Today I’m sharing my thoughts on Bedlam, the brand new Dr Alexander Gregory thriller from LJ Ross. HIgh stakes, tense, thrill filled storytelling at its best. I was lucky enough to be gifted a copy of the audiobook by publisher W. F. Howes Ltd, which is out today, a lovely accompaniment on my daily walk. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
In a world gone mad, who can you trust?Available from: Amazon | Waterstones | Hive
Fresh from a high-profile case in the Paris fashion world, elite forensic psychologist and criminal profiler Dr Alexander Gregory receives a call from the New York State Homicide Squad. The wife of a notorious criminal has been admitted to a private psychiatric hospital and can no longer testify in his upcoming trial. Without her, their case will collapse but, amidst reports that the staff are as unpredictable as their patients, who can the police trust?
In desperation, they turn to an outsider and now Gregory must find the courage to step inside the fortified walls of Buchanan Hospital to uncover the truth. The question is, will he ever be the same again?
Murder and mystery are peppered with dark humour in this fast-paced thriller set amidst the spectacular Catskill Forest.
Well what a way to while away my walking hours. Narrated by Richard Armitage, the audiobook of Bedlam is, in a word, brilliant. Full of menace, tension and the usual brilliant combination of character and setting, if you love the Gregory series then you are going to love this. Once again we chip away at the veneer to see the slightly broken man beneath and seeing the continual development of this character makes me very happy.
This time around Gregory and his mentor, Bill Douglas, are in the US as key speakers at a seminar on criminal profiling. Whilst there Gregory receives an offer that is hard to refuse – hard in terms of arms being bent rather than pure indulgence of professional curiosity, although that plays a part too. The case sees him going under cover at a psychiatric hospital in the Catskills, trying to locate a key witness in an FBI investigation. And that is where the fun begins.
If you want to know more about the story then you need to read (or listen to) the book. LJ Ross has created a story in which she has continued to develop the theme of psychological profiling, as well as looking at a myriad of complex psychiatric conditions as we get to meet the many residents of the Buchanan Hospital. From people dealing with addiction, to psychotic breaks, to depression to murder, the people we meet are so varied and real that it is easy to become as engaged in their stories as we do the investigation. Don’t get me wrong, the focus is largely on Gregory who finds himself on the other side of the therapist/client relationship. but if you can read the story and not smile or laugh at Kitty Steenberg, then you’ve no soul. 😉
With so many characters in play there is a real sense of mystery threaded throughout to. It is hard to know who to trust, and in a setting which is a psychiatric hospital, that’s not surprising. And when you factor in that the very person Gregory is trying to find more about has very, very deep rooted links to the Mafia, you know that lies are going to be the order of the day. I really enjoyed those elements and hearing the back story behind the Families and the tensions that exist that feed into the plot. It adds an edge and fun but threatening element to the whole affair.
For me the audiobook was very addictive, and I finished in two days. Richard Armitage really brings the story and the characters to life. I will admit that it was a little strange for me as I read books one and two and I guess I had developed an idea in my head of the voice behind the man, but that is often the way with audio. I settled in very quickly though and after just a very short while I was more ‘so that’s what he sounds like’ than ‘that’s not Gregory.’
I’m loving seeing the development of this series and very buoyed by the ending which gives so much scope for the future. The camaraderie between Gregory and Douglas is superb, the whole examination of the many aspects of psychology fascinating and with the nature of Gregory’s job being having the chance to be so transient, there are no ends to the different settings we can visit together. And as we all know, LJ Ross is a master at creating setting, making a landscape that is so perfectly described and evocative and characters so are immediately relatable, you cannot help but be drawn in.
Another winner. Loved it.
About the Author
LJ Ross is an international bestselling author, best known for creating atmospheric mystery and thriller novels, including the DCI Ryan series of Northumbrian murder mysteries which have sold over four million copies worldwide.
Her debut, Holy Island, was released in January 2015 and reached number one in the Amazon UK and Australian charts. Since then, she has released a further sixteen novels, all of which have been top three global bestsellers and fourteen of which have been UK #1 bestsellers. Louise has garnered an army of loyal readers through her storytelling and, thanks to them, several of her books reached the coveted #1 spot whilst only available to pre-order ahead of release. Her eleventh novel, The Infirmary, is a prequel story and is also available as a major Audible Originals audio-drama starring Tom Bateman, Kevin Whately, Bertie Carvel, Hermione Norris and Alun Armstrong.
In addition to her DCI Ryan series, Louise has created a new series of thriller novels based around the central character of ‘Dr Alexander Gregory’, whose work as a psychological profiler takes him around the world. The first two books, Impostor and Hysteria, were both #1 bestsellers and were narrated in audio by the actor Hugh Dancy. She is also writing several standalone romantic suspense novels featuring strong female protagonists which will be available in 2020.
The novels are available to purchase in e-book, paperback and audiobook formats on the Amazon store, as well as in libraries and book shops around the world.
Louise was born in Northumberland, England. She studied undergraduate and postgraduate Law at King’s College, University of London and then abroad in Paris and Florence. She spent much of her working life in London, where she was a lawyer for a number of years until taking the decision to change career and pursue her dream to write. Now, she writes full-time and lives with her husband and son in Northumberland, where she enjoys reading all manner of books, travelling and spending time with family and friends.
Louise is a keen philanthropist, and is pleased to have supported numerous non-profit programmes in addition to founding several of her own, including the Lindisfarne Reading Challenge and the Lindisfarne Prize for Debut Crime Fiction.