Burdened by his own psychological scars, brilliant forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Frank Clevenger, has weathered the most extreme twists of the human mind. Then he receives a disturbing call from Nantucket's Chief of Police. The five-month-old daughter of prominent billionaire, Darwin Bishop, has been found murdered in her crib.
The obvious suspect is Darwin's adopted sociopathic son, Billy. Even Clevenger can't fathom the motive behind the troubled boy's murder of an infant. But what is Billy really running from? Does Darwin's stunning wife Julia know? If she does, she isn't talking. Neither is the Bishop's other son who's harboring terrible secrets of his own.
Falling for Julia is Clevenger's first mistake. Investigating the Bishops' twisted emotional landscape is his second. It's done more than just draw him into the maze of a psychosexual family history. It's trapped him. As his own demons rise to the surface, he must play the ultimate mind game to catch a killer-and make it out alive...
Billy Bishop, the Russian-born adopted son of a billionaire, has all the classic signs of a sociopath, but before he's arrested for the murder of Darwin and Julia Bishop's infant daughter, his half sister, Nantucket police chief North Anderson wants another opinion. Frank Clevenger, the forensic psychiatrist evaluating Billy, isn't convinced of the teenager's guilt, especially when he learns that Darwin has been abusing Billy for years. The victim of his own father's abuse, Frank has difficulty maintaining appropriate emotional boundaries in his dealings with the Bishops--not just with Billy, but also with Julia, who becomes his lover. All the loose ends in this tidy little psychological thriller are tied up a bit too neatly, and the denouement comes as no surprise to anyone except perhaps Frank himself, who's a little too quick to abandon his professional objectivity. Keith Ablow, a forensic psychiatrist like his protagonist, has used his medical background before (Denial, Projection), but in his effort to make the defenses and motivations of the characters in this novel completely comprehensible to his readers, he sacrifices its subtlety and diminishes its suspense. --Jane Adams