Be careful who you trust…
The Mailer family is oblivious to the terrible danger that enters their lives when seven-year-old Anthony is referred to the child guidance service by the family GP, following the breakdown of his parents’ marriage.
Fifty-eight-year-old Dr David Galbraith, a sadistic, predatory paedophile, employed as a consultant child psychiatrist, has already murdered one child in the soundproofed cellar below the South Wales Georgian town-house he shares with his wife and two young daughters.
When Anthony becomes Galbraith’s latest obsession he will stop at nothing to make his grotesque fantasies reality.
But can Anthony be saved before it’s too late?
The book includes content that some readers may find disturbing from the start.
It is dedicated to survivors everywhere.
Everyone has a dark side, however some people's is blacker than black. This sentence popped into my mind as soon as I finished reading this book (and my heart rate returned to normal). If I were to think about the wolves in sheep's clothing lurking among us and our kids in the streets, I'm not sure if I would be able to go out the front door every morning.
Anthony Mailer is a seven-year-old boy who's finding it difficult to cope with his parents' separation. He is referred to Dr David Galbraith, a handsome, brilliant consultant child psychiatrist. Anthony's mother, Molly, is hopeful that the doctor will bring her son back to his normal self. Little does she know of the grave danger she puts her own son into as soon as they step inside the doctor's clinic. Dr Galbraith is in reality a depraved predator, a sadistic, brutal paedophile and murderer. He uses his charm to lure his innocent victims to his lair (complete with torture chamber). He sees Anthony as an ideal candidate for his next 'project' and becomes obsessed with him.
Soon mother and son will have their lives turned upside down, as the doctor is determined to go through with his sick plan. He wants Anthony at all costs, and will stop at nothing to get him. Will Molly be able to keep her son safe and away from the monster's grasp before it's too late?
Strangely enough, for one quite comfortable reading books describing in detail horrific murder scenes, blood and gore, I find I don't have much stomach to digest books involving child abuse. I hate paedophiles with all my heart and this book has certainly stirred those emotions in me. Reading this book's blurb, I felt a little bit anxious as I wasn't sure if I would actually finish it, however once I started reading the first chapters, I found myself completely absorbed. In writing this chilling thriller, the author has used his knowledge of the subject and experience obtained through his police and social work background.
The author skilfully takes us inside the doctor's dark, sick mind. We read into his thoughts and sadistic scheming. I don't remember to have ever hated a fictional character as much as I hated Dr Galbraith. I wanted to kill him with my bare hands. I found myself wincing and biting my knuckles and desperately wanting Anthony to be safe, and shouting at Molly to keep her son away from the doctor. There are a couple of scenes some might find disturbing (one right up at the start), however, all in all, the author did a great job in addressing this serious social problem without including any overly graphic scenes.
By the end, after the final terrifying, heart-pounding scene, I was actually quite surprised by how much engrossed in this book I'd become and how fast I'd read it. It's a great read deserving the full 5-star rack from me. Now, I'm looking forward to reading more books by this talented author.
With thanks to the author and Bloodhound Books for forwarding me an ARC of this book which I voluntarily accepted to read and review.
John Nicholl, an ex-police officer, child protection social worker and lecturer, writes popular dark psychological suspense thrillers, each of which has been an Amazon international bestseller, reaching # 1 in multiple categories in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Australia, Canada and the USA. John is happily married, lives in rural west Wales, and has three adult children and one grandchild. He began writing after leaving his job heading up child protection services for Carmarthenshire. A Cold Cold Heart, John’s sixth book, is published by Bloodhound Books in January 2018. John is represented by Toby Mundy - Literary agent at TMA.