Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Books I've read this week - Don't Look Down

Don't Look Down © 2009 by David Laing Dawson

ISBN: 978-0981003757
Publisher: Bridgeross Communications
Date of publish: Aug 17, 2009
Pages: 194
S.R.P.: $19.95

About the book: Four men, age 18 to 81, have murdered, and now share a room in the secure forensic psychiatry ward. Who better to get inside their heads, and find both the tragedy and comedy of their lives than psychiatrist and novelist David Laing Dawson.

Frank has just completed a ten year sentence in a Federal Prison for manslaughter. He is remanded for an assessment in the Forensic Ward of a Psychiatric Hospital. On this ward Frank shares a four bed room with Joseph, a man suffering from severe depression and delusions of jealousy, David, a young schizophrenic man, and Henry Thornton, 81 years of age, sometimes confused, and possibly guilty of the mercy killing of his companion and lover.

Dawson explores the comedy as well as the tragedy of these four lives as they intersect in a dramatic way in a place none of them wishes to be.

This story has the ring of truth and insight only an insider can provide. And though the characters and events are tragic, the author finds many moments of shared humanity, warmth and good humor.

Although this book tells the story of 4 murderers, you can't help but feel sorry for them.  The circumstances leading up to each killing, such as childhood abuse or mental illness,  is very different and each man kills for a different reason.  They all end up in a room together at a psychiatric hospital.  The author does a great job exploring their backgrounds and letting the reader into their minds as he tells the story.  I like the way he tied up all the loose ends at the end of the book, too.

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