Funnily enough both Jonathan Kellerman and Stephen White released new novels within weeks of each other. They both are clinical psychologists in real life as are their protagonist.
White's character Alan Gregory practices psychology in Boulder, Colorado. His sidekick is Detective Sam Purdy. Sam is on suspension for offences committed during the last case Alan and he worked on. Gregory's wife Lauren suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. The mysteries that White writes about are fascinating, but so are the interpersonal relationships of the main charaters, particulary between Lauren and Alan.
This book is a bit of a departure from previous books in the series. Lauren and Sam do not figure as predominantly. Instead every other chapter is from the standpoint of Alan's ex wife Merideth, who has remarried. Her new husband Eric and five friends were involved in a tragedy that happened in the Grand Canyon years ago. One of the five is also the child of a fellow psychologist. Meredith asks for Sam and Alan's help to locate a surrogate mother that they have engaged. She has disappeared. There may be a connection between the two incidents. Alan's personal life is also undergoing great stress.
I found it interesting to explore Meredith's character a bit more. This novel seemed to overdo the personal introspection a bit. Some of the story surrounding the Grand Canyon event is a bit convoluted. I was a little hard pressed to find all of Alan's support of Meredith believable. Nonetheless, Dead Time is still a great read.
He's back at the microphone again - the ever amazing voice performer Dick Hill. Named a Golden Voice and a Voice of the Century by AudioFile, he is one of the busiest narrators to be found yet the quality of his performances never flags. He has the unique ability to inhabit a character, seeming to reflect the individual qualities the author intended.
Listeners will remember with pleasure Hill's readings of recent Alan Gregory adventures - Kill Me and Dry Ice, and be delighted with his latest.
Colorado psychologist Alan Gregory is one of the more popular fictional heroes - he's very human, flaws and all. As this story opens he has some free time to ponder where life has taken him. His wife, Lauren, is on a trip with daughter Grace and his adopted son, Jonas, is away. But Gregory doesn't have long to adjust to the unaccustomed peace and quiet as he receives and SOS call from his former wife, Meredith.
Lisa, the surrogate mother for the child of Meredith and her fiancé, Eric, has vanished. Her disappearance is somehow tied to an earlier incident - the years ago disappearance of a woman from the Grand Canyon floor when Eric and friends were at the Canyon on a camping trip. Eric will not discuss this, and Meredith feels she must turn to Gregory who calls on his good friend, detective Sam Purdy, to help.
As Gregory tries to interview the six people who were on that camping trip he finds that none of them wants to talk about the woman's disappearance or the trip.
Listeners and readers know that nothing is easy for Alan Gregory, which makes a mighty fine yarn. Especially when read by Dick Hill.
- Gail Cooke