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09 February 2014

Lisa Unger: In the Blood

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Extreme psychological suspense
 "In the Blood" is an extreme psychological thriller about people who have inherited psychological (and sometimes psychopathic) problems. These issues may be disturbing to some readers.

Lana Granger has experienced great psychological stress in her youth, especially when her father is convicted of killing her mother. Lana was in the house at the time of her mother's death and her father made her help him dispose of the body. Lana's Grandfather was a convicted murderer.

Now in her early 20's Lana is stable under a cocktail of psychotic and anti-depression drugs and amazingly she decides to study child psychology at college. Her psych professor finds her a "suitable" part-time job looking after an 11 year old boy, Luke, after school. Luke has a genius IQ but attends a special school because he has already been diagnosed as a violent control-freak psychopath.

Luke's mother, Rachel, has had terrible experiences as a single mother bringing up and controlling Luke (there is no mention of his father).  For safety she locks Luke in his room each night. She welcomes Lana's help as others haven't been able to connect with Luke.

This unbelievable connection between two seriously affected individuals starts up a dangerous liaison. Luke likes to play games that give him control of people in his life, especially his mother and now Lana. With the disappearance of her best friend, Becky, and the impact of Luke's sick mind games Lana struggles to maintain her sanity.

While this was a well written book, especially the flashback diary sequences, the extreme and far-fetched psychological issues that underpinned this book made it difficult for me to really enjoy it.

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