Archive for April 12th, 2009

Charlotte Hughes
288 pages
February 2009

Author’s website: http://www.readcharlottehughes.com

Nutcase is part romance, part comedy, part chick-lit. There’s also a touch of mystery to add to the mix. The second book in the Kate Holly psychology series, this is a light read that will appeal to most chick-lit fans, especially those who are interested in psychology.

Kate Holly is a young clinical psychologist living in Atlanta. Unstable patients aren’t the only problems she has to deal with. There’s her firefighter ex-husband, psychologist ex-boyfriend, quirky secretary, and meddling mother… not to mention her little dog, whose depressed disposition gets him into serious trouble.

When a serial arsenist starts terrorizing her town, and a young boy is accused of attacking the local priest, Kate does her best to help while dealing with a quirky array of characters and unusual situations. On the one hand, she’s going to therapy with her ex-husband; on the other, she’s evicted from her office and has nowhere to go to but with her ex-boyfriend, who offers to share his office with her. At the same time, her aunt is seeing one of her criminal patients… In other words, Fate keeps putting obstacles on Kate’s path.

I have mixed feelings about this book. Though there are many hilarious moments and the protagonist has a strong sympathetic voice, there’s no central plot to pull the reader along. There are several subplots going on and no major one to make the reader wonder what’s going to happen next or to really care about the predicament of the characters. Everything seems to be coming randomly from different directions. I had to force myself to finish the book in order to review it; the lack of a strong unity in the plot took away my concentration and desire to care for the characters. The pace moves fairly quickly, the dialogue is natural and energetic and the characters sympathetic, so there are many positive aspects in this book. But the plot has no substance and just doesn’t cut it. I also don’t understand why it’s categorized as mystery/suspense. I got no sense of suspense whatsoever. For me, this falls under humor/satire.

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