Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Scott Miller’s “Interrogation”

Mitchell Adams is a Ph.D. social worker in an upscale suburb of St. Louis. He has a sizeable staff, a steady stream of clients, and a beautiful girlfriend named Kris, a graduate student working for a doctor at a local university medical complex.

It’s a good life, until Kris is murdered, and murdered brutally, the day after she breaks up with Mitch. And Mitch is in the frame for her murder, as far as the police are concerned. And Mitch is determined to find out what happened, and why, even if it means not cooperating with the police.

That, in a nutshell, is the heart of Scott Miller’s Interrogation.

It’s always disconcerting to read a novel, in the case a mystery/suspense novel, set in one’s own town. You’re always looking to make sure all the geographic details are correct, and whether the story has the “feel” of the place you’re so familiar with. And part of the story is set about five minutes from my house, and the suburb of St. Louis where the main character works is Clayton, the country seat of St. Louis County and likely the most familiar part of St. Louis County for those of us who live there (the courts, the jail, the country government, untold numbers of good restaurants, and lots of lawyers and accountants).
Miller gets both the geography and the “feel” of St. Louis right.

Interrogation is a wild ride of a story, moving as fast as Adams often drives his car. It is full of unexpected twists and turns, as our intrepid social worker delves into his girlfriend’s death, and slowly begins to realize that she’s most likely been killed by one of his own patients.

Author Miller is himself a Ph.D. social worker, a cofounder of the Center for Clinical Excellence, a “consortium of clinicians, researchers, and educators dedicated to promoting excellence in behavior health.” He’s also written numerous articles and co-authored several books on human behavior.

That professional background serves Miller well in Interrogation, as Mitch Adams has to determine who’s killed his girlfriend and the motivation behind. The novel is a “psychological” thriller of the best kind.

Photograph: the downtown skyline of St. Louis.

No comments: