Category Archives: The Patient

Review: The Patient by Jane Shemilt

Title: The Patient by Jane Shemilt
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary, Domestic Mystery, Suspense
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


A shocking and twisty novel of psychological suspense about a boundary-breaking love affair between a doctor and her patient, by Jane Shemilt, Edgar-nominated, #1 international bestselling author of The Daughter.

What price would you pay for falling in love?

Rachel is a respected doctor who lives in a picturesque and affluent English village where her husband Nathan teaches at an elite private school. Competent, unflappable, and nearing 50, Rachel has everything in her life firmly in her control, even if some of its early luster has worn off. But one day a new patient arrives at her practice for emergency treatment. Luc is a French painter married to a wealthy American woman who’s just bought and restored a historic home on the edge of Rachel’s posh neighborhood. The couple has only recently arrived, but Luc is struggling with a mental disorder, and so he goes to the nearest clinic…to Rachel.

Their attraction is instant, and as Rachel’s sense of ethics wars with newly awakened passion, the affair blinds her to everything else happening around her. A longtime patient appears to be following her every movement, turning up unexpectedly wherever she goes. Her somewhat estranged adult daughter Lizzie is hiding a secret—or at least, hiding it from Rachel. Nathan has grown sour and cold as well—or is that merely Rachel’s guilty conscience weighing on her? But when one of her colleagues winds up murdered and Luc is arrested for the crime, everything Rachel didn’t know about her life explodes into the open—along with her affair with her patient—a disgrace and scandal that will have consequences no one could have predicted.


The Patient by Jane Shemilt is a riveting domestic mystery.

Local GP Rachel Goodchild is mostly content with her life until her path crosses with new patient Luc Lefevre. The cracks in her marriage become more obvious as she realizes how attracted she is to Luc, who is also married with a stepson. Rachel has always felt safe in her town but she cannot shake the feeling that someone is watching and following her. She becomes more fearful after she and Luc embark on a whirlwind affair and people close to her are murdered. With suspicion falling to Luc, can Rachel trust her instincts about the man she has fallen in love with?

The storyline weaves back in forth in time over the course of several months. From her sizzling first meeting with depressed Luc to their passionate affair, Rachel gradually emerges from her colorless life. As she faces increasingly hostile questions after Luc’s arrest, her mistaken suppositions become clear in hindsight. With this new self-awareness, can Rachel now trust her judgment as she learns new information?

The Patient is a clever mystery that is quite atmospheric. The characters are well-drawn but not all of them are likable. Rachel is a bit of an unreliable narrator as she begins questioning certain events. The storyline is engaging and the tension builds with every chapter. With one shocking plot twist after another, Jane Shemilt brings this suspense-laden domestic mystery to an unanticipated conclusion.

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Filed under Contemporary, Domestic Mystery, Jane Shemilt, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Suspense, The Patient, William Morrow Paperbacks

Review: The Patient by Jasper DeWitt

Title: The Patient by Jasper DeWitt
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense, Horror, Supernatural Elements
Length: 224 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


The Silent Patient by way of Stephen King: Parker, a young, overconfident psychiatrist new to his job at a mental asylum, miscalculates catastrophically when he undertakes curing a mysterious and profoundly dangerous patient.

In a series of online posts, Parker H., a young psychiatrist, chronicles the harrowing account of his time working at a dreary mental hospital in New England. Through this internet message board, Parker hopes to communicate with the world his effort to cure one bewildering patient.

We learn, as Parker did on his first day at the hospital, of the facility’s most difficult, profoundly dangerous case—a forty-year-old man who was originally admitted to the hospital at age six. This patient has no known diagnosis. His symptoms seem to evolve over time. Every person who has attempted to treat him has been driven to madness or suicide.

Desperate and fearful, the hospital’s directors keep him strictly confined and allow minimal contact with staff for their own safety, convinced that releasing him would unleash catastrophe on the outside world. Parker, brilliant and overconfident, takes it upon himself to discover what ails this mystery patient and finally cure him. But from his first encounter with the mystery patient, things spiral out of control, and, facing a possibility beyond his wildest imaginings, Parker is forced to question everything he thought he knew.

Fans of Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes and Paul Tremblay’s The Cabin at the End of the World will be riveted by Jasper DeWitt’s astonishing debut.


The Patient by Jasper DeWitt is a chilling debut.

In 2008, psychiatrist Parker H. is compelled to blog about his experiences with a patient at the Connecticut State Asylum (CSA).  Joe has been at the CSA since the early 70s when his parents brought him for treatment for his night terrors. Not only was no one able to help Joe, but he is also deemed to be a danger to the staff and other patients.  Newly hired, Parker H. is intrigued by Joe and convinces his bosses to allow him to treat him. Despite their numerous warnings and Joe’s history, will Parker end up like many of his predecessors?

Written in blog format, Parker H. describes what happens with Joe after he begins treating him. He is ill-prepared and over confident and his reaction to his new patient reflects this. Joe is seemingly affable and co-operative so Parker becomes even reckless over the few days of their encounters.  Is it possible this fresh from school psychiatrist can diagnose Joe when seasoned doctors cannot? And will anyone believe him when he discovers what is wrong with Joe?

The Patient is a fast-paced novel with supernatural elements.  Parker is a well-developed character but secondary characters are not very well fleshed out. The storyline is quite creative and intriguing. With spine-tingling twists,  Jasper DeWitt brings this suspenseful novel that an unexpected conclusion.  A clever debut that I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend.

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Filed under Contemporary, Horror, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Jasper DeWitt, Rated B, Review, Supernatural Elements, Suspense, The Patient