Dr. Eric Parrish is Chief of the psychiatric unit at a top rated hospital outside Philadelphia. His wife has filed for divorce and he is trying to remain the caring and involved dad he’s always been to their seven year old daughter. He is called to consult on a patient, an elderly woman dying of cancer, but quickly realizes it’s her caretaker, her 17 year-old grandson Max, who really needs the consult.
Max is suffering from a severe case of OCD, complete with rituals every fifteen minutes, plus depression issues exacerbated by his alcoholic mother and terminally ill grandmother. Max agrees to treatment, and a few sessions in he loses his grandmother and admits to having fantasies of killing a young woman – who ends up dead. Then he disappears.
Eric is extremely empathetic, an excellent quality in a psychiatrist, but becomes way too involved in searching for his missing patient and putting himself in harm’s way. By invoking doctor-patient privilege, he incurs the wrath of the police department and becomes a person of interest himself, getting suspended from his job and giving his wife ammunition in the child custody battle.
Occasional chapters from the killer’s viewpoint seem to lead the reader towards an obvious conclusion, but Scottoline has plenty of tricks up her sleeve, making this story twist and turn with one surprise after another. Every Fifteen Minutes is a standalone departure from her usual, should please her readers but also earn her some new fans.
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4/15 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
EVERY FIFTEEN MINUTES by Lisa Scottoline. St. Martin’s Press (April 14, 2015). ISBN 978-1250010117. 448p.