Psychiatrist Natalie King is the expert witness in a vicious child custody battle, and the stakes are high. Getting it wrong means handing a child over to an abuser-or depriving that child of the only father she knows.
Is Jenna gaming the system, or is her ex-husband Malik as dangerous as she suggests? How can Natalie best protect the child? And now that Natalie’s pregnant-and still unsure of the child’s paternity–how is a growing preoccupation with her own lost father affecting her judgment?
Court dramas, cultural clashes and media backlash create an explosive mixture that forces Natalie to make life and death choices.
How far will a parent go to keep-or save-their child?
Give me a forensic psychiatrist or a psychologist as the main character and you’ve already got me on board! Buist has twenty-five years’ clinical and research experience in perinatal psychiatry, so you can be sure, the clinical side of this book is spot on. Most importantly it’s spot on in a way that the reader can understand, it isn’t riddled with jargon. It is so interesting from a clinical perspective though, and another novel that drew out the mental health nurse in me. Fans of A Good Enough Mother may enjoy this novel, and series. However, this one has a more suspenseful edge, nothing too extreme but perfect for the story told.
One of the great things about returning to a series is the familiarity with the characters, and this series has some great ones. Namely, our main protagonist, Natalie King, she’s so likeable! And that likeability is because her character appears genuine – dealing with real life problems, having real life dilemmas, not written to shock or for dramatics, but a genuine portrayal of a psychiatrist living with bipolar, working a tough job, just trying to do her best. Natalie also has a winning personality, individuality to envy, yet she has a vulnerability to her that shows her caring nature and will to do the best for the children, in her current case, and her unborn child.
Other characters return in this novel too and they have such distinct personalities, it’s easy to remember them from previous books. Also, a joy to see how they progress as Natalie’s life enters a new course.
This novel is contemporary in that it includes the role of social media, everyone has an opinion on a high-profiled case – everyone’s a warrior behind a keyboard. This inclusion of social media increased the realism in this novel, and you can’t help but form your own opinions on the tweets you read and the case itself.
As with most series, this novel features a standalone case, so can be read in isolation, but for maximum enjoyment, it’s best to start at book one so you have an understanding of Natalie’s personal journey as well as her professional one. I really hope there’s a book four in the works because I’d love to continue reading this series.
*My thanks to the publisher (Legend Press) for granting me access to a copy of this title via Netgalley*