** - The Patient
THE PATIENT JANE SHEMILT
She is his doctor. He will be her downfall.
When Rachel meets Luc, the attraction is instant.
But she is a doctor, and he is her patient.
She gives him the drugs he needs – but in doing so, risks everything. And when a secret is exposed, they’re both in the firing line.
Not all patients are telling the truth.
MY REVIEW **
I always talk about how blurbs and taglines are so important to the expectations of a new book. The Patient by Jane Shemilt is no different - from the blurb I expected a Doctor/Patient relationship gone wrong, perhaps questioning ethics of the job or maybe something to do with drug dependencies if you study the cover. The Patient only really hits this brief slightly; our main character Rachel is in fact a GP and her lover Luc is her patient, but only for one-hour long consultation before she passes him back to his normal practitioner. From there it’s more like a standard domestic love affair story which was quite disappointing.
The plot itself very much drags and nothing really properly happens until the very last quarter of the book. There’s a lot of foreshadowing phrases to end chapters before this point but the first three quarters are mainly just about an unlikeable woman’s infatuation with a neighbour and their love affair. My main issue with the book was that there is no-one to really root for. Rachel herself is unpleasant – she makes some really stupid mistakes and she doesn’t seem to care very much about those around her, whether that be her colleagues or her family. Her husband is a wet blanket who refuses to take her side or back her up in any argument and doesn’t seem to believe in parenting as a team. Her daughter is horrific – a spoiled brat who is openly rude to her mother at all opportunities for seemingly no reason. Even the subject of the affair Luc is painted vaguely and I didn’t really understand his appeal. Most of the scenes with the two of them together are focused on what Rachel is thinking and feeling as opposed to learning anything new about Luc.
The ending did come as a bit of a surprise although I had guessed the culprit even though I didn’t really understand their motives. The reveal came as two monologues which is always a truly boring was to wrap up a plot. It also left me with a lot of questions and didn’t really make sense with hindsight to the whole story. I also really didn’t understand why certain characters acted the way they did at the end – it made for a very confusing conclusion.
Overall, The Patient is not really a story about a GP and a patient, more a domestic love affair that goes wrong with unlikeable characters and an ending that left more questions than it answered. Thank you to NetGalley & Harper Collins UK – Harper Fiction for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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