Suspicious Minds by David Mark

‘Eight months ago… A nice house in a nice neighbourhood.’

Liz Zahavi has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).  A diagnostic label that raises more issues than it defines.  Liz is desperate for answers: she wants to be understood, she wants to be well; she wants her partner Jay to stay with her (he has threatened to leave plenty of times).  Liz hopes that therapy will help, and when Jay agrees to pay for private therapy, she is keen to make it work. After all, Liz thinks she is lucky to have Jay in her life and she has a good relationship with her 9-year-old stepdaughter, Anya.

An appointment is made, and Liz sets off.  But a car crash on the way to her first appointment changes things.  Jude, a local farmer, with his own history of tragedy, rescues her.

While this story made me uncomfortable in places, I admire the way in which Mr Marks developed Liz’s character.  Mr Marks captures the emotional volatility and impulsive behaviour of BPD, which can be a difficult mental health condition to live with.  But I kept wanting to step outside the story, to slow it down and get Liz to focus. Can she find happiness? And what about Jude?

An unsettling read.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Severn House Publishers for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes. 

Jennifer Cameron-Smith