Short Take: The Forgetting Place – John Burley

Place a female psychiatrist in a remote state hospital for the insane. Add a conspiracy and a mysterious patient who may have been placed their for other than medical reasons. Then finish it off with an author who is both a doctor and a writer with a talent for eerie, atmospheric plotting.  We’ve arrived in “don’t read this before bedtime” territory.

“Burley follows his fine debut, 2013’s The Absence of Mercy, with an even more impressive psychological thriller. Menaker State Hospital in Maryland houses those who are not fit for society, especially those whom society wishes to forget…..[Dr. Lise Shields is] content with her routine—until she gets a new patient, Jason Edwards, who arrives unannounced and without documentation….As her doubts about Jason’s institutionalization increase, so do the efforts of Menaker’s chief medical officer, Dr. Charles Wagner, to tamp down her investigations. Burley, himself a physician, renders the manifestations of psychological illness in such a way that both Lise and the reader must confront the terrifying nature of reality itself.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Burley deftly twists this psychological thriller, threading his tale with clues that add up to a stunning revelation. Dark, intricate and compelling.”
   — Kirkus Reviews

The Forgetting Place (9780062227409) by John Burley. $14.99 trade paper original. 2/10/15 on sale.

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