📚’Fascinating psychological #Thriller’. @bakeandwrite reviews An End To Etcetera by @rbconklin1 for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Robbie.

Robbie blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review Team

This book is a well written and fascinating psychological thriller. Leal Porter, a teenager from a seemingly troubled background, is sent to psychologist, Selina Harris, for counselling sessions following his claim of drowning his younger autistic friend. His mother is not keen on his attendance at the counselling sessions, citing there cost and drain on her health insurance, but the school has made it a condition of his continued enrolment.

Selina has her own problems: she’s pregnant and isn’t sure whether the father is her soon to be ex-husband or an ex-lover with whom she had a one night stand, she’s in the process of getting a divorce from her husband, her ex-lover has announced his engagement to be married to another woman, and her elderly father has had a debilitating stroke. Despite, or perhaps because of, these personal issues, Selina becomes increasingly involved with Leal’s rather unbelievable account of the events leading up to the death of his young friend.

The story mainly constitutes Leal’s recounting his version of the events of his summer and involvement with a strange couple. He and his young autistic friend, Thuster, meet a beautiful young woman, Diana, who is married to a wealthy furrier. The two boys help her carry some groceries home and a friendship of sorts develops.

Leal is an unreliable narrator and neither Selena or the reader can tell what parts of his story are truth, if any, or if all of it is true. Is Thuster a real boy or is he a figment of Leal’s imagination? What has happened to Thuster’s caregiver, who also sometimes cares for Leal? Are the boys really friends with Diana and her husband, Saul, or it that all a lie? What happened to Leal’s father the night he died?

These are the questions around which the story line rotates. The book is beautifully written and it is impossible to know, as you read, what the answers to these questions are. Selina is also struggling and feels she is failing with this patient.

Selina is an interesting character with her poor self image and lack of confidence although she appears to be a competent psychologist. She is a bit confused about her relationships and does some strange things which are not unbelievable, just not well thought out. The more you learn about Selina, the easier it us to understand why her life is in such a muddle and why she is so perplexed by Leal. I thought Selina’s character was well drawn although I couldn’t understand her or relate to her reactions and actions. I ended up feeling sorry for her. Her short sightedness in all aspects of her life and projection of her internal conflicts and confusion onto her relationship with Leal contributed to the terrible situation she ended up in.

This book takes some very unexpected and interesting twists and turns, especially towards the end. A fascinating story with a great ending. 

Orange rose book description
Book description

An End to Etcetera is a mystery/suspense novel for the adult literary market about an obsessive-compulsive psychologist who tries to uncover the truth behind her adolescent client’s confession to drowning an autistic boy left in his care. With no evidence to support Leal Porter’s allegation, the school has referred him to Selena Harris for counseling. Selena is going through troubles of her own: she’s separated from a husband who has ditched her for another woman, she’s pregnant after a one-night rebound with a former lover, and she’s moved back to her small hometown in Illinois to take care of her father who has suffered a debilitating stroke. Now she faces the toughest challenge of her career. Although she believes the alleged victim is the product of Leal’s overactive imagination and need for attention, she harbors one major doubt: What if she’s wrong? The novel would appeal to adult readers who enjoy solving psychological puzzles. Working alongside the psychologist, in the role of a detective.

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