Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Guest Review: Bedlam by LJ Ross

In a world gone mad, who can you trust?
Fresh from a high-profile case in the Paris fashion world, elite forensic psychologist and criminal profiler Dr Alexander Gregory receives a call from the FBI. The wife of a notorious criminal has been admitted to a private psychiatric hospital and can no longer testify in his upcoming trial. Without her, their case will collapse but, amidst reports that the staff are as unpredictable as their patients, who can the police trust?
In desperation, they turn to an outsider and now Gregory must find the courage to step inside the fortified walls of Buchanan Hospital to uncover the truth. The question is, will he ever be the same again?
Murder and mystery are peppered with dark humour in this fast-paced thriller set amidst the spectacular Catskill Forest.



Review: This is the third novel from LJ Ross featuring the forensic psychologist Dr Alexander Gregory. I have recently read all three of the books in this series of thrillers and have been enjoying getting to know this character, his history and motivation for following this career. In common with the other two books, this one can be read as a standalone.

This story finds Alex and his good friend and mentor Professor Bill Douglas in the USA, initially attending a criminal profiling conference at the FBI training base in Virginia. At the request of the FBI, they soon become involved in a case relating to a local mafia family. A member of the family due to testify against them has disappeared, seemingly into a private psychiatric hospital. Against his better judgment, Alex agrees to a plan involving his going undercover and being admitted to the highly fortified and remote hospital to establish the whereabouts and state of mind of the witness. The problem is, once in can he get out again?

I have enjoyed this fast paced thriller more than the previous two books in the series; it certainly had me on the edge of my seat wondering about the outcome and the fate of the two central characters. The tension had me finishing the book in quick time. There is a little light relief in the shape of remarks from some of the fellow patients in the hospital. As I said at the start, these books can be read as standalones, but I would recommend reading them in order to fully understand what is going on in Alex Gregory’s mind. The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, where we are left to wonder what will happen in his career. I shall be looking out for the next book in the series to find out.


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