Reviewed by: Keith Nixon
Approximate word count: 85-90,000 words
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Donna White Glaser is a psychotherapist and lives in northwestern Wisconsin with her husband. The Enemy We Know is the first in the series of the Letty Whittaker Mysteries.
You can learn more about the author via her website.
Letty Whittaker, a psychotherapist, is threatened in her office by a drunk, deranged patient, Wayne, who is angry with Letty for trying to persuade his girlfriend to get out of their abusive relationship. Wayne then subjects Letty to increasing and varied harassment as he blames her for the predicaments in his personal life.
Letty, however, has a secret herself. She is a reforming alcoholic and she struggles to keep this from her employers whilst undergoing the twelve-step programme. She’s also in a strange, unrequited relationship with her boyfriend Robert, a reforming alcoholic himself.
Then Wayne ends up dead and Letty is immediately a suspect. However, the harassment continues unabated and Letty has to work out who’s really after her.
I enjoyed this story. It is very well written, well plotted, and the characters vivid and imaginative. Letty herself is one damaged and conflicted lady, she had a challenging life even before Wayne showed up - an alcoholic with suggestions of a difficult upbringing, she can only bring herself to sleep with men when she’s drunk. She has a boyfriend she’s not close to and finds herself attracted to her boss.
It took a few chapters to really draw me in (despite the immediate tension created by Wayne’s attack) in part because there are a large number of characters to get to know and the alcohol reform programme and AA meetings are heavily illustrated. Some trimming of the detail here would have picked up the pace of the plot, I feel.
On the other hand the tension created by Glaser’s description of Wayne’s ratcheting up of the harassment, offset by the lack of belief in her story by the police and her employer was very well done, stirring ‘that’s not fair’ emotions within me. Wayne and Robert’s murders were good twists although it did reduce the number of potential suspects and the guilty party was not a total surprise, but nevertheless the conclusion was well written with a lot of stress and more difficulties for Letty – I feel sorry for her.
Nothing of relevance.
Rating: **** Four stars