Posted in Book Reviews

Run for your Life

psychoanalysis

Title: PsychoAnalysis
Author: V.R Stone
Release date: October 16th, 2016
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 269
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

A serial killer who wants to quit. A detective struggling to keep his personal life out of a murder hunt. And a celebrity psychiatrist facing an incredible challenge. Three damaged individuals, linked by their traumatic histories. They’ve chosen very different paths. Now those paths are about to cross.

Sarah Silver is a hedge fund manager – from Monday to Friday she makes a killing in the markets. At weekends, though, she hunts men, not profits. Martin White used to be a brilliant detective. But his family, judgment and self-control are deserting him. And Karl Gross has sold millions of books on serial killers. However he’s a controversial figure in the medical community.

Can Martin keep it together and catch a killer who commits almost perfect crimes? Is Karl capable of unravelling Sarah’s psyche and putting an end to the killing? Or will she disappear when she realises that the hunter has become the hunted?

PsychoAnalysis is a psychological crime thriller that explores the grey area between good and evil. Why would a woman kill for fun? Can she be understood? Can she be stopped?

the-review

Digging into a serial killer’s mind is fascinating. Exciting and fascinating. Those words work perfectly for Sarah Silver. The opportunity to “meet” a female serial killer is the main reason that spurred me to read this book. We too often get the usual male killer, sometimes with original and scary motives, but women are left unfairly excluded from the killing scene. Is it because women are believed to be more emotional and empathetic? I don’t like generalizations. Not all women baby-talk to toddlers whenever they see one, not all women are connected to their feelings. Some women have proved to have as much power and resources as men. I even believe that women can muster a lot more drive and focus on a task once she has set her mind to it.

Sarah is a strong woman. Strong in every sense of the word. A shark in the city, a dangerous stranger in the streets. But this life is getting to her, the need for a chase is growing fast, making her take more risks every day, endangering the life she worked hard to erase and the one she worked hard to create. Diving into her head was not as scary as I thought, She is captivating character to follow and the writing really made me feel I was living every chase with her. Her plans were always perfect and her cold and methodic ways gave me goosebumps. Although very interesting, it was never as frightening or horrifying as I thought it would be. Except for a part involving a dog. I feel the need to mention it in case you don’t want to read about animals being… used, in any way. As a faint-hearted reader, this part was a bit too much. I would have been okay with more blood from men!

Having her seeking help for her urges was a great choice, but I would have liked it to be more useful to the story. The book offers you very “special” therapy sessions but I felt I learned more about Sarah when she was out, rather than when she dived into her past. Enlightening as it was about her current situation, I wanted to hear more about the quitting, but in the end, I never had the feeling Sarah really wanted to let go of this side of her, she just wanted to know what had made her the way she was, and so did I!

Karl Gross is all about exploring the minds of the wicked. Addictions, sex, nothing is more fascinating to him. But there’s more to the guy than the psychiatry specialty. I was leery of the guy from the first time I met him in the book, thinking he would benefit from a therapy himself! As for our police face, I never warmed to Martin, a damaged cop operating on instincts, relying on weed and alcohol to face the day or the night. As many beginnings do, we get snippets of his life to help us understand the character. His preference for cold cases is obvious but unless I was tired and forgot an entire chapter, I think I never really got an explanation for the case mentioned and used to show us that Martin doesn’t give up.

Those three lives become connected in a creepy and disturbing way, giving the reader a story with multiple sides and I really enjoyed the intertwined threads which helped me stay alert and looking for the next twist.

I also really appreciated the fact that every character had issues. No one is spared from the scars of the past and everything is reflected in their adult lives. It probably was the scariest part for me. Your childhood is the foundation of your life, and what’s in the past doesn’t stay there. It never does!

My problem with this book had nothing to do with the characters, who fit the genre and were interesting enough to play their role the best they could. What annoyed me throughout the story was the investigation. Martin White, a cop on the brink of losing his family, relies on instincts. Now, I know that every year as a policeman teaches your mind to work a certain way, to get reflexes civilians wouldn’t have the use of, but there’s a difference between instincts and going blind into something. The entire investigation is based on a hunch that felt so far-fetched so early in the story that I felt all sense of reality fleeing from the pages. I won’t give any details to avoid ruining the fun for future readers, but without tangible connections and real police work, it was difficult for me to believe they could go this far into the investigation based on words from a stranger and ten years old cases in foreign countries better known for their beaches than police inquiries. There was too much luck and too many links made out of nothing to convince me.

Ultimately, the chase was only compelling from Sarah’s side and her efforts to keep the police away gave the story a steady pace and enough tension to keep me going.

PsychoAnalysis offers disturbing characters and a clever way into a killer’s mind but fails to satisfy the crime lover I am with a weak police investigation.

I would like to thank the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

46 thoughts on “Run for your Life

  1. I am definitely intrigued by Sarah. You have described her in such a way that makes me want to read the book just because of her. This sounds like one for my TBR. Brilliant review Donna.

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    1. I am glad if the review convinced you to give it a go. Sarah is a very interesting character with a special take on life, the ones she takes and her own one. I really wished the investigation had been as good 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much! I felt a bit weird about having an interest only in the killer, I usually root for the good guys, but there were no real good guys here and Martin’s hunches were too far-fetched to be believable.

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      1. My thoughts exactly. I didn’t like how he handled the case at all, I felt it was completely unrealistic and I wasn’t so sure I was satisfied with the ending either. Plus, the whole Karl Gross situation was never explained properly in the end, it felt left wide open to me!

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        1. Yeah, the only really strong thing in the book is the female serial killer angle, which was fascinating. It’s a shame because the book could have been mind-blowing. It had so much potential.

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  2. Wow, this is a fantastic review and I feel utterly compelled by this book (and your writing)! I don’t read many thrillers – I find them really heavy and I like to read lighter things, particularly if it’s after a long day at work. BUT, this book sounds really fascinating.
    Thanks for the review and for bringing this book to our attention! 😊

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    1. Thank you so much! 🙂 Thrillers are definitely heavy but there’s something about human nature that captivates me and I can’t help but devour a lot of stories from the genre. This book was a nice read with a lot of unused potential 🙂 Its strong point was the female serial killer angle.

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  3. Love your analysis of the book… I was expecting and hoping a bit more… Sarah does sound like someone I would want to read about, as is Karl, but… I also would like a strong investigation rather than pieces just falling together. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts… I’ll think about the book and may give it a chance! 🙂

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    1. I was expecting so much more. The blurb had sold me a strong story but in the end much of the potential was wasted. The characters made up for it a little but my love for realism and good police work were let down anyway. I’d love to discuss it with you if you ever give it a try 🙂

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  4. Fantastic review! It’s a bummer it didn’t live up to it’s potential. Sometimes a premise can be so strong and then completely falls apart as the story goes on. That happened to me recently with a couple different books.

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  5. Oh, the female serial killer thing is certainly more interesting (and less off-putting generally) than yet another man brutalizing and killing women.

    I’ll admit I did cringe when I saw that both the psychologist and the cop are men, though. It made me immediately assume that (a) Sarah is attractive, (b) at least one of the men is attracted to her, and (c) the book is therefore at its heart a story of two men pursuing a beautiful and elusive woman. Did you get those vibes from the book at all?

    Regardless, the flimsiness of the police investigation and the not-too-interesting other characters will definitely keep me away.

    Lovely review, as always!

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    1. You know you’re good right? Two of your hypotheses are good! 😀 How do you do this? I really hadn’t thought about having two male characters around the female serial killer. I think my brain stopped reading at Sarah’s description so I missed the hints! It’s too bad the author did not convince me with the investigation because Sarah is a great character to follow. Thank you so much ❤

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  6. Pity it didn’t quite live up to your hopes for it… or that fantastic cover! If you’re interested in female killers, I highly recommend a book from a couple of years ago – My Second Death by Lydia Cooper. Dark and disturbing (there’s one piece of animal cruelty but it’s brief and kinda makes sense in the context – I’m notoriously squeamish about animals and I coped with it). It’s about a young woman who was found guilty of murdering someone when she was a child, but now she’s having really dark dreams and she fears she’s going to turn into a serial killer… It got fairly mixed reviews but I must say I loved it, and it’s stayed with me…

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  7. I agree, digging into a serial killers mind is definitely fascinating! I also love that this one is about a women, Sarah sounds so interesting. I want to learn more about her after reading your review. Although I am a faint hearted reader when it comes to animals, so I might have to skip over that part! lol. Your review is fantastic as always, this sounds like a great read.

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  8. Oh shoot! I love serial killer stories and was really intrigued by this one when I first heard about it, so it’s such a shame the police investigation makes this one so much less enjoyable! Great review though. 😀

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    1. I was so gutted when I realized the investigation was too weak for me to believe because the characters were really good. I guess if it hadn’t been a cop at the center of it, it would have been easier to forgive.

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  9. Excellent review. I really know what I’m getting myself into now ;-). I thought about leaving your review for after I finished my copy but I’m the curious kind ;-). I loved reading your analysis, we’ll see what I think about it. I hope to start reading this one next week. I’m already scared for the dog part now btw, but thanks for the warning!

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    1. You are very welcome 🙂 I hate those bad surprises. I can take grisly murders but I won’t stand animal cruelty. My poor heart could use a warning in books! I czn’t wait to know what you think of the story!

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  10. Great review Donna. This sounds like an amazing book, though I’m not sure whether it would be too creepy for me to pick up, I can be a wimp when it comes to subjects like this but I’m wondering whether my general curiosity about the characters and their stories can overcome that. 🙂 Did you find it really creepy while reading it or was it more kind of part of the story if you know what I mean?
    It’s just a shame there were parts of the story you didn’t like as much, still it sounds like Sarah’s character was more than enough to keep you hooked! 😀

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    1. I did not find it too creepy or dark, but I’m so used to the genre that I’m not sure it helps, haha! It was definitely more interesting that anything else. Sarah’s character made the read worth it, it was really a shame that the investigation wasn’t as good.

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      1. Yeah see I’m not used to the genre at all so I wonder if I’d find it darker or creepier than you did. Oh well, maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to try it out and see!
        It’s always disappointing when there’s part of a story that doesn’t live up to your expectations, but at least there were still things you did enjoy about this one! 😀

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  11. I wonder if this might work better for me than you. I do not read these thrillers near as much as you, so maybe I would not pick up on the investigation flaws? Overall, this one really intrigues me. I am pleased to see the characters did not disappoint. I need to add this if I did not. Have to check haha. Love the review! Did a package ever arrive? I am guessing no 😦

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    1. Maybe! I really felt everything was too obvious but many readers did not have this issue so it might be just me! 🙂 The characters really saved the story for me!
      I haven’t been back to Bordeaux since last Wednesday so I’ll know if I got mail tomorrow 😀

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  12. Great review! There has been A LOT less female serial killers in real life, compared to male ones. In one of my criminology classes, I’ve learned about Aileen Wuornos in particular and the one interview we’ve watched of her was enough to freak anybody out. This book does sound interesting, but it does suck that the whole police procedural stuff wasn’t as realistic as you’d like it to be. One thing’s for sure, serial killers are RARE as hell. I’m not too surprised the author went for the whole “gut feeling” cop to make it more… captivating? Anyways, great review nonetheless! 😀

    – Lashaan

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    1. I find it fascinating that serial killers are mostly men, that is why I was curious about this book. I wish the police work would have been more believable but the characterization made up for it a bit.

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  13. Ooh oddly enough I agree with you that there aren’t enough depictions of female killers in literature- this is actually really interesting. It’s just a shame the police guy didn’t actually do any proper police investigation- I agree with you, unless it’s supernatural, I don’t think these kinds of books should come down to “a feeling”.

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    1. Yes, what brought me to this book was the female serial killer element. I don’t understand why it doesn’t appeal to more authors, we women can be so so bad, haha! Exactly! It’s too bad but I have high hopes the author offers us another story with a stronger plot 🙂

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