'Escaping Psychiatry' is a collection of three novellas with the same protagonist, Mary, a psychiatrist and writer. She is trying to develop her literary career but circumstances and friends conspire to keep dragging her back to psychiatry. In 'Teamwork' Captain Tom McLeod, from the San Francisco Police Department, invites Mary for a meal at home with his wife. When she meets their other guest, a young detective called Justin, she quickly realises there is an agenda well beyond a friendly meal. Justin’s partner, mentor and father figure, Sgt. David Leaman, was killed a couple of months earlier during a routine investigation. Justin witnessed the event but he insists in going back to work and refusing any therapy or counselling. Tom and others at the department are concerned about his mental state but have failed to convince him to accept professional help. Both Mary and Justin are reluctant to engage in the ambush informal consultation organised, but eventually decide to give it a try. At first sight it appears to be a straight forward case of unresolved grief, but things aren’t as clear-cut as they appear and Mary ends up getting too personally involved with the case, to the detriment of her professional objectivity. Who is the expert in matters of the heart and soul?
'Teamwork' combines police procedural/crime thriller format with psychological exploration of characters’ insights and motivations. Despite its length this novella will have you enthused and guessing from beginning to end. The author, Olga Núñez Miret, a forensic psychiatrist, enriches the story with her expertise and insights.
If you enjoy 'Teamwork' why not check the other two novellas in the 'Escaping Psychiatry, series, 'Cannon Fodder' and 'Memory'?