Dr. Gregory is starting to feel settled, hopeful that a long period of upheaval in his private life is behind him. He refocuses his energy on his clinical psychology practice, where a beguiling new patient captivates him, but the interlude of calm doesn’t last. Devastating fires are threatening Boulder. Alan’s dear friend Diane is showing signs of a long-simmering emotional collapse. And Alan’s most pressing fear - the exposure of a dangerous secret - has become a peril too real to ignore.
A new witness has surfaced, causing the police to reopen their investigation into the suicide of a woman named Justine Winter Brown. When Alan and his equally culpable friend, Sam Purdy, inadvertently disclose their involvement in her death to a stranger, any confidence they feel about riding out a renewed investigation evaporates. The trail that leads to Alan and Sam, once cold, has turned white-hot.
With his vulnerability mounting daily, Alan suspects that his mesmerizing new patient may be the catalyst that could cause everything he treasures - his marriage, his family, his friendships, and his future - to implode. As flames lick at the city, the story hurtles toward a shocking conclusion that leaves the stage set for a jaw-dropping last act - the upcoming final book in the two-decades-long Alan Gregory saga.
©2012 Stephen White (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Dick Hill does a great Sam and Alan and even women. He's one of my favorite readers.
Stephen White gripped my attention from start to finish. He knows people and weaves amazing story lines until they collide! I want more Alan Gregory!
Never have I come so close to quitting any book -- and yet not doing it. Had this been any other author, I surely would have ditched it about a third of the way in. But Stephen White has written the best of the best crime fiction books around. I figured he deserved my attention through the whole of this last one in the series.
What's the problem? Sheer implausibility, utter nonsense, in fact, when it comes to what the characters we've come to know and love -- Dr. Alan, Sam Purdy, Lauren and most certainly Diane and Raul -- will do. Never, ever, would any of these people do the things we are supposed to believe they did, in this book. Feh.
Then too, there's a seriously disjointed plot. We actually know nothing at all about the crime that forms the motivation for everything else in this book -- I actually backtracked a whole hour at the beginning, thinking I must have missed something. I didn't. It's not there. Even now, I have no idea about what actually happened during that initial, underlying, event. I guess we're just supposed to accept the tidbits that are tossed our way, all the way through. Bad plotting. Really bad plotting.
But here's what I've realized. Stephen White has written that his books are actually parables or metaphors. When I first read that, I didn't understand what he meant -- where's the parable? But now I understand. So much of the plot of this book, and the predecessor, "Kill Me" deal with mercy killing, putting someone out of their misery when the time comes.
And now I get the metaphor: Knowing that this is the last book in the series, White has put all his characters out of their misery. Which makes it easier for us to accept, I guess. By writing a really ridiculous book at the end, we won't go on longing for more. .
If you loved the Alan Gregory books, do yourself and favor and skip this one. Remember them as they were: the best of the best.
I have been a fan of Stephen White's series for years. Very disappointed at how poorly the narrator's voice works for the Dr. Gregory character. He sounds just right for the older, jaundiced cop sidekick, but not for the fit, youthful, vigorous Alan.
Younger sounding narrator.
I will continue to follow Stephen White. He is a super story teller and always has done enough research in whatever related topic (in this case, suicide) the story brings in so that you really learn something besides being entertained.
Really really wish they would find a narrator that fits the Alan Gregory character. This guy doesn't deliver as a young, vigorous, intelligent Doc.
True to the characters I have come to know
Some of the other Alan Gregory books
Realizing what Sam & Alan did to protect their children
Wish this series was not coming to an end
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