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.