Review #15: Murder-Suicide by Keith Ablow

A renowned Boston inventor, John Snow, is shot with his own gun outside of MGH Hospital on his way to a revolutionary surgery that is hoped to cure his epilepsy forever. Frank Clevenger, the notorious forensic psychiatrist, is called in to determine whether this was murder or suicide. He is quickly pulled into the case as he interviews his family members, coworkers, and the narcissistic, manic surgeon who was expected to save Snow’s life. The plot gets more complicated when Snow’s mistress is brought into the situation.

This is a straightforward murder-mystery, with some old-fashioned investigating going on. The mystery unravels at a brisk pace, yet never feels overly bogged down with red herrings. The FBI steps in for a bit to complicate matters, but nothing much really comes of this. Clevenger also deals with his son Billy and his on-and-off romance with Whitney McCormick. The ending is a bit Hollywood movie, but is interesting enough.

Not much more to say about this book. I enjoyed it, even though I think it was ultimately forgettable. A good travel book that you wouldn’t be concerned about packing in your luggage to come home if you bought too many touristy knick-knacks. I am becoming more aware (after reading Psychopath) of Ablow’s psychodynamic/Freudian perspective, and it’s been interesting to read about it even though it clashes with my own professional orientation. I don’t quite get the Thomas Harris comparisons cited in the reviews, but to each their own I guess.

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