to me. Then again, I’m not the target audience for this in pretty much any way, and my quibbles on this likely are not representative of other readers that enjoy books like this. It will be interesting to see where Louise Worthington takes the story of Emma-Jane Glass after this, but I likely won’t be reading more of this series. I do appreciate the opportunity to broaden my horizons.
NOTE: I received a free preliminary, and likely unedited copy of this book from Netgalley for the purposes of providing an honest, unbiased review of the material. Thank you to all involved.