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"The Enemy We Know is an intriguing, funny, and moving story peopled with characters you will remember long after the last page. If Letty lived in my neighborhood I'd buy her a virgin margarita and talk about all the people we know who are just as odd as we are."
-Lois Greiman, award winning author of Unzipped
From the Author
I'm apsychotherapist/office manager/writer, not always in that order. Some folkswonder why a therapist would gravitate toward writing mysteries. It's thepeople thing. Both of my passions deal with relationships and exploringthe past to gain a deeper understanding--and, perhaps, better control of--thepresent. My favorite quote is by Oscar Wilde: "The final mystery isoneself." It seems to cover facets of both my careers.
After helping a client with an abusive boyfriend, Psychotherapist Letty Whitaker finds herself the target of his insane, alcohol fueled rage. Dead rats, mutilated dolls and dark Shakespearian poetry are just a few of the "presents" Letty is subjected to.
I love any book that starts right off with exciting action. And this one certainly delivered. To put it simply: This author had me at hello. Because it was written in the first person, you find yourself becoming a silent partner to Letty. You only know what she knows and when she knows it. You have to figure out the who and why right along with her. This puts you right in the story and I loved being there.
Anytime you have a story where a woman is in jeopardy, you run the risk of finding a very formulaic plot, where you know the culprit by the third chapter. Not in this author's skillful hands. I no sooner felt I had a handle on it, when I would find I was wrong. There was no dearth of suspects and I considered, discarded, reconsidered over and over again. This made it such a fun read and I stayed up all night doing just that.
I also grew to really like Letty as a person. Although what was happening was very serious, I would find myself laughing out loud at something she said, either out loud, or to herself. This woman is funny. She had certain strengths and also flaws, just like all of us. That made her human to me and not like some cardboard character that you often find in this genre of fiction. It was easy to resonate with her and before I was halfway through the book, I knew I would be buying more Letty Whitaker 12 step books. I want to know more about her.
I wasn't sure what to expect of a book with the background being psychotherapy as well as AA as I am not familiar with either. Well, I grew to love the meetings and finding yet another suspect or two to add to my every growing pile of them. I loved Letty and her observances of people, sometimes deeply insightful and sometimes laugh out loud funny.
Ms. Glaser is a very gifted writer and her style is so enjoyable that you really don't want to put this book down. The ending didn't disappoint and I was guessing right up until the final chapter was done. Many surprises in this book and I can't wait for the next one to come out.
And best of all. I not only walked away with a good read, but also with a new obsession: Portishead. Read the book to find out what I mean.
The Enemy We Know is an engrossing mystery/suspense novel. Seamlessly racheting up from one crisis to another, it makes even the requisite mis-steps by the female-victim-protagonist believable. The characters are unique,well developed, and stay true to their personalities throughout the book. The story is enriched by the realistically detailed and believable worlds Letty inhabits: anyone struggling with addiction issues of any kind can relate to her experiences and reactions to AA philosophy, requirements, and support; and the emotional toll of her workplace is well invoked by the different ways her co-workers react to it. Add a dose of Shakespeare's rather gruesome sonnets, and you have an enticing brew. All this is handled with humor and finesse by the plucky main character, but her suspicions erode her ability to trust and challenge her relationships right through to the surprising ending. I look forward to seeing what else is in store for Letty Whitaker.
I tried, honestly I tried to get through this book... even tried skipping paragraphs (at first) then whole chapters. Guess what? No matter how much you skip, when you return to the story you find you haven't missed anything. Nothing at all! It's like a bad soap opera. Sure, events happen in the story but the heroines response is always the same 'there's nothing I can do about it so I'm not going to try' or 'the police wont do anything so I'm not even going to tell them.' Ugggg...this book is just unbearable. The heroine "Letty" is as boring and uninspired as her name implies. Following her in her constant state of denial--and refusal to be proactive in any part of her life is just depressing. I kept hoping she would take some real action, do anything but play the role of victim but she doesn't. I kept wanting to say, "do something Letty--anything at all, just take charge and do something" but no, we are just left to wait until something more happens to poor perpetual victim Letty. Thankfully the book was free, unfortunately the last couple hours spent trying to get through this book are hours out of my life I'm never getting back.
I only made it to page 37. I usually try for 50 pages before I make a decision. This was billed as a cozy mystery with a dash of humor. No way! I don't need to read about a self-centered recovering alcoholic, her childish behavior, "relationship" issues. Don't waste your valuable time on this one.
I can't find fault with Ms. Glaser's writing-it was competent. The characters were interesting. My problem was Letty.
And, by extension, Marshall.
While I appreciate what the author did by creating Letty's character and infusing her with the traits she did, I felt she wasn't defined enough. We knew about her past, we learned about her current battles, but I didn't feel like I knew her. I also felt, many times, she was TSTL.
I never got the sense of how old she was, or of how long she'd been working as a therapist, but boy, am I glad she's not my therapist. She handled the situation with Wayne/Randy so inappropriately, so unprofessionally, that it was cringe-worthy at times.
And Marshall, the next possible hero, yea, no. Pathetic.
I realize Ms. Glaser purposefully created her characters this way. I really liked, and felt as if I knew, Lisa, of all people.
Overall, not terrible, figured out the ending, but I'm not the right audience for this book.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book! Even with authors whose work I've read a good deal of, I can sometimes figure out the "who" well before the characters do but in this case, I was kept guessing right along with Letty. Easily kept me on the edge of my seat. Didn't want to put it down, even to sleep. :)
Add to that interesting, even quirky supporting characters, and this was an altogether enjoyable read. Highly recommended!