4 stars out of 5
Three emotionally damaged characters: A female serial killer, a psychiatrist, and a detective, all driven to some extent by past personal trauma. The latter two want to catch the former; the psychiatrist in the hope of getting a new book out of it, and the other because he's convinced that she's having way too much fun to stop on her own.
But first, they have to find her. From the start, readers know that Sarah Silver is on the surface a highly successful U.K. hedge fund manager in who plies a very different trade in her spare time: hunting men and killing them. But she's no fool; she's changed her identity, her looks and her license plates so often that no one has a clue who she really is and certainly not what she does in her time off.
The psychiatrist, Karl Gross, has written best-selling books on serial killers. Whether it stems from jealousy or a perceived lack of professional ethics, though, he's far from the most popular brick in the medical chimney. The detective, Martin White, is watching his career and personal life go down the tubes (easing it along by guzzling alcohol and smoking pot), largely because he can't come to grips with things that happened to him in the past.
Somehow they all come together, crossing paths in ways that force them to deal with emotions they'd rather not acknowledge. They don't start out happy, nor do they end that way. But the in-between twists and turns of their "relationships" make for one heck of a good story.
Frequent scene shifts keep readers aware of what's happening from each of the character's perspectives - sometimes an effective technique but, at least in the early chapters of this book, seemed a little disjointed to me. I'm also not fond of fiction written in the present tense, but that's just a personal preference.
The ending probably won't satisfy everyone (and some of the gory details aren't for the really squeamish). No problem on my end on either score, though - I found this to be a very engrossing debut novel. I thank the author and publisher, via NetGalley, for giving me the opportunity to read it in exchange for an honest review.
PsychoAnalysis by V.R. Stone (Silverwhite Press, October 2016); 312 pp.