The Amazon page for Around The Bend by Britney King describes the novel as a novel of psychological suspense and a domestic thriller. At least the first two-thirds of the novel is psychological suspense that I liked a lot. The last third must be code for romance which is something I do not like, can appreciate, but would not choose to read. This is not to say it is a bad novel. Even the romance section had a few elements of psychological insight that interested me. I gave the novel four Amazon stars and would recommend the novel to those who like a good romance read. The psychological part, while good, was a bit thin in places. The suspense part, mostly involving a nefarious plot by husband Spencer, was obvious although Spencer did have one surprise that, unbelievable to me, shocked Jessica.
Jessica is unbelievably wealthy living the good life on an elevated social plane. She has kids and a staff to take care of them, money and a husband to take care of it, and plenty of false friends that are OK until the masks come off. After an accident that nearly killed her and a recovery that left her addicted to drugs and alcohol, the masks came off. Jess is left with one friend, Addison, who has become some sort of a remote caregiver, a husband who walked out on her due to addictions, children who must live away from her due to addictions, and an ex-Navy SEAL hired by Addison to help Jess with her addictions on an up-close-and-personal level. We will get back to that.
King describes the difficulties Jess faces while trying to overcome addictions well. The efforts Myles must make can seem harsh and unfeeling but King describes those efforts in a realistic way with a sound knowledge of the psychological component of treatment. A central point of treatment with the addicted is the advice to not “overthink” things. This is repeated in several places. While Myles is the caregiver on scene and a personal coach to Jessica; he also has problems in his life stemming from a failed marriage and a dead child. We have two walking wounded central characters trying to help each other. I spent several years in my military career with units that somewhere in their name had “psychological operations” in their title so I was happy to read of authentic procedures related to behavior modification.
One area I found weak was an assumption that military people could jump in and out of a military career with ease. This is generally not true and is even less true when it involves elite military units like the SEAL forces. It happens, but it is rare. Soldiers on remote assignments have opportunities to email and Skype home and the type of letters Myles wrote are realistic. Some people focus on grammar. I am retired military and I focus on military minutia.
I am sure I will read more by Britney King. In October 2017 I reviewed King’s Water Under the Bridge which I liked a lot. Name recognition led me to this novel. Also, it was free with a USD 0.00 price on Amazon. These two novels were good enough that I will pay for The Replacement Wife when it is released on May 03, 2018.