Book Review: The Semantics of Murder

Loosely based on the unsolved 1971 murder of gay UCLA Professor Robert Montague, this taut thriller follows psychoanalyst Dr. Jay Hamilton who recently relocated from LA to London. Not only is Dr. Hamilton revered by his patients, as J. Merritt he is the successful author of several books based upon the personal case histories of those patients.

Dana Flynn, an accomplished biographer is hard at work researching the life of Robert Hamilton, a broadly respected mathematician at UCLA who was murdered at forty-one. For Jay, this means digging into a past he’d rather forget and for good reason, in the space of a mere two years he buried his entire family including his brother Robert. With Dana’s questions, some uncomfortable memories are beginning to surface and Jay is having difficulties determining which are real and which might be a figment of his imagination.

While light on action, this gripping physiological thriller more then makes up for it in sheer intensity. The character development is top notch, especially as they attempt to come to terms with matters of ethics. Intelligent prose dominates the first half of the book before taking a darker, more disturbing turn making this a difficult read to put down. 


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