Book Title: DON'T LOOK IN
Author: Tom Saric
Category: Adult Fiction (18 +), 230 pages
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Publisher: Severn River Publishing
Release date: October, 2020
Content Rating: PG-13 + M. No gratuitous sex, profanity or violence.
A PSYCHIATRIST BECOMES PRIME SUSPECT IN THE MURDERS OF HIS PATIENTS IN A NEW THRILLER
The patients of psychiatrist Gus Young are turning up dead in Tom Saric’s new thriller, DON’T LOOK IN (October 6, 2020; Severn River Publishing), and he is the main suspect.
Gus fled the big city to escape the shame, gossip and glares of his family, friends and colleagues after he tarnished his reputation. He ends up in a small, backwater rural town in Maine where no one will know him and he can start his life over. But someone is out to get him, and is framing him for the murders of his patients.
Wanda Flynn, the sexy town prostitute who is having an illicit affair with the married mayor, is demanding that he leave his wife for her. Her brother has just been released from jail after a ten-year sentence, and is back in town. It was Wanda’s testimony that was pivotal in sealing his conviction. Suddenly she is found dead, shot in the head in front of her apartment, shortly after she had unburdened her secrets, fears and desires to Gus Young. Because of patient-client confidentiality, Gus cannot reveal that she is his client, nor what she revealed to him, even if it will help to solve the murders, or clear his name as a suspect.
Then another patient, Ned, who is suffering from paranoia and is sure he knows the identity of Wanda’s killer, is found dead in his home after he had an altercation with Gus that left him bleeding on the floor. The police find bullets in both victims that match a rare gun, the Lee-Enfield No.4, which has mysteriously vanished from Gus’s basement. And they find Wanda’s turquoise necklace in his possession.
All the evidence point to Gus. He is the prime suspect in the murders, but in order to protect his clients’ confidentiality, even after they are dead, Gust doesn’t reveal information that can prove his —Over— innocence. Gus puts his own life in jeopardy in a desperate effort to clear his name and track down the real killer. When his estranged daughter comes to visit him, her life and the life of his trusted friend Sheila, are in jeopardy from the real killer who wants to do them harm. As a sinister plot unravels, Gus discovers a horrible secret about his past.
Tom Saric, who is a psychiatrist, packs his thriller with quirky characters: the cross-dresser, the married couple who don’t enjoy sex, the psychopath who is a petty criminal, the town sex-worker, and a love interest, the tall beautiful blonde who shares his love of country music and is the first woman to show an interest in him after his messy divorce.
DON’T LOOK IN is the first in a series featuring psychiatrist Gus Young who uses his acuity in understanding the human psyche to solve murders. Fans of the HBO series, In Treatment starring Gabriel Byrne, will relish the character of Gus Young as he solves murders using psychological, not forensic, evidence.
2020 is a “Read New Stuff” year for me. Not a snazzy phrase, but it gets the point across. I’ve expanded into a few new-to-me genres for the last eleven months. I previously wasn’t a thriller or mystery reader, and now I’m beginning to wonder why…
Don’t Look In grabs me immediately. First lines are so important. I want something either clever, funny, shocking, or unexpected to lure me in, as it did in this case with the following first line(s) of the prologue:
It was an unusual time of day for a killing. Murders were nighttime events, preferably in the rain, ideally in a thunderstorm. Not at noontime in the dead of summer, with the sun viciously beating down. Noon was for a quiet lunch in an air-conditioned kitchen, with a bowl of tomato soup and a slice of sourdough.
Psychiatrist Gus is a candid and caring individual with a sense of purpose and a knack for sticky situations. It is easy to connect with him. I love his interactions with his patients and how he sticks to his ethical views. He truly is an unforgettable character.
With so many twists, my head is still spinning. I love that nothing is obvious, my suspicions are often wrong, surprises are around every corner, and I didn’t know ‘whodunnit’ until the author was good and ready to reveal it.
Full characters, smart writing, a so-called sleepy town setting, and a satisfying resolution. All I hoped for. Looking forward to book 2!
I received a complimentary copy of this book through the iRead Book Tours.
Meet the Author
1. What motivated you to write your book?
started with the character Gus Young. The idea of a grizzled looking psychiatrist secretly working out of the back room of a hardware store was just so interesting to me. In the years after I finished my training in psychiatry, I realized that working as a psychiatrist wasn’t the idealized version I had fantasized about. In addition to seeing patients, my day was filled with paperwork, managerial pressures to see more people more quickly, and therapy was something psychologists did while psychiatrists seemed to be expected to prescribe medications only. So, the idea of this pure, genuine psychiatrist who wasn’t afraid to buck the trend and do his own thing in his own way appealed to me.
I told a few friends about my idea and they loved the character and encouraged me to write the book. Eventually, I worked out the seed for a plot and started writing.
2. If you could put yourself as a character in your book, who would you be?
I'd have to be Gus. To have his skill and experience would make me more effective in my day to day work.
3. Do you have another profession besides writing?
I'm a psychiatrist.
4. How long have you been writing?
I've been writing as long as I can remember. However, I began to take it more seriously about twelve years ago. In addition to starting writing what turned into Compromised, I also took several classes and a college course in creative writing to get some education in the craft.
5. Do you ever get writer’s block?
Oh yes! I've learned over time that writers block is just me getting too critical of what I write. So whenever I get stuck, I try to write whatever comes in my head, no matter how dreadful. Eventually I work through it and the flow gets going again.
6. What is your next project?
It's a sequel to Don't Look In, tentatively called Believe In Me. In this book, Gus is called in to assess a nameless woman who has lost all autobiographical memory. Who is she? Gus is going to find out.
7. What is the last great book you’ve read?
I just finished a non-fiction called Breath by James Nestor. It is a review of the benefits of breathing exercises and techniques. It is absolutely fascinating and I highly recommend it!
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