First in an supernatural series. And yes, I read it because of Gillian Anderson’s name on the cover.
Publication year: 2014
Publication year of the Finnish translation: 2015
Translator: Einari Aaltonen
Page count: 330
Publisher of the Finnish translation: Like
Caitlin O’Hara is a psychiatrist specializing in young adults with trauma. She’s also a single parent whose young son is deaf. Her best friend Ben is a highly placed interpreter in the United Nations. When Ben asks Caitlin’s urgent help, she agrees. The patient is 16-year-old Maanik, the daughter of Kashmir’s UN ambassador Pawar. Someone tried to kill Pawar and Maanik was close enough to hear the shots. Now, she has started to hallucinate and scratch her arms until she bled. Because the international situation with Kashmir is currently ready to explode, her parents need Maanik to be treated in secret, in their own home. Caitlin agrees because Maanik needs treatment quickly.
The book is page-turner. Caitlin is a sympathetic if quite cerebral main character who at first tries to keep professional detachment from Maanik but soon becomes personally involved. She also travels other countries to talk with people who apparently have similar symptoms. Ben is mostly a good friend to her; they have inside jokes and understand each other’s worries and concerns. Maanik’s parents love her very much but her father is the chief negotiator in a volatile situation and is torn between his duty and his daughter. Overall they’re a good cast.
I had some trouble with the plot, though. The book started with quite interesting stuff but descended into New Age babble (Caitlin even thinks that this all seems to her like New Age nonsense!) which mixes voodoo with Norse mythology and some tantalizing hints about the past (I’d have been happy with just the latter). Also, I couldn’t see how she made some of the connections between patients and other events. For one thing, the patients’ symptoms were really different from each other: one patient had sent himself on fire, another had one episode only, and the third was rarely lucid. Yes, there were similarities too but she’s had had to study each case to notice them and we didn’t see her studying them much at all. We also get glimpses of a secret organization (the Group) who is researching and stealing mysterious artifacts. There’s also an obligatory romance which didn’t really add anything.
Maanik’s situation is resolved surprisingly tidily but there are a lot of things which are left wide open.0
Oh and at least the Finnish covers didn’t have any indication that this is the first in a series; I found that out in Goodreads. I think that’s a disservice to the reader because it builds wrong expectations.