Synopsis from Goodreads:
‘I was gripped immediately’ Katerina Diamond, Sunday Timesbestseller
How much do you know about the couple next door?
When Emily and Ben move in next door to Dr Burman and his wife Anita, they are keen to get to know their new neighbours. Outgoing and sociable, Emily tries to befriend the doctor’s wife, but Anita is strangely subdued, barely leaving the house, and terrified of answering the phone.
When Emily goes missing a few weeks later, Ben is plunged into a panic. His wife has left him a note, but can she really have abandoned him for another man? Or has Emily’s curiosity about the couple next door led her straight into danger?
A gripping, sinister thriller with a twist you won’t see coming from the international bestseller Lisa Stone.
I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review.
The Doctor will be available June 24, 2019.
To be perfectly honest, the reason I decided to read this book was because of that little blurb from Katerina Diamond, who is one of my favorite authors. Unfortunately, I was not gripped immediately by The Doctor – or at all, really.
First of all, I need to point out a little pet peeve I have with the synopsis, which is that the name of the doctor’s wife was not the same as in the book. In the book, her name was Alisha, not Anita, so either the synopsis is wrong, or it was changed after the ARC was done. Also, Emily doesn’t go “missing” until the latter half of the book and the reader knows where she is the whole time. I expected it to be more of a mystery, but while Ben doesn’t know where she is, we know everything that happens and I felt it took away a lot of the tension.
Alisha has a chronic disease and her husband, Amit, is obsessed with the idea of cryonics, which involves freezing her body when she dies until medicine has advanced enough to cure the disease, when she can then be brought back to life. Alisha won’t consent to signing up with the agency that does this, so he decides to teach himself the process and will do it to her himself. In the mean time, he’s emotionally and physically abusive to Alisha to make sure she’s too scared to leave the house or accept the friendly advances of their neighbors, Emily.
I thought the book was much, much longer than it needed to be. The plot advanced very slowly and I never really felt the characters were developed that fully, either. The quality of the writing left a little to be desired for me, as well. It felt like a first or second draft and could have used a lot more editing and polishing. I was also really disappointed with the “twist” that was promised. It was barely a twist at all and left no real impact.
Overall, The Doctor just wasn’t for me. While it had an interesting angle with the cryonics plotline, it never really lived up to it’s potential. I never connected with the characters and thought Amit was a pretty weak villain. I was originally going to give this two stars, but once I actually started to write this review, I realized I don’t really have anything positive to say about it, so it’s only getting 1 star from me.
Overall Rating (out of 5): 1 Star