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From Publishers Weekly
The manipulations of a psychotic killer test the limits of the therapeutic relationship in this suspenseful first novel by a clinical psychologist. The unexpected suicide of Karen Hart, followed by the violent deaths of two more women patients, brings accusations of sexual misconduct and a lawsuit against Boulder, Colo., therapist Alan Gregory. Although the sinister role of a patient is suggested during a session, it is privileged information Gregory cannot reveal without violating the rules of confidentiality. While seeking aid from colleagues, his lawyer and a female deputy DA whom he romances, Gregory remains convinced that he cannot break the confidentiality code, not even in the face of murder. Forced into sleuthing on his own, he utilizes his training to identify the killer. Despite some overkill on specifics of street routes and Southwest cuisine, White's skill in conveying the laid-back Colorado lifestyle which permeates the novel allows periodic ambushes by moments of real terror. Gregory's automatic, instantaneous character analyses, however, may lead readers to agree with Gregory's therapist partner: "You're lucky you're talking to another shrink. I'm not sure anybody else would let you get away with saying something like that." 35,000 first printing; major ad/promo; BOMC and Mysterious Book Club selections.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
YA-- A psychological thriller that poses an ethical dilemma. According to police reports, one of psychologist Alan Gregory's patients has committed suicide. A few weeks later the local paper prints information from an anonymous source alleging that sexual misconduct occurred in the deceased's therapy sessions. Gregory's patients cancel appointments, unexplained terrorism randomly occurs, and two more of his female patients die--one in a car accident and another from strangulation. Because of ``privileged information,'' Gregory feels he cannot divulge information about these women, and thus clear his reputation. He begins his own quest to unravel the mystery that is destroying him. It doesn't take long to zero in on the probable suspect. The real question is how these deaths and acts of terror are related and why Gregory is the target. --Margie Jones, Herndon Int., Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I enjoyed the mystery, I believed in a character who doesn't quite realize he's in a mystery, who's world is crumbling around him, gradually figure it out there's something to figure out. And then try to assemble the pieces he has, and guess at the pieces he doesn't, and do what he's able to to stop things from getting worse. That part entertained me!
What bothered me was the relationship between Dr Gregory and Asst DA Lauren Crowder. In the sixth book I believed the two were married and in love, in this book, thier relationship read contrived. It was destined to work out because the author had future plans for them to be together. But after a couple mixed results dates we don't... Without the relationship reading like 'yeah right!' I might have been debating between a four and a five star rating.
The recurring protagonist is a Boulder, Colorado psychologist, Alan Gregory, & there are recurring characters such as Alan's fiancee (later wife) Lauren, and his cop buddy Sam. As someone who lives in Colorado, I have enjoyed the series of books, as they are set in Colorado, & I can identify with the locales. It's also been interesting to watch Alan & Lauren's romance blossom despite significant bumps in the road.
Start with this Stephen White book, & try to read the series in order. Each one is better than the previous one, & the author has become a better writer year by year.
For eight years I have been laboring under the delusion that Private Practice was Stephen White's first Alan Gregory novel. After discovering my error, I rushed to rectify it and picked up Privileged Information ASAP. And where Private Practice was good enough to get me involved with Alan Gregory and his therapeutic investigations, it pales beside Privileged Information.
The best thing about this novel is that it takes the notion of privilege, something those of us who watch Law and Order religiously are well aware of from the point of view of the police and the prosecutors, and gives us the other side of the argument. Therapist Alan Gregory, as the novel opens, is confronted with the sudden and unforeseeable suicide of one of his patients. The system starts to work, thanks to some leaked information, and various persons ranging from the victim's father to a persistent newshound start crucifying Gregory in the local papers. Through Gregory's conversations with his lawyer, the deputy assistant DA, and the police, we get to see privilege from the side of those whose professions it's designed to protect, and we get a full understanding of how frustrating privilege can be to those responsible for keeping it.
Not to say the book is without flaw. The mystery that develops therein has a predictable path, and we know whodunit relatively quickly. There are a few twists and turns, but nothing an avid mystery reader won't crack within a few pages after the introductions of the various clues along the way. That, however, in no way detracts from the book's readability.
If you're familiar with the Alan Gregory novels, but haven't read this one yet, do so at the earliest possible opportunity. If you're not familiar with Alan Gregory yet, what are you waiting for? ****
Reading Privileged Information so out of sequence was somewhat unnerving because I already knew so much about Alan Gregory, Lauren Crowder and Sam Purdy so I did not get to enjoy meeting them for the first time in this book. However, that is a minor issue.
In this first book of the series, Alan Gregory, a Boulder, CO psychologist suspects one of his patients of murder and is almost ruined professionally (and financially) by the death of another, who implicates him in a sordid affair. This patient, who killed herself, had previously fixated on Alan Gregory but his problems are only beginning there.
In the year previously, Alan's wife left him, a patient died in a car wreck and his dog was hit by a car. He gets involved with Lauren Crowder and one of his patients actually follows them on their vacation to New Mexico.
Flash back to the present and Alan has to deal with the fact that he could be a murder suspect and faces a possible lawsuit from the dead girl's parents. He also wonders if he will lose his professional license. As I read all of this I found myself asking, "what did this poor guy ever do to deserve this...?"
I think this is an excellent starter in this series, especially for someone who has NEVER read any of the other books written by Mr. White since.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I just did not like the main character. It was a decent story, but some of the actions of the main character were a little too out-there for me.Published 16 months ago by Carol
It is not often you come upon "the worst book you have ever read," but for me this one is it. Read morePublished on Nov. 24 2001 by Robert M. Petrie
I have read all of Stephen White's novels and enjoyed them immensely. However, I have to agree with a couple of the other reviewers that reading them in order is best. Read morePublished on Feb. 18 2001 by lusty22
This is the first of the "Alan Gregory" series by White. What a beginning! This book is chock full of fascinating characters and a plot that will keep you guessing long... Read morePublished on Nov. 27 2000 by David Dean
I read a lot of mystery novels, so there aren't many that get my attention. Stephen White got my attention. Read morePublished on Aug. 4 2000 by twisesq
This was the first Stephen White book I read and after reading it I went out and got all the others in the Alan Gregory series. Read morePublished on Aug. 6 1999
In many ways this is one of the best-written mysteries I have read in a while. The author writes vividly.
The plot has some real holes in it. Read more
I read a lot of detective books, and realism is important to me. As a therapist, I very much enjoyed the mostly accurate portrayl of a psychologist as the protagonist. Read morePublished on Oct. 27 1998