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Posted April 8, 2014
Dot Meyerhoff is a newly-hired police psychologist with a subdued tells-it-like-it-is attitude. Ben Gomez is a naive, rookie cop, who nearly gets sick when seeing his first dead body at the scene of a crime. Constantly hassled by his superiors and peers, Ben starts to question whether or not he’s cut out for police work. That’s where Doc Dot comes in.
Part of me was worried about poor, old Ben. He obviously was struggling with some major emotional set-backs. But Dot did have a point: “Academic types like to revel in nuance and collect data before making decisions. Cops need to think on their feet and think fast.” (30) SO TRUE! Not everyone can be a cop, and I couldn’t help but think that Ben just couldn’t be one.
Still, you can’t help but feel for Ben in his heart-wrenching struggles and over-bearing stress with his hard work at trying to be a good cop, a good husband, and a good soon-to-be-father. I mean, who wouldn’t be stressed with a whiny, selfish wife like April? What a bich! What choice did Ben have?
After Ben’s suicide, Dot finds herself at risk at losing her practice, her license, everything she’s ever worked for.
The reader joins Dot in her quest to learn the truth and the reason behind Ben’s suicide.
The author writes with dignified humor and sensitivity. Full of well-crafted characters and a quick plot, this psychological mystery is a gripping read from start to finish.
Posted December 4, 2013
Review by Allen R. Kates, MFAW, BCECR
Author of CopShock, Second Edition: Surviving Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), 2008.
Burying Ben is a breathtaking first novel by an author with the writing skills of a seasoned veteran. Author Ellen Kirschman has created a refreshingly original mystery character, a middle-aged Jewish police psychologist, recently divorced and still suffering from being abandoned by the man she thought was a loving husband. The narrative of this suspenseful, page-turning mystery, moves like a bullet train, gradually gathering speed, taking the reader with it, as it careens through unexpected twists and turns. Beautifully plotted and executed, the story is intense, powerful, heartbreaking, at times funny, but always compelling and filled with conflict. Not only does the author entertain us with characters that are three-dimensional and memorable, but she also writes tactilely and visually, engaging our senses of touch, taste, smell, sight and sound.
In this story, everyone has a damning secret that psychologist Dr. Dot Meyerhoof must uncover in order to save her career, her livelihood and to keep herself and those she cares about out of jail. Time and again, she finds herself in the unhappy predicament of having to break the law in order to allow justice to prevail.
I predict that this novel is just the beginning of the tales of Dr. Dot, an unlikely, self-deprecating hero who defends others through her impeccable insight, sensitivity, self-doubt, fears, anxiety and sometimes shaky powers of observation. Burying Ben rings with authenticity, about real cops and a real cop therapist that everyone will enjoy. It gives the reader a rarely seen look behind the Blue Wall of Silence, at the reality of police work, at what cops think and feel, and the struggles, anguish and joy of a psychologist who serves them. Granted, Dr. Dot has problems of her own, but that’s what makes the read so delicious. She is flawed, imperfect and unreasonable. I can’t wait for the next installment.
Posted December 12, 2013
No text was provided for this review.