The endearing and unflappable Dr. Annick Boudreau regularly confronts a myriad of mental health issues in her psychiatric practice at the West Coast Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia. But even Annick is stunned when Sanjay, a young patient who suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is arrested for the brutal murder of his roommate. While Sanjay is tortured by repeated violent thoughts, he is horrified by them and Annick is convinced that he would never enact one of them in real life. But the police and prosecutor are convinced that they have caught the perpetrator and aren’t interested in looking very hard. Unable to talk to the authorities because of doctor-patient confidentiality, Annick feels compelled to investigate on her own, whatever the risks. What she discovers takes her into the dark side of Vancouver, where she uncovers a truth that’s very different from what the police and prosecutors imagine.
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.