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I am convinced, you see, that Dr Braithwaite killed my sister, Veronica. I do not mean that he murdered her in the normal sense of the word, but that he is, nonetheless, as responsible for her death as if he had strangled her with his bare hands. Two years ago, Veronica threw herself from the overpass at Bridge Approach in Camden and was killed by the 4.45 to High Barnet. You could hardly imagine a person less likely to commit such an act. She was twenty-six years old, intelligent, successful and passably attractive. Regardless of this, she had, unbeknown to my father and me, been consulting Dr Braithwaite for some weeks. This I know from his own account.
When a young woman becomes convinced that her sister’s therapist was responsible for her suicide, she assumes an alter ego and presents herself as a client at his clinic, determined to get to the bottom of the charismatic therapist’s relationship with her sister. But just who is she convincing with her performance of the deeply troubled Rebecca?
Case Study is a game of cat-and-mouse between therapist and patient, between truth and deception, and between author and reader. It is a novel seething with secrets and teasing questions about the nature of identity itself, an enthralling, playful and layered depiction of 1960s society and the radical psychiatry propounded by R. D. Laing.
INTERVIEWS and REVIEWS
‘Spellbinding … Riveting, dark and ingeniously constructed.’
‘Burnet proves that the undeniable pleasures of the crime novel can be combined with real literary value and an experimental narrative structure…Burnet is a writer of great skill and authority.’
‘A gripping crime story, a deeply imagined historical novel, and gloriously written all in one tour-de-force of a book.’
‘A thrilling investigation into sanity and identity.’
‘Fun and funny, sly and serious, a beguiling literary game that manages to say more about the nature of the self than any number of more self-consciously solemn works.’
‘A novel of mind-bending brilliance. Graeme Macrae Burnet is a master of muddying the waters, of troubling ideas of truth and identity, fiction and documentary, and Case Study shows him at the height of his powers.’