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The Conspiracy Club by Jonathan Kellerman

There is no shortage of excitement, medical jargon and know how in Jonathon Kellerman’s The Conspiracy Club. Each page produces a haunting blend of suspense, intrigue and sheer mystery. When books come to life they have an innate ability to freak us – the reader – out of our skins. And that’s exactly what is achieved here.

As the author, himself, is a qualified psychologist, it creates a slight parallel with the main character, Dr Jeremy Carrier. He is a young psychologist who is reeling after the abduction and murder of his girlfriend Jocelyn Banks. Police suspect, Carrier, was involved in the crime, but suspicion progressively fades as similar murders occur. Determined to capture the raging psychopath who is turning a usually quaint city (which is never named) into a sombre sink hole, the psychologist begins investigating.

Encouraging him is Dr Arthur Chess, a revered, elderly pathologist who introduces Carrier to a shadowy society. Whilst Chess slowly gives away small leads into who the killer is and why he operates, Jeremy finds a new romance with Angela, a second year medical resident at the hospital. When Chess goes overseas and fails to return, the young psychologist has no option but to continue following up on small, mysterious clues he receives in the mail.

Some fantastic prose holds together a rather mused storyline. The Conspiracy Club might possibly be Kellerman’s finest piece of work. Pacing is never troubled or prolonged. There are moments when events are slowed down and moments when days and weeks go by in between chapters. Readers will be left guessing continuously as to what happens right up until they actually find out.

The mystique of each character carries a high level of excitement, especially where Dr Arthur Chess is concerned. Kellerman does very well to drip feed information about Chess that, if given all at once, may have ruined this character’s allure. Jeremy Carrier is as human as they come, while Angela comes off as slightly aloof, but always prepared.

For anyone who enjoys thrillers, there is no better book.