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Privileged Information Hardcover – July 24, 1991

3.9 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews
Book 1 of 19 in the Alan Gregory Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The manipulations of a psychotic killer test the limits of the therapeutic relationship in this suspenseful first novel by a clinical psychologist. The unexpected suicide of Karen Hart, followed by the violent deaths of two more women patients, brings accusations of sexual misconduct and a lawsuit against Boulder, Colo., therapist Alan Gregory. Although the sinister role of a patient is suggested during a session, it is privileged information Gregory cannot reveal without violating the rules of confidentiality. While seeking aid from colleagues, his lawyer and a female deputy DA whom he romances, Gregory remains convinced that he cannot break the confidentiality code, not even in the face of murder. Forced into sleuthing on his own, he utilizes his training to identify the killer. Despite some overkill on specifics of street routes and Southwest cuisine, White's skill in conveying the laid-back Colorado lifestyle which permeates the novel allows periodic ambushes by moments of real terror. Gregory's automatic, instantaneous character analyses, however, may lead readers to agree with Gregory's therapist partner: "You're lucky you're talking to another shrink. I'm not sure anybody else would let you get away with saying something like that." 35,000 first printing; major ad/promo; BOMC and Mysterious Book Club selections.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-- A psychological thriller that poses an ethical dilemma. According to police reports, one of psychologist Alan Gregory's patients has committed suicide. A few weeks later the local paper prints information from an anonymous source alleging that sexual misconduct occurred in the deceased's therapy sessions. Gregory's patients cancel appointments, unexplained terrorism randomly occurs, and two more of his female patients die--one in a car accident and another from strangulation. Because of ``privileged information,'' Gregory feels he cannot divulge information about these women, and thus clear his reputation. He begins his own quest to unravel the mystery that is destroying him. It doesn't take long to zero in on the probable suspect. The real question is how these deaths and acts of terror are related and why Gregory is the target. --Margie Jones, Herndon Int., Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 363 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult (July 24, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670837652
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670837656
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 20 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #736,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By P. Connors on March 14, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is Stephen White's first Alan Gregory novel but for me, it was not the first one I read. I suppose you could say that unfortunately for me, it came after having read REMOTE CONTROL, HIGHER AUTHORITY AND PRIVATE PRACTICES. As I write this I am working on HARM's WAY. Let me just say that I have enjoyed all of these books and my main regret is that I did not read them in the order in which Mr. White wrote them. I think that if I had, I would have enjoyed them more.
Reading Privileged Information so out of sequence was somewhat unnerving because I already knew so much about Alan Gregory, Lauren Crowder and Sam Purdy so I did not get to enjoy meeting them for the first time in this book. However, that is a minor issue.
In this first book of the series, Alan Gregory, a Boulder, CO psychologist suspects one of his patients of murder and is almost ruined professionally (and financially) by the death of another, who implicates him in a sordid affair. This patient, who killed herself, had previously fixated on Alan Gregory but his problems are only beginning there.
In the year previously, Alan's wife left him, a patient died in a car wreck and his dog was hit by a car. He gets involved with Lauren Crowder and one of his patients actually follows them on their vacation to New Mexico.
Flash back to the present and Alan has to deal with the fact that he could be a murder suspect and faces a possible lawsuit from the dead girl's parents. He also wonders if he will lose his professional license. As I read all of this I found myself asking, "what did this poor guy ever do to deserve this...?"
I think this is an excellent starter in this series, especially for someone who has NEVER read any of the other books written by Mr. White since.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read all of Stephen White's novels and enjoyed them immensely. However, I have to agree with a couple of the other reviewers that reading them in order is best. I failed to do so and one day when I have forgotten the details I will read his whole series from beginning to end. They are that good. In Priviledged Information we are introduced to Alan Gregory who is a very interesting character. This book is a real thriller and very suspenseful. I could not put it down like all of White's books. I find his books every bit as good as Jonathan Kellerman's. Perhaps more so as his relationships with others are explored more deeply than Alex Delaware's.
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Format: Hardcover
Stephen White is a psychologist from Denver, Colorado. This is his first novel, published in 1991. He specializes in murder mystery thrillers with significant psychological overtones. He actually got this book picked up by a major publishing house (Viking Penguin) on his own without an agent which is a major feat. Soon thereafter he was picked up by an agent. As of 2002, he has written 10 novels, several of which have been on the New York Times bestseller list.
The recurring protagonist is a Boulder, Colorado psychologist, Alan Gregory, & there are recurring characters such as Alan's fiancee (later wife) Lauren, and his cop buddy Sam. As someone who lives in Colorado, I have enjoyed the series of books, as they are set in Colorado, & I can identify with the locales. It's also been interesting to watch Alan & Lauren's romance blossom despite significant bumps in the road.
Start with this Stephen White book, & try to read the series in order. Each one is better than the previous one, & the author has become a better writer year by year.
Happy reading!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Stephen White, Privileged Information (Pinnacle, 1991)

For eight years I have been laboring under the delusion that Private Practice was Stephen White's first Alan Gregory novel. After discovering my error, I rushed to rectify it and picked up Privileged Information ASAP. And where Private Practice was good enough to get me involved with Alan Gregory and his therapeutic investigations, it pales beside Privileged Information.

The best thing about this novel is that it takes the notion of privilege, something those of us who watch Law and Order religiously are well aware of from the point of view of the police and the prosecutors, and gives us the other side of the argument. Therapist Alan Gregory, as the novel opens, is confronted with the sudden and unforeseeable suicide of one of his patients. The system starts to work, thanks to some leaked information, and various persons ranging from the victim's father to a persistent newshound start crucifying Gregory in the local papers. Through Gregory's conversations with his lawyer, the deputy assistant DA, and the police, we get to see privilege from the side of those whose professions it's designed to protect, and we get a full understanding of how frustrating privilege can be to those responsible for keeping it.

Not to say the book is without flaw. The mystery that develops therein has a predictable path, and we know whodunit relatively quickly. There are a few twists and turns, but nothing an avid mystery reader won't crack within a few pages after the introductions of the various clues along the way. That, however, in no way detracts from the book's readability.

If you're familiar with the Alan Gregory novels, but haven't read this one yet, do so at the earliest possible opportunity. If you're not familiar with Alan Gregory yet, what are you waiting for? ****
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