on 17 June 2012
This is a ripping read. I quickly became captivated, and leaving the book down was a struggle. It's the epitome of a 'page turner'. The hero, Sam Carpenter, is engaging, believable, and very very brave. He's a junior reporter on a local newspaper, who agrees to pretend he's nutty in order to get into a mental institution and check out a suspicious death. He falls foul of the scary Dr Straughan, however, and is sectioned! My heart almost stopped when I read that. Oh my God. Has his editor really left a letter to say he's not mad but on an assignment? Will he be the next victim? You'll have to read it to find out!
on 13 January 2013
The premise of the story, that a reporter investigating a death at a psychiatric hospital could get himself admitted as a patient seems implausible, but Margaret Carlton provides a link to an article in the journal Science which describes how several pseudo-patients were admitted to American hospitals in 1973, and after that nothing seems impossible. Of course, this isn't to deny that mental ill-health exists. The story describes how Sam Carpenter, the young reporter, infiltrates the hospital at which a patient has died in comes to seem suspicious circumstances. My overwhelming thought was how brave and foolhardy Sam was: patients in such hospitals are given drugs, and some of these drugs have nasty side effects, worth putting up with for a real patient with real problems, but not something a sane person would welcome. And one's worst fears are realised: Sam is sectioned, confined involuntarily, under the 1983 Mental Health Act. From there on things go downhill at an alarming pace. I won't spoil the story by relating what happens. The other characters are interesting, the settings well-evoked, and Margaret Carlton keeps your interest right to the very last page.
on 31 October 2012
The potential for an entertaining read based on activities inside a psychiatric hospital might seem limited, but this novel achieves just that with a page turning story that builds to a worthy climax. The characters are well developed and the plot is plausible, disturbing and well told. Worth a read.
on 16 January 2014
Given that murder mysteries are the kind of books I seek out, I was surprised that on trying the taster, I was so quickly hooked.
Margaret Carlton has a keen writer's eye and clearly has researched her subject meticulously. In this tale of murder and intrigue set in a British psychiatric hospital she has also created characters you really care about and I found myself wanting to rush back at inappropriate moments to read more.
This is a believable, fast-paced, thrilling read. A kind of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest meets British stiff upper lip.
My only complaint is to ask why amazon are selling it for only 77p. It is worth so much more.
on 17 September 2012
And more... This book is a well written, moves along at a good pace, is a gripping thriller & an excellent read. It is not often that I find a book where once put down it is literally picked back up again a few seconds later... Yes it really is that good... & held my interest right to the end. In my opinion this book completely deserves all five stars & is worth every penny, an excellent buy... so if you're tempted & decide to download... you've a cracking good read just waiting to be read.