4 out of 4 stars
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Fate: The Psychiatrist by John M. Giles is a perfect example of the crime/thriller/mystery/ horror genre. The brief Amazon.com summary of this book adeptly described it as, “a gripping tale of love, hate, and fate.”
The book opens with Jack Fortine recounting how his girlfriend, Kate, announces to him that she is pregnant at a bringing in the new year party. Since he was drunk at the time, he initially had an adverse reaction to finding out that he was going to be a dad. However, once he was sober, he quickly rejoiced at the prospect of starting a family with his girlfriend (whom he now hoped to make his wife). Soon after Jack, had a near death experience at his job as a land surveyor. His boss deemed it necessary that Jack visit a psychiatrist to help him deal with the post-traumatic stress.
When Jack meets Dr. Jerry Jisp Johnson the story quickly takes a grim turn. Whereas the first half of the story is narrated by Jack, most of the second half is narrated by Jerry. Doctor Johnson wants more than just the narrator role in this story. He wants Jack’s family! This psychiatrist is truly a ‘crazy doctor’.
This was definitely an interesting read. Jack was a hilarious narrator. He spoke about solemn topics such as the meaning of life and religious views in a funny but candid manner that made me like him despite not sharing his opinions on these matters. I was upset when Jerry became the narrator because Jerry is not a likable character. There were obvious reasons why Jerry was made the new protagonist (reasons I believe that I should not disclose to avoid giving away any spoilers). Jerry continued the storyline. The author effectively used Jerry as a narrator to make me emotionally invested in this book. I was desperate to reach the end and find out Jerry’s fate!
Giles did a great job writing this book. All the characters in this story were well developed. The novel was appropriately paced. There were a couple of sex scenes but they were not explicitly described. Also, the dialogue was meaningful and realistic. There were a couple of grammatical errors that could have been easily spotted with an extra proofreading, but they were not significant enough to distract me from the story. The only real issue I had with the book was that I was saddened by the way some of the main characters ended up at the end of the book. It was a really upsetting ending that those who are fond of fairy tale endings will not enjoy.
In conclusion, I rate this novel 4 out of 4 stars. I wanted to give it 3 stars because I did not like the ending but I must acknowledge that a book that is able to stimulate such a strong emotional response from me is well-written. It would be remiss of me not to warn prospective readers that there are several scenes depicting extreme violence.
Fate: the Psychiatrist
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