This book was second-hand and I liked the look of the first few pages. It was printed in the year 2000 and this is the first Peter James novel I’ve read. It’s a good introduction to a writer who can bring vivid characters to life.
A troubled husband
Faith is married to a successful doctor, has a comfortable life with their son and a full diary from her voluntary work with the church and other local good causes. On the surface you would think everything was hunky-dory, but things begin to unravel as Faith starts to keep secrets from her husband Ross Ransome, whose increasing ill tempers and aggression in the bedroom, are beginning to drive her away.
Her refuge is a private doctor across town, a practitioner of alternative medicine, Oliver. It’s clear that Oliver is attracted to Faith, and while she tries to maintain the patient-doctor relationship, she is drawn into having meals with Oliver under the guise of ‘alternative talking treatment’ for her physical and mental symptoms, most likely the result of stress within her marriage.
Cat and mouse
What results is a cat and mouse game between Faith and her jealous husband who hires a private detective to spy on her, and begins to convince her to take medications that he prescribes. This results in her acting irrationally and emotionally with their friends, as the scheming, jealous husband Ross Ransome, plans to gain full custody of their son.
Faith carries on seeing her doctor friend, and they become lovers, but things become darker as Oliver is linked to a murder in the town.
This book is a gripping page turner and I couldn’t put it down, or look away. You know how when you see something terrible happening in a bad dream and you want to shout no! Don’t do it! But it comes out in slow motion like ‘Noooooooo, dooooooonn dooooooo iiiiiiiiiissssss noooooooooo goooooooooood. Run away! Run away! Something compelled me to read this book, even though it sent anxiety to my very core.
Faith is the central character and you see these two jealous men, with the self-confidence of educated and well-to-do London GPs, treat Faith as their possession to medicate as they see fit but clearly not with her best interests at heart, as it becomes more like a battle between their egos.
Who will survive?
It is clear that Faith has only one concern throughout her entire ordeal, her son. She is drugged, sectioned, her reputation and health are in tatters, but she finds a way through, a reason to live, to protect her child, an innocent in the entire affair. When everything is at it’s darkest and most stormy, her only instinct is to protect her child, admirable in the face of adversity.
If you are looking for a thrilling page turner with a moral message, I recommend this book and I’m certainly going to try and read more second-hand books.