Whilst in my local library the other day, I saw this on the shelves and was suitably intrigued. Taking it home, I devoured it within a matter of days and found it a highly competent and cleverly conceived thriller if a tad predictable in places.
A high profile Psychiatrist faces personal tragedy when his young daughter becomes constantly and seriously ill and unresponsive to any treatment. At his wits end, he takes her to an allergy specialist and it is there that she is abducted leaving her father to never see her again.
Years pass and, with his marriage falling apart, the father retreats to an island in the North Sea in a bid to find some closure and put the past finally behind him. And it is into this life that Anna Glass enters, possibly holding some answers as to what happened to his daughter...
Anna is a writer and a schizophrenic whose symptoms are unique. Anna believes she sees and can communicate with the characters she creates and one of her latest creations is a little girl, several years younger than the psychiatrist's daughter. Slowly as he reluctantly offers her therapy, the pair are stuck on the island for the duration of a bitter winter storm, coincidences seem to appear between Anna's story and the real facts behind what happened to his daughter. Could Anna be connected to what happened all those years ago or is the psychiatrist simply projecting his own paranoia into their impromptu therapy sessions? One thing is certain. The truth will out and it will not be an easy reckoning...
Therapy is an uneasy thriller that attempts to muddy the waters for the reader from the outset with lots of red herrings and misinterpreted clues that may or not reveal answers to the bigger mystery. Reading it is, at times, like trying to complete a jigsaw with no box and only the faintest of ideas of what picture you are trying to make. Those who have seen the John Cusak film, Identity, may guess where this is going long before the end but just because the plot is a tad predictable that doesn't mean it is any less enjoyable and, though you may guess some of what is happening, the end climax still holds more than a few surprises!
Overall, this is not brilliant but it is in no way a poor attempt either. It is much better than just another shoddy scrambled together thriller of the kind that seems to incessantly infest the supermarket shelves of late and this book outsold The Da Vinci Code in its native Germany. There are times too, where it is easy to forget that this is a translated novel not in its original language and is certainly one of the better foreign novels I have read.
It is just a shame then that some of the ideas used are far from original but there is little doubt I would not think twice about picking up one of this author's books again! It's definitely worth a read and not particularly taxing either so it won't take long to get through. Half-heartedly recommended!