This second book in the Dr David Galbraith series is told from the point of view of his wife Cynthia, three years after the last book ends. Cynthia has been convicted of murder and is incarcerated. As part of her psychological therapy she is asked to write a journal by her psychologist and thus we have Cynthia’s story told retrospectively, as she writes in her journal interspersed with her life in prison as is her present.
The book provides much background about the girl Cynthia was prior to meeting Galbraith and in the true spirit of a psychological thriller shows us the how and whys that arose in the first book in relation to Cynthia. Undoubtedly a lot of what she experiences is difficult reading as she is methodically conditioned by a manipulative abuser who uses her for his own means.
The way in which Cynthia’s story is told is quite remarkable, I was totally drawn into the narrative from the start and not for a moment did I feel the integrity of her narrative slip from that of a much abused and tortured character. The depth of the psychology explored in this novel us quite exemplary and made this book a very good read. would go as far to say that this second volume in the series far surpasses the first.
There were a few minor mistakes and issues which prevented me from giving the book five stars, which is a shame as the psychological aspect and the character of Cynthia was so well portrayed, so I couldn’t overlook these details: we are initially told Cynthia took ten GCSEs but if she was born in 1966, she would have taken O-levels at sixteen, which is later correctly addressed. Even in the mid-eighties doctors, including moronic GPs, would have to see the patient, not a relative to discuss individual healthcare. When a Consultant Paediatrician discusses treatment to prevent withdrawal, from what I can only surmise is diazepam she refers to it as a tranquilizer rather than a benzodiazepine, which isn’t likely nomenclature for the drug at that level and once we are told the treatment will be given intravenously, for some reason, we aren’t told why, a nasogastric tube is inserted through which obviously intravenous therapy cannot be given. The doctor emphatically states that Cynthia and the baby must remain in hospital for four weeks and they arrive home eighteen days after the birth. Small things I’m sure but they did bug me during an otherwise good read.
It would definitely be better to read the first book in the series to get a much better idea of Galbraith and thus enhance your experience of reading this second book, which wouldn’t work well as a stand alone. This book is available to read for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.