Psychologist Joe O’Loughlin thinks his life is hard, but manageable. He’s separated from the wife he still loves, Julianne, but has hopes of reconciliation. He has two daughters he adores, Emma and Charlie, and he’s made sure he’s part of their everyday life. He’s still coming to terms with his Parkinson’s disease, but with medication, it seems controllable.
Then Charlie’s best friend, Sienna Hegarty, turns up at his family’s front door covered in blood and Joe O’Loughlin realizes just how much harder life can be. Sienna’s father, former police officer Ray Hegarty, has been murdered, and Sienna is the prime suspect. O’Loughlin’s professional instincts tell him she’s innocent, but when he comes to her aid he finds the situation more complicated than he realized. The people he’s dealing with are dangerous and soon Joe is fighting to protect not just Sienna, but himself and his family from enemies who seem to be coming at him from all sides.
Robotham’s writing is outstanding, particularly the scenes where O’Loughlin interviews clients and/or suspects. It is so good it pulled me through some very tough scenes. The people Joe is fighting are ruthless and they hurt anyone in their way, including (maybe even especially) the most defenseless among us, children. But Robotham made me care about the characters and I needed to know what happened to them. I needed to find out if Joe could persevere and save Sienna.
This is the fourth book in the award winning Joe O’Loughlin series (after Suspect, Lost, and Shatter). I usually read series in order, but I broke my own rule and read this book first because the reviews, both print and word of mouth, have been so good. I’m glad I did. Now I have the first three books to look forward to reading this summer.