Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The sun is setting on you like a stone.

Every Fifteen MinutesEvery Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Dr. Eric Parrish is a busy psychiatrist juggling his work as Chief at a hospital unit, as well as his own private practice. He is also reeling from his recent separation from his wife and the subsequent time he must spend away from his daughter, Hannah, who is only seven-years-old. One day, Eric is called to treat an elderly woman who is dying from cancer, but it quickly becomes clear the real patient is her grandson Max, who, at 17, is having difficulty dealing with his grandmother's impending death. Eric quickly discovers that Max is depressed, struggling with OCD, and having violent thoughts about a girl he knows from his job. However, as Eric treats Max, he suddenly finds his own life breaking apart around him. There is a murder, a violent incident, problems with his wife and daughter, issues at work, and much more.

I never really got "into" this book. To me, Eric is not a likeable character. Throughout the course of the novel he seems to make a remarkable number of questionable decisions, even if his life is somewhat spiraling out of control. For instance, as he goes through the divorce with Caitlin, Eric is constantly lamenting about Hannah and the effects of the divorce on her. So much so that he comes by the house unasked, calls his wife and daughter at all hours, completely ignores the advice of his lawyer, etc. He seems to lack knowledge of any basic divorce or legal protocol - not to mention common sense.

The lack of common sense prevails throughout the book. So much of the plot is supposedly driven by what Eric knows about Max, this teenage kid he meets at the hospital, but really they have two sessions together before things go awry. It seems insane that he would have learned so much about his patient in this time. So much of the plot just seemed implausible and annoying. We hear constant talk about Eric's past anxiety and how he overcame it. OK - so what?

Overall, I just found myself irritated by Eric and annoyed by his decisions. Parts of the book seem completely improbable and the plot is so thinly constructed that once you figure out how everything comes together, it seems barely possible. Then Scottoline throws in another twist that seems completely unnecessary. Overall, rather disappointing read.

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