2015, Book review

What Jennifer Saw by Hal Schweig

Description : Jim Harris, a wealthy businessman and philanthropist, and his wife, Mary Beth, along with their four beautiful children, are beloved as the “Jack and Jackie” of Monroeville, Missouri, a small town which considers itself “The Camelot of the Midwest.” The murder of Jim Harris in time reveals the moral decay festering beneath this family’s golden surface. Following the murder of her husband, Mary Beth Harris has metamorphosed suspiciously from a mousy hausfrau doting on her family to a newly energized vamp hurrying to a secret rendezvous with a mysterious lover. Her 24-year-old son later discovers a letter from her paramour, written shortly before his father’s murder, and begins to agonize over the unthinkable. Self-absorbed, Mary Beth fails to recognize the desperate plight of her 15-year-old daughter, the ethereal Jennifer, who witnessed her father’s murder, but is suffering post traumatic stress syndrome and cannot recall it. A brilliant but maverick psychiatrist, Dr. Timothy Adler, wrestling demons of his own, is brought in to treat her and discovers she is also in the grip of Multiple Personality Disorder. He gambles everything on one high-risk roll of the dice to decipher her psyche, which harbors a grotesque melange of angry “personas,” one of whom holds the key to the identity of the killer and also possesses shocking knowledge about the murder victim as well. Dr. Adler knows that his battle against the cunning and malevolent alter egos who wish to possess Jennifer’s soul must be successful, or else she may rapidly descend into madness and even death.

I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

After reading the description for this book and seeing the cover picture I was really excited to read this book and after the first chapter or so I really thought it was quite promising but sadly it’s quite a muddled story. One minute you’re in the Dr’s office with Jennifer and the next minute it’s jumped to Lt Braun, so I found myself a few times going back and checking I hadn’t missed something.

A few of the characters in the book have some sort of mental disorder, with Jennifer having Multiple Personality Disorder which is quite an eye opener at some points it just seemed a bit crazy to me sometimes and hard to believe.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a good story and I found myself wanting to find out what happened next but I feel if the story had a few tweaks and a bit more structure it would be a fantastic book and also a bit more about the main character and a little less about some of the others would be nice.

It has some shock factors and I will never look at a teaspoon in the same way again.

It will be interesting to see how this writer progresses in the future as the story is definitely there it’s just the writings not on the same level which is a real shame.

Buy your copy here

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