Tuesday 11 April 2023

The Institution by Helen Fields #TheInstitution @Helen_Fields @AvonBooksUK #BookReview

They’re locked up for your safety.

Now, you’re locked in with them.

Dr Connie Woolwine has five days to catch a killer.

On a locked ward in the world’s highest-security prison hospital, a scream shatters the night. The next morning, a nurse’s body is found and her daughter has been taken. A ransom must be paid, and the clock is ticking.

Forensic profiler Dr Connie Woolwine is renowned for her ability to get inside the mind of a murderer. Now, she must go deep undercover among the most deranged and dangerous men on earth and use her unique skills to find the girl – before it’s too late.

But as the walls close in around her, can Connie get the killer before The Institution gets her?

The Institution by Helen Fields was published in hardback on 2 March 2023 by Avon Books. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review. 

I read The Institution when I was on holiday last month and absolutely tore through it. Warning! Once you start, you will find this one very hard to put down. Read it when you have time to spare and to savour the book. 

The Charles Parry Institution for the Rehabilitation of the Criminally Insane is known locally as just The Institution. It's a large, gothic style building situated on an island and houses some of the most dangerous people on earth. 

There's been a particularly brutal and shocking murder at the Institution. A nurse has been found dead, and her unborn child has been removed from her body.  Dr Connie Woolwine is a well respected and usually very successful forensic profiler, she and her colleague have been asked to move into the Institution to try to find the baby, and the killer. 

Connie is up against time, she spends her days fending off questions from suspicious staff members who are not aware of the real reason of why she is there. She talks with the patients, they reveal their crimes and their innermost thoughts to her.

I have to admit that there are a few parts of this novel that need a little suspension of belief. I worked in a high security forensic psychiatric hospital for many years and there were a few details that irked me. However, this is fiction and unless you know, you probably wouldn't notice any of this as the tension rises and the race to find the newborn intensifies. 

I loved the actual Institution itself. The author has created a character in itself with this dark, gloomy, almost brooding building, surrounded by water and occupied by people who are all pretty weird in their own way. 

I got a bit of a 'Shutter Island' feeling from this book at times. Never quite knowing who to trust, or what was the truth.

An enjoyable psychological thriller with a great sense of place and some very complex characters. 

Helen Fields studied law at the University of East Anglia, then went on to the Inns of
Court School of Law in London. 
After completing her pupillage, she joined chambers in Middle Temple where she practised criminal and family law for thirteen years. 
After her second child was born, Helen left the Bar.
Together with her husband David, she runs a film production company. 
Helen and her husband now live in Los Angeles with their three children and two dogs.


Twitter @Helen_Fields

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