Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Review: Attic of the Mind by Hemmie Martin
The time is right for Lilith Fields to seek revenge. Twenty-five years have passed since the sadistic abuser tortured the patients of the psychiatric ward, and now Lily has decided he must meet his final judgment.
As her plan unfolds she discovers she is not the only one with a dark secret. Now, only time will tell if Lily's demons will be vanquished, and just how many people are really involved.
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Disclaimer: I purchased a paperback copy of this book direct from Hemmie at a book signing event in 2015. I have received nothing in exchange for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Due to life being an absolute bitch and getting in the way, it has taken me far longer than I would have like to get round to reading Attic Of The Mind, it's also taken me a lot longer than usual to write this review. It's a good job I make notes to refer back to as I'm reading :)
At the beginning of Attic Of The Mind we are in a psychiatric ward, not just any psychiatric ward it's a ward run by a cruel and sadistic nurse Walker. Walker is abusing his patients on a regular basis. A new young Doctor; Nathan; joins the ward and he is understandably scared of Walker but Nathan discovers the abuse but decides to do nothing.
However Nathan has never gotten over the guilt that ignoring the abuse has caused him. Ever since leaving Poplar Ward Nathan has been taunted by visions of a pair of eyes, the years of one of Walker's victims. And now there are other things appearing leaving reminders of his time at Poplar.
The question is who is leaving him this reminders? Is it the cruel, sadistic Nurse Walker or is it of the cruelly treated patients?
This is the first of Hemmie's books that I've read and it most definitely won't be the last.
Hemmie's writing style was fantastic. I was thoroughly engrossed from the beginning, I found I didn't want to put this book down and tried not to unless it was a necessity.
The storyline was extremely well thought out. To cover a difficult topic like abuse can be hard but it doesn't seem like it for Hemmie. Hemmie handled the abuse issue with a great level of sensitivity, only the essential details were discussed leaving the rest for the reader's mind to piece together without having to read all the gruesome details. For me this approach worked fantastically well, it made things seem more disturbing.
The characters are great, I loved and hated them! The fact that we met Walker, Lilith (Lily) and Nathan 25 years ago at the start before catching up with them later means there is a depth to them. It allows us to see how they may or may not have changed in that time.
Hemmie also gives us a glimpse into Walker's childhood and his private life now which helps with understanding why he's the way he is. It doesn't by any stretch justify his behaviour but certainly clarifies things.
This is a book filled with twistedness, cruelty and suspense. Just when you think you know where things are heading they take an unexpected turn and lead you on another path. Attic Of The Mind keeps feeding you breadcrumb after breadcrumb so that you keep following the trail and thinking about what has happened or what may happen.
Overall this is a fantastic 5* read. If you enjoy a good psychological thriller I can not recommend this book enough. Great Job Hemmie!! :)
~About Hemmie Martin~
Hemmie Martin spent most of her professional life as a Community Nurse for people with learning disabilities, a Family Planning Nurse, and a Forensic Mental Health Nurse working with young offenders. She spent six years living in the south of France. She now writes full time.
Hemmie created the DI Wednesday series, featuring DI Eva Wednesday and DS Jacob Lennox, set in an around Cambridge, with fictional villages. There are four books in the series so far.
Hemmie has also written a psychological thriller, Attic of the Mind, and two contemporary women's fiction, The Divine Pumpkin and Garlic & Gauloises.
Mental health often features in her novels due to her background of forensic mental health nursing, and her general interest in the topic. Hemmie is a member of The Crime Writer's Association.
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