Monday, September 17, 2012

Profile - Alan Gregory

Meet Alan Gregory (M) - Clinical Psychologist situated in Boulder Colorado. He has been described as prissy and smug, but redeemed by a cast of likable characters including Detective Sam Purdy and Gregory's girlfriend and later wife DA Lauren Crowder. I think prissy and smug might be a little harsh. Certainly, he is a well-heeled professional and respected in his profession, however he has a manner which tends to be a bit aloof and detached. Not surprising that when your job is to listen to clients problems for eight hours a day, you are likely to develop a certain clinical detachment that might trickle over into other relationships.

In Stephen White's first novel Privileged Information, Gregory discovers for the first time that his practice is to be no stranger to violent death. At times he himself is under suspicion when several of his patients die and he himself is accused of sexual misconduct. When another of his patients reveal details
which causes Gregory to suspect him of murder, he is bound by the strictures of privileged information and must pursue the guilty party on his own.

Gregory's girlfriend/wife, Lauren Crowder, adds an interesting dimension to the story as she is not only a DA, but also suffers from MS. In Higher Authority, Crowder takes a leading role investigating corruption in the Mormon Church. Lauren's sister Teresa retains Lauren's legal expertise when she charges a former employer, Blythe Oaks, a man with important Mormon connections, with sexual harassment. When Oaks is murdered Lauren involves Gregory in the investigation. Lauren's illness has a very real impact on her health and her working life, but it does not make her one-dimensional. She is not portrayed as merely a person with a illness, but as an intelligent, vibrant and active person in her own right.

Stephen White's Alan Gregory series are fast-paced and intricately plotted novels which deal with thought-provoking issues. Fans of character-driven novels will appreciated a fully developed set of supporting characters and those who like to immerse themselves in another locale will enjoy the detailed description of Boulder and its residents.

His most recent adventure, Line of Fire, is " A gripping thriller about the one devastating secret that could cost Alan Gregory everything - the first of the dramatic two-part conclusion to his acclaimed bestselling series, following THE LAST LIE. Alan is finally beginning to feel settled but that is about to change. Authorities have reopened their investigation into the suicide death of a woman that Alan and his equally culpable friend Sam caused. Now the trail that leads back to them, once cold, has turned white-hot." Discover

Fans of all things psychological would also enjoy novels by Jonathan Kellerman, Val McDermid and Michael Robotham.

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