Review of THE PATIENT by Jane Shemilt

Patient Trust, or Lust?

Cover of Novel – Front of a Red Brick House

In her newest thriller, THE PATIENT, bestselling author Jane Shemilt takes the doctor/patient relationship to a whole new level.

Rachel Goodchild lives with her husband, Nathan, in the medieval cathedral city of Salisbury, England. On the outside, she seems to have the perfect life in her picturesque and affluent community. She’s a doctor who’s always put her patients first, to the point of disappointing her grown daughter, Lizzie. Rachel missed so many occasions during Lizzie’s childhood because of her practice, her daughter is now brooding and resentful. If Rachel could go back in time and do things differently, she would.

Rachel’s relationship with Nathan is now more like living in juxtaposed universes, their intimacy somehow lost along the way. They have “parallel lives, not clashing but never meeting.”

Rachel has always conducted herself with the utmost professionalism until a suicidal patient comes to the clinic one night when she stops by. She agrees to see him and right away, her attraction to him is like a spell cast over her, blinding her in a way she’s never experienced before. Luc Lefevre is nine years younger than Rachel, and his face is the opposite of Nathan’s: “handsome, expressive, and emotional. Open.”

She breaks her own rule and gives him her cell number. That visit with Luc is the beginning of the end.

Two months after Luc visits the clinic that night, Rachel meets him again. He is her new neighbor who just moved into the North Canonry of the cathedral. His wife Ophelia is a model-gorgeous American, and they have a 10-year-old son. Rachel and Luc seem connected on a spiritual level—she’s never felt so close to anyone before.

As Rachel tries to live a normal life, she’s soon convinced that someone is following her. Ophelia’s charming brother, Blake, a self-described “poor relation and hanger-on” inserts himself into Rachel’s life, showing up at the times her fear makes her vulnerable.

When someone murders people important to Rachel, she’s terrified that her obsession with Luc has caused some sort of universal shift that will end her life as she knows it. Who among them is a murderer?

Read more of my review and interview with Jane in The Big Thrill.