“Be careful who you trust…
The Mailer family are 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.
Anthony becomes Galbraith’s latest obsession, and he will stop at nothing to make his grotesque fantasies reality.”
I’m a bit late to the party with this one, it’s been sitting on my kindle for a while, but another book I read at the weekend put me in mind of this, so I gave it a go.
This book has to be one of the darkest, if not the darkest I have ever read. The story surrounds Dr David Galbraith, a highly respected child psychiatrist, who is also a sadistic paedophile and his quest to get his hands on his next victim. He is part of a ring, a like-minded community to encourage, aid and protect each other. We have already witnessed him abuse, torture and then murder one young boy in the opening pages, so when he sets his sights on seven-year old Anthony the reader knows exactly what Galbraith has in store for him. Anthony is referred to the heinous doctor by his GP when he starts displaying behavioural problems, most likely caused by his parents separation. Narcissistic Galbraith believes he is untouchable and sets his plans in motion to groom Anthony, charm his parents, and get much coveted alone time with him. As Galbraith’s urges become more extreme, he will go to any length to get his perverted hands on young Anthony, and fulfil is dark and twisted desires.
This is a gripping and harrowing story. The author John Nicholl has worked in the past as a police officer and as a Child Protective Social Service officer, so although this is a work of fiction, he draws on his own professional experiences, and it really shows. The writing of this story was riveting, so compelling that I could not put it down, I couldn’t sleep till I knew how it ended, reading with my eye stinging with tiredness.
The story is told from various points of view, but most notably Dr Galbraith. The mind of the abuser was abhorrent. It was like no other I have come across, he was not insane, or a troubled individual who has lost his way, he was pure evil personified. So cold and calculating, and I was left feeling physically nauseous at the description of his desires. Nicholl shows us how blinded by authority most people are, that anything is possible.
You only feel empathy for Anthony, the other children, and their families. That empathy keeps you reading. Nicholl very cleverly draws the reader in, at times kicking and screaming, by turning your initial disgust and distress into feelings of determination. Determination for justice for Anthony and all the victims. This is compounded by the knowledge that these abhorrent crimes take place in societies all of the world, still today.
Although there is a sequel to this book surrounding Galbraith’s wife Cynthia, I would like there to have been an epilogue, just so the reader was aware how things turned out for Anthony and his family. Is Anthony alright? Or has his life been destroyed like so many children before him.
As a Mum of a nine-year old boy, this is not an easy read. I could feel bile rising at parts, but I would highly recommend this book. Thank you Mr Nicholl for writing this book and for getting his message out. Don’t be fooled by psychopaths. They can come across as your best friend, your most esteemed colleague or your most admired celebrity. Overall rating 4 stars 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟
About the Author
John Nicholl, an ex police officer, child protection social worker, manager and lecturer, has written three dark psychological suspense thrillers, each of which are Amazon international bestsellers, reaching # 1 in multiple categories in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Australia, Canada and the USA. John is always happy to hear from readers, bloggers or anyone interested in proposing a joint creative project. He can be contacted via his author website at: http://www.johnnicholl.com