The Patient by Jane Shemilt
Thrilled to be joining the other bloggers on The Patient blog tour today.
She is his doctor. He will be her downfall.
When Rachel meets Luc, the attraction is instant. But she is a doctor, and he is her patient. She gives him the drugs he needs – but in doing so, risks everything. And when a secret is exposed, they’re both in the firing line.
Not all patients are telling the truth.
Rachel has dedicated her life to her work. As a GP she is in high demand and works long hours. Having lost a patient recently to suicide, Rachel is determined to give more time to each individual patient. When she arrives back at the surgery one night to hand in her notes she hears that a new patient is in her consultation room and is in need of speaking to a doctor. Rachel decides to see him herself, even though she isn't on duty. When she first meets Luc the attraction between the pair of them is obvious from the very beginning; but when Rachel and her husband are invited to a neighbours' moving in gathering, Rachel finds that Luc and his wife are their new neighbours. As their love affair begins Rachel finds herself trying to avoid a stalker, an obsessive patient perhaps? And keep her family unit together.
This was a great psychological thriller with some thrilling twists along the way. I loved the setting: Salisbury and France. Shemilt made both places come alive on the page with the quaint streets of Salisbury and the romantic landscape of Arles, Southern France. Both settings were a real contrast to the dark plot. Rachel, the protagonist, is an interesting but complex character. I found it hard to warm to her at the beginning as her flaws were not hidden from the reader and her relationship with her daughter was a difficult one. There was a turning point for me in the book where I soften to Rachel. I could see how desperate she was to have a relationship with her daughter who kept pushing her away, and her friendship with Victoria was truly touching.
The story line was full of surprises; an obsessive patient, a stalker, murder, a mysterious daughter, an affair, a custody cell... There was so much going on to keep me guessing that it became a real page-turner. Although there was definitely a psychological thriller vibe going on it also had elements of romance, family drama and crime fiction all wrapped up in one making this a good solid enjoyable read.
Many thanks to Random Things Tours for inviting me to join the blog tour and to Harper Collins for my gifted copy of The Patient.
Jane Shemilt is an internationally acclaimed, bestselling author of psychological suspense novels.
As a medical student studying psychiatry, Jane would hang around in the ward for hours listening to patients and their stories. Later, as a GP, she was struck by the number of her patients who faced mental illness and felt stigmatised by their experience. These conversations form the backdrop for The Patient.
The character of Rachel was born from Jane’s frustration with the limits placed on older women. She envisioned a character who decides to sidestep her responsibilities and prioritise her own desires. Given the opportunity, how many of us would dare to seize it?
Jane’s first novel, Daughter, was selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club, shortlisted for the Edgar Award and the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, and went on to become the bestselling debut novel of 2014.