The Secret Room by Sandra Block
Take note thriller lovers! There is an awesome new female protagonist on the scene and her name is Zoe Goldman. When I read the synopsis for “The Secret Room” by Sandra Block I was unaware that this was the third book in a series. I requested it on Netgalley and was very excited when I received the arc. Zoe is intelligent (working on her psychiatry residency in a prison), feisty (see prison job), yet very flawed. I really enjoyed the psychiatry angle both from her perspective as a therapist and also from the therapy she receives for herself. To make the story even more interesting, her psychopathic sister Sofia is one of the inmates housed in the prison where Zoe is working. While there was enough information throughout the book to help me catch up on what happened in the beginning of the series, I am definitely going back and reading Books 1 and 2 to get the full character development.
In “The Secret Room”, all of Zoe’s patients are beginning to die, some from apparent suicides and others under more suspicious circumstances. The warden of the prison believes that Zoe is actually assisting the prisoners in taking their lives and suddenly everything that she has worked so hard for is all on the line. She is assigned a new prisoner, a young man named Andre, who attempted to kill his father because he believes his father is the devil and that he is responsible for the death of Andre’s mother. As Zoe works with Andre, she begins to believe that he may be telling the truth even though he is exhibiting classic schizophrenic symptoms. Zoe finds herself fighting for her job and her very sanity as she attempts to determine if there is a conspiracy at work or if she herself, is slowly going mad. There are multiple story lines throughout this book and I found myself racing through the pages to see what was going to happen next. I can not believe I have never heard of this series or Sandra Block. This book was excellent -- I am officially a fan! As it stands, it’s easily a 4 star read. I feel like if I had read the first two books that rating would bump up to 5 stars since I would have a better understanding of some of the things discussed as well as the character growth. I plan to read“Little Black Lies” and “The Girl Without A Name” because I need more Zoe Goldman in my life.