“Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies” by Olga Núñez Miret was a real treat and almost a surprise. I like Olga’s sharp and psychologically charged writing the best and knew this would be good. I was not prepared, however, for the extremely clever plot.
At first there is the confusion of a woman waking up in a different body and in a different life. Then she establishes contact with the woman currently in her own body. That in itself is a great premise and the conversation between the trapped women would have been more than enough for one successful book.
Olga doesn’t stop there but now introduces more complexity as the case is being handled by both, the police, and our series heroine, psychiatrist Mary.
Despite a heavy workload I couldn’t resist the book and kept reading at every opportunity to get to the bottom of this psychological thriller. My curiosity got the better of me and all I can say is that the denouement doesn’t let you down.
A clever idea, perfectly executed with sharp writing, excellent characters and a lot going for it. Maybe the author’s best so far. Highly recommended.
Scroll down for an excerpt!
Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies
A woman shot dead. No enemies, no motive, only a story about how she swapped bodies with another woman found on her computer. The other woman in the story, the owner of the swapped body, goes into labour and won’t talk.
When FBI Agent Dave Dean asks psychiatrist/writer Mary Miller for her assistance, she doesn’t know that The Case of the Swapped Bodies is not the only mystery in Port Haven. A hit and run, an armed robbery gone wrong and questions about family traditions, priorities and legacies come into play and complicate matters. The line between fact and fiction is more tenuous than anybody realised and suspense is on the menu.
This is the third book in the Escaping Psychiatry series and it poses new challenges for Mary Miller. And not all the challenges are professional ones. How do you carry on when you’ve survived the unthinkable?
Olga was born in Barcelona and moved to the UK to study in the 1990’s. She is a doctor and also a Forensic Psychiatrist until recently, when she gave this up to pursue her dream of writing full time. Her fiction covers a number of genres including crime thriller, family saga, para-normal and romance. Olga is also a translator and works with other authors to introduce their books to a new and wider audience.
Olga is not just a supportive friend to all of us here in blog world but also to any Indie author that needs a boost. Her blog posts are informative, entertaining and her reviews are honest and show a great critical eye. If Olga says read this book.. Then you should.
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Here is a sample.
Mary has just read a document that Dave Dean, an FBI agent who rescued her in a previous case that ended up with the agreement that she might work as a consultant with them, has sent her. It’s about a case. I think the sample is pretty self-explanatory.
Mary was still staring at the computer screen. If what Dave had sent her was a story, it ended with quite a good cliff-hanger. But why would Dave send her a story? He had mentioned a case and said they needed her help.
Her phone rang. It was the man himself. “I thought you might have finished reading it.”
“Yes, you’re right. Not long since.”
“And what do you think?”
“What do I think? Interesting story. But what does it have to do with the case you were talking about?”
“We’re not sure, but perhaps everything.”
“Everything? You’re being cryptic today.”
“You know I like to keep a sense of mystery in my life.”
Mary wondered about Dave’s evident change of mood but decided not to question it. Whatever would be, would be.
“You’re doing well on the mystery front.”
“OK. I’ll tell you the facts, in brief. The police are called to a posh neighbourhood in an up and coming town in the West Coast, at a commutable distance from Silicon Valley—Port Haven. The residents of an upmarket apartment building think they’ve heard a shot. They find the owner of the apartment, Charlie Salter, shot in the chest. She mumbles something about ‘swapped bodies’ before she loses consciousness. She dies on the way to the hospital. The police recover the file you’ve just read from her computer.”
“So…she’d written herself into a story.”
“Well, yes. That’s what they thought. Until they checked the details and discovered that there is a real Maggie Williams with a husband called Todd, three daughters—”
“Don’t tell me. Called Samantha, Kerry and Lana.”
“Bingo! Yes, and she’s due to have a baby any minute, and suddenly she’s become quite successful, setting up an online company with no evident experience or skills in that kind of thing before.”
“They went to interrogate her and she went into labour. She had a healthy baby boy. Mother and baby are OK. After all that, she wouldn’t talk. Not a word. And she’s hasn’t said anything since. Oh, and the best thing about it… They discovered that the file had originally come from Maggie’s computer.”
“So, do you fancy going to Port Haven? Barnes and I should be there tomorrow evening at the latest.”
“It’s not that clear that it might have anything to do with psychiatry.”
“Well, that’s true. But it’s possible that she isn’t talking because there’s something the matter with her. And what do you have to lose? It’ll sure be a good story… And we’ll get to spend some time together.”
Here are the links:
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