Fire Damage by Kate Medina
The first in an exciting new crime series featuring psychologist Dr Jessie Flynn – a brilliantly complex character who struggles with a dark past of her own. A traumatized little boy
Four years old, terrified, disturbed – Sami is a child in need of help. Now it’s up to psychologist Dr Jessie Flynn to find the cause of his suffering and unlock his darkest memories, before it’s too late.
A psychologist with a secret
Meanwhile Jessie is haunted by an awful truth of her own. She works alongside former patient, Captain Ben Callan, to investigate a violent death – but the ghosts of her past refuse to leave her.
A body washed up on the beach
When a burnt corpse is found on the Sussex coast, Jessie begins to uncover a link between her two cases – and a desperate killer will do anything to keep it buried…
Dr Jessie Flynn is a psychologist who works for the army and as such she sees a great many patients who have been injured and traumatised by war. 29 years old, she has her own demons, but she is a great character; a strong, independently-minded woman who can hold her own and use her insight to help those whose minds are fractured.
4 year old Sami Scott is brought in for her assessment and treatment. He is the son of a severely disfigured senior Army officer. It is obvious to Jessica that Sami is deeply troubled and afraid of something or someone.
Jessie’s heart goes out to Sami and she resolves to get to the bottom of why he is so frightened. In the course of speaking to his family she will uncover some heartbreaking stories from both his mother, Nooria and his father, Nick.
Meanwhile, Captain Ben Callan of the Military Police, a former patient of Jessie’s, is investigating the death of an officer in Afghanistan and when he asks Jessie to attend an interview with a soldier who suspected of being involved in that death, she reluctantly complies.
It is not long before they find that they are drawn into each other’s cases as their separate investigations start to link together and when a body is washed up on the shoreline, it is clear that their cases are inextricably linked.
I also enjoyed the character of civilian Inspector ‘Marylin’ Manson and his interaction with Ben Callan.
This is a strong book, very well plotted, with excellent research and a thorough knowledge of army life and the sometimes brutal way in which it treats its soldiers. The book is multi-layered, well-written, realistic and quite compelling. Medina manages to capture the army spirit very well and without being in any way over emotional, she can tell a story that pulls at the heart strings.
Jessie Flynn is a protagonist to be proud of – roll on the 2nd in the series.
Fire Damage is published by Harper Collins UK on March 23 2017