From Publishers Weekly
Roughan (The Up and Comer) delivers a classic frame-up story, cleverly embellished and stocked with well-drawn albeit familiar genre characters (the sharply observant narrator, the black widow seductress, the bad cop and the less-bad cop) in his second slick page-turner. Narrator David Remler is a successful New York psychologist and the author of a book that explains how upstanding citizens can sometimes commit unspeakable crimes. He inadvertently launched his book onto the bestseller lists when he gave expert testimony in the trial of a rabbi accused of murdering his mistress; jurors cited his testimony as crucial to their decision to convict. Otherwise, we're told, they never would have imagined that a man of the cloth could do anything so horrible (perhaps this was written before the news broke about the recent scandal in the Roman Catholic Church). Still, the setup is clear and the plot full of satisfying poetic justice. Remler, a fine, sympathetic, kind and educated man who has profited from showing the world that anyone is capable of performing terrible deeds at any time, soon finds himself on the point of his own sword. He's accused of murder. His alibi stinks. A sticky web of circumstantial evidence ensnares him, and we watch as Remler's lawyers try to cut him loose. The novel is smoothly written, briskly paced and nicely constructed, with surprises that are genuinely startling.
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David Remler, a successful and talented psychologist, takes on a new patient. Samantha Kent is the beautiful, troubled wife of a Wall Street businessman; she is afraid of him and sometimes even feels like she wants to kill him. Then, early one morning, Remler gets a distressed phone call that leads him to three rather unsettling discoveries. One, Sam Kent's husband is dead: murdered. Two, the woman he knew as Sam Kent is not the murdered man's wife. And three, Remler is being framed for murder. Roughan's second novel (after The Up and Comer
, 2001) is compulsively readable: sharply drawn characters, dialogue that seems effortlessly realistic, and a solid, suspenseful story. The author doesn't write with any special flair, but that's OK: this story doesn't need any. A smart, thoroughly engaging thriller. David PittCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved