Cover Image: Primary Obsessions

Primary Obsessions

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Primary Obsessions is the first book in a series of mysteries starring Dr. Annick Boudreau and involving themes of mental health. Author (and longtime CBT patient) Charles Demers deftly reveals a particular aspect of psychiatric practice in each book, illuminating shadowy subject matter with masterful sensitivity and sharp wit. Primary Obsessions is an engrossing page-turner and a refreshing reboot of the sleuth genre.
Definitely a book to read. I was pulled into the story and it did not let go. The book is well written with a strong character driven story.
Recommended 4 star read ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Was this review helpful?
Bah-humbug! 🧐😳

I kept hoping for more with this novel; for the ending. But I also felt this had very similar vibes to A. J. Torre's "The Good Lie", but not as intense or shocking. A therapist's patient is charged with murder. This patient has something called "primary obsession OCD". But did therapist, Dr. Annick, enable and cause this with her therapy choices? Plus, this author is Canadian, which is also a win in my books! I thoroughly enjoyed this journey I was led on and couldn't read fast enough! Although the "mystery" / "thriller" angle wasn't quite up to snuff, it still was a great read. 

Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read this book! 
Currently out now. 

I give this 3 / 5 snowflakes! ❄️
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Net Galley and Legend Press for the Free copy of Primary Obsessions! 

I was interested in this book because of the unique subject/story line! I enjoyed that it is not your typical mystery. It dealt with a lot of what is currently going on in society and the “real world”. Like the misunderstanding and stigma around mental health and the how everything is under the microscope of social media and the media outlets. 

Over all I enjoyed this book but feel it could have been shorter. There were unnecessary details or descriptions added and sentences that went on forever. This made it difficult to read at times. 

That being said, I give it a 3 star rating! And would give the author another chance!
Was this review helpful?
Primary Obsessions – Charles Demers (227 pages) - Dr. Annick Boudreau #1 
Pub Date: 15 Sep 2021
Genre: mental health thriller, mystery, suspense 
Rating: 3 stars 

Primary Obsessions is the first novel in a series featuring Dr Annick Boudreau by author, Charles Demers. This was my first book by this author. 

Sanjay, a patient of Dr Annick Boudreau who experiences violent intrusive thoughts is arrested for a terrible crime. Dr Boudreau knows Sanjay didn’t commit murder, individuals with primary obsessive OCD don’t act on their thoughts, or do they? Torn between loyalty to her patient and ethical obligations, Dr Boudreau sets out to find the truth, no matter where it leads.  

What drew me into this book was the pairing of mystery and mental health. So often mental health is used as a plot device to explain away the actions of the villain/antagonist. What I liked about this story was the realistic portrayal of mental health issues, therapy and the way in which the author and characters seek to breakdown these stereotypes. 

As someone who works in the mental health field myself, I found the authors portrayal of OCD and mental health in general to be poignant, factual and genuine. I believe this may have come from the authors own experiences which feed into this story. What starts out as a mystery, becomes more of a story about the human experience and how our perceptions of people’s actions can be biased. It’s easy to empathise with Sanjay and his fears, shame and distress. I found myself wanting to read more if only to find out his fate. 
The mystery itself felt a little lacking to me. I would have liked a little more action or excitement. The streets of Canada and the criminal aspects I felt could have been more fleshed out and might have helped to hold my interest more overall. Some parts I felt were a little slow paced. 

Primary Obsessions is a quick, enjoyable mystery featuring a strong, interesting female main character. I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys mysteries featuring an amateur sleuth or someone looking for a crime mystery which offers something different than your standard police procedural.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Netgalley and Author Charles Demers for this ARC.

I was drawn to the book as it involved themes of mental health and a thriller which I was very intrigued by. Reading the story, I felt that all of the parts related to Dr Annick's professional life and Sanjay's mental health and his views were well written and I enjoyed finding out about both of them more.

Unfortunately, when it came to the mystery part, I didn't experience that sense of excitement to find out what is happening next and wasn't as invested in that part of the story.
Was this review helpful?
Incredible first book in a new series with nuance and more complexity than is usually seen in novels about mental health. 
Absolutely wonderful.
Was this review helpful?
Well Penned Mystery….
The first in the series of mysteries featuring Dr Annick Boudreau who deals daily with numerous cases of mental health issues in her thriving psychiatric practice. When a young patient is arrested for murder, Dr Annick is compelled to investigate and being bound by a patient /doctor confidentiality she faces professional issues as well as the obvious risks involved in such a move. A well penned mystery, empathetic and written with an accomplished sleight of hand, sprinkled liberally with doses of dry wit.
Was this review helpful?
This was such a good book and not the usual, the crazy person did it!!! Type story. The way it deals with mental health is actually very compassionate and understanding and actually shows the complexities and difficulties of these conditions rather that just sticking to ignorant assumptions. In saying that, it's still a thriller about murder rather than a self help book so it is still engaging and keeps you wondering just how it's going ti end. Really well done by all accounts
Was this review helpful?
What a highly entertaining book. I had no idea what I was up to when I started this quick read.

The story centers around  Dr. Annick Boudreau. Her patient, Sanjay, is accused of murdering his flatmate. Sanjay suffers from violent intrusive thoughts. Dr. Boudreau suggests to keep a diary about these thoughts as part of his therapy. Unfortunately this diary is proof for the police  that Sanjay is a brutal killer. 
I particularly enjoyed the mixture of mental illness topics combined with a solid crime story.

Thanks #Netgalley #Legend Press for an ARC of this book
Was this review helpful?
This was a great book, I ended up finishing this in just one sitting! It was a really interesting and engaging story, that I could not put down! I would definitely recommend this book in the coming winter months, it would be a perfect addition to a cosy winters night in.
Was this review helpful?
I LOVED this book! What a great treat to read such a beautifully written and compassionate novel. It's so rare to read crime fiction that accurately portrays complex mental health problems. I absolutely loved the protagonist, Dr. Annick Boudreau - she's a fully rounded character that I would love to go for a drink with.

The plot is simple and well told. Annick's patient, Sanjay, is wrongly accused of murdering his flatmate. Sanjay suffers from chronic OCD that manifests itself in disturbing and violent intrusive thoughts. As part of his therapy, Annick asks him to keep a diary of his thoughts. An incompetent and ignorant police team use the diary as all the proof they need that Sanjay is a violent killer.

What follows is a hugely enjoyable story as Annick does all she can to prove her patient is innocent. 

This is a fabulous novel and I'm thrilled that it's the first in a new series featuring the utterly delightful psychologist sleuth!
Was this review helpful?
My first read by this author, and I did enjoy the novel. I did find it was quite hard to get into and my mind did wander a little but all in all it was a good read and somewhat different to what I normally devour.

We meet psychologist Annick who meets many a different and intriguing clientele, but one of her clients Sanjay is  arrested for the slaying of his roommate.
 
Annick investigates this matter as she does not believe that Sanjay has indeed turned into a murderer and this sets off the premise for this novel. 

I enjoyed the setting of this novel and the descriptive language that Charles Demers uses. A good mystery.

Thanks to Charles Demers, NetGalley and the publishers for an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
An enjoyable thriller that for the most part kept me engaged, I found some moments dragged and I lost my focus but it dosnt take away from the book. Vivid imagery and lots of twists.
Was this review helpful?
Im afraid I gave up on this at just over half way through.
It just wasn't holding my attention in any way.
Was this review helpful?