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Denial (Frank Clevenger #1)

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  853 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
He's in deep.

A series of grisly murders has forensic psychiatrist Frank Clevenger on the case of a lifetime and the fight of his life against a brutal killer with a horrific trademark and his own howling demons of sexual compulsion, self-destruction, and...Denial.
Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 15th 1998 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 1996)
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Aug 25, 2007 Vickie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those who dig gritty damaged souls who are basically good underneath
It took me a little while to get into this one, the main character is flawed flawed flawed. Then I realized why he is the way he is and I kept learning more as I continued to read. Frank Clevenger is a forensic psychiatrist and is in need of a therapy himself. He treats himself with cocaine and alcohol and anything else he can think of further damage himself. He does care about his patients and that is what won me to his side. I really don't think I'd like him as a person, but I'd want him as my ...more
Aug 30, 2012 Ella rated it it was ok
The ending seem abrupt and stupid.
Alyce Rocco
Jul 27, 2012 Alyce Rocco marked it as gave-up-on
Reason I gave up on Denial by Keith Ablow ~ I could not muster up any feeling of caring what happened to main characters. The story started out interesting: women found murdered, breasts cut off, homeless man calls police telling them he killed a virgin.

From there it turned into porno, S&M scenes, perverted doctors and the women who loved being degraded by them. I kept wondering when the story would get back to the deranged homeless man, determining if he did indeed kill the women.

By that
Apr 03, 2015 _speedy rated it did not like it
...some people hurt so much they can't take what they need, even when someone wants to give it to them.

This book just wasn't for me. I like flawed characters, I really do, but they need to have something human/good in them. But Frank Clevenger was just some lame excuse for a man. He was abused when he was little, and you would think that alone would make him want to help people, but he just ends up hurting them even more. He has a nasty cocaine habit, problems with intimacy and of course enjoys
Jun 24, 2014 Stephanie rated it did not like it
This was a poor example of American literature. I expected a mystery novel, similar to the Criminal Minds show, and all I received was the story of a cocaine addicted psychiatrist who couldn't keep it in his pants. Not something I would ever pick up again.
Feb 02, 2009 Delilah rated it liked it
Recommends it for: when you need a quick fix of raunch in an afternoon read
Shelves: fiction
I was slightly disappointed in this novel. When a forensic psychiatrist writes a crime thriller, I expect a level of introspective intensity in the characters that I just didn't see demonstrated by Mr. Ablow. There were elements of cleverness that kept me reading this otherwise mediocre story; I appreciated the raw raunchiness and the thoroughly unlikable protagonist. At the same time, I wanted the author to step up his appeal to both my visceral love of the macabre and my ability to read above ...more
Dec 22, 2014 Wendy rated it really liked it
Frank Clevenger is a forensic psychologist on the verge of hitting rock bottom. His cocaine habit, penchant for gambling, and his philandering ways have led him to the edge. His love life is in shambles; his job is on the line; and a serial killer is on the loose. This is the first book in a series that came highly recommended. Fortunately, I had been warned ahead of time that the main character, Frank, was not an admirable person up front, but that the book would in fact get better and be hard ...more
Feb 09, 2013 Debbie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So many dysfunctional characters, short bursts of raw sex (no romance). About 50 pages into the book I was ready to quit because I couldn't deal with the characters that lacked my respect and had no self control. But I plodded on and the story did suck me in.
With things coming to a conclusion, I was ready to give this 4 stars. But the end was just ridiculous. Characters that are narcissistic, emotionally immature, have no self control, and no social skills.
I wish I hadn't wasted my time.
Tara Kable
Jan 25, 2013 Tara Kable rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ablow
Well, not really sure quite what to say about this book! It was a real page turner, but in the same effect as a train wreck...You just can't look away! Frank is totally messed up, his girlfriends are totally messed up, and the book was beyond graphic with the sex scenes. Definately not for the squeamish or faint of heart. I definately recommend reading these in order, as there is a lot of back story on Frank and why he is the way he is. A great book, but definately not "light" reading.
Dec 06, 2007 Carl rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novel
Recommended by my friend Chris Tran. Very graphic in the sexual scenes and no holds barred in the depiction of a doctor on a down spiral of drugs, sex and alcohol. Not for the squeamish, but well plotted.
Jun 04, 2007 Nicole added it
Recommends it for: All my friends who can read
I learned that people are not what they seem on the outside and you should try to to find something that is deeper and hidden in that person who seems shy on life.
Dec 07, 2013 Teddycuda rated it really liked it
When I rate a book I consider what I expected when I picked it up. I expected a good psychological mystery...I got a psycho-sexual ..thriller. I expected a little more ......maybe..dignity from Keith Ablow. And I thought it might be more difficult to figure out. Too much explicit sex for my preference. I like Frank in spite of his many failings and quirks. His girlfriend is way too controlling for me to like her...(maybe I just understand his disease more than I understand hers.) of course, that ...more
Jan 27, 2016 Elyse83 rated it really liked it
Just finished it. Wow. I won't say too much, but there were twists and turns in this murder, psychological, case that I did not expect. Be prepared for some gritty scenes, violent sexual scenes, and twisted thinking, but well worth the effort.
Sep 23, 2015 Christina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was expecting a psychological thriller, what i got was a psychiatrist who is a drug addict and sex addict. And the ending?...omg , it was absolutely ridiculous

Apr 18, 2014 Marlene rated it really liked it
I gave it four stars because I really liked it - I think. I'm so confused. I wouldn't classify it as a thriller. Yes, there was murder, serial killings, but that isn't really what the story was about. I started out thinking that I did not like the main character. I'm not sure I liked any of the characters. They were all weird; screwed up, and they ran the system: psychiatrists, surgeons, nurses, policemen, etc. For me, that was the part that was scary. The book was intriguing. A lot of descripti ...more
Nov 21, 2015 Kristina rated it it was ok
It would be much better if we didn't have to read about his drug and prostitutes addiction. And if he turned his "girlfriend" to the police
Jan 09, 2008 Samantha rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mystery lovers and people who are looking for a good series to start on.
I think this is an interesting debut novel. Loved the concept of having a lead character as a forensic psychologist that is addicted to cocaine, strippers and alcohol. It was a great concept to start a series. I'm definitely going to be reading the sequel to this book. I found it interesting how Mr. Ablow led you down the garden path before taking a sharp turn into moral ground at the end. What would you do? Turn in someone you love because you have to due to your job or help them and break the ...more
Jan 07, 2008 Susan rated it liked it
I've heard about this author for a while now and have actually had this book on my shelf for several years. I finally pulled it down to read. Generally, when I'm not captivated by a book, I just put it down and move on. This one was tricky. I was not captivated. I didn't really like the main character. I kept thinking "I'm going to give this 2 more pages…." Pretty soon I realized I was 3/4ths the way through and totally hook ed and even was liking Frank Clevenger, forensic psychiatrist, drug add ...more
Levi C.
Apr 05, 2015 Levi C. rated it it was ok
Meh.... It was just ok. I'd give it 2.5 stars out of 5. Deeply flawed characters make it interesting.
Jul 11, 2014 Joanne rated it it was amazing
Thank you again to my pen friend Kathy M. For sending me a box of her books from America. Over a year ago GoodReads matched us up as friends and I've made a friend for life. We share letters, all kinds postcards book marks cotton book covers. I really enjoyed this book and recommend to all my friends.
Jan 11, 2011 lunaticprophet rated it really liked it
**** Another good one from Ablow.. this is my favorite of his (so far) or maybe I've just gotten into the flow of his work and am starting to admire it more. Whatever the reason.. this is a good one... his first one in a continuing series that I've been reading out of order -- the "life and trials" of Frank Clevenger. The plot all came together for me at about page 200 without my having to try and figure it out. I enjoyed the realism of human emotions, thoughts, behaviors and the "everyone is da ...more
Apr 29, 2010 james rated it liked it
This is a medium speed read about a psychiatrist who is asked to find sane a homeless and disturbed man, who has been discovered at the scene of a ghastly murder. The suspect has confessed; the psychiatrist need only go through the motions. He has his doubts. Then shortly thereafter another very similar murder takes place and it's clear that the homeless man, although disturbed, isn't guilty of murder.
Andrew Carter
Feb 02, 2016 Andrew Carter rated it it was amazing
Love Ablow's books. Clevenger is a great character.
Sep 11, 2009 krin rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
At first I wasn't sure if I would like the book as the main character, Frank Clevenger, was not the most likable person. But as the story progresses and Frank has to both solve the crimes and face the reason he tends to self-destruct, I got more interested in how the story would end. I look forward to reading more about Frank and his friends and enemies in the next book, Projection.
Mar 18, 2016 Molly rated it it was ok
Lots of unexpected sexual stuff going on in this book... Not what I expected.
Jan 02, 2011 DW rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2007
I enjoyed this book. It was well written, exciting and engaging. Plus it takes place in Boston and recognizing certain settings, sites and monuments produces a certain affinity. I'm not sure if this is part of a series with Dr. Klevenger as a recurring character or if this book is stand-alone but I'm curious to pick up another Keith Ablow and check it out. Gritty and raw.
Bonnie McHenry
Jul 25, 2011 Bonnie McHenry rated it it was ok
I liked this story. The protaganist is very flawed, but likable at the same time. I love his search for inner peace which coincides with his struggle at finding a serial killer and trying to correct an unhealthy relationship and a drug habit. Graphic sex scenes, but are relevant to the story. All in all a good read and will read the next in this series.
Jul 23, 2013 Jan rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, thriller
Murder, mystery, drugs, sex and many twisted and flawed characters are all part of Ablow's first book in his Frank Clevenger series. A forensic psychiatrist, Frank is treating himself with alcohol and drugs while finding pleasure and pain in his association with an OB doctor who is severely flawed. The twist at the end is its own reward.
Chrissy Owens
Jan 14, 2010 Chrissy Owens rated it did not like it
This is the first novel in the Frank Clevenger series, and had I not purchased parts 1 and 2 at the same time I would have no idea that Ablow turns out to be a very intriguing and entertaining writer. I didn't like this book at all due to the graphic sexual content and had to skim past most of the pages. Not for conservative readers.
Aug 27, 2009 Joe rated it really liked it
Very interesting debut novel and start of Frank Cleavenger series, different slant on physiatrist type thriller novel, the lead character has some serious personal demons of his own & is certainly not picture perfect... I really enjoyed it and I felt it was something new & I look forward to reading more novels by this author..
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Keith Russell Ablow is an American psychiatrist, New York Times best-selling author, and television personality.
More about Keith Ablow...

Other Books in the Series

Frank Clevenger (7 books)
  • Projection (Frank Clevenger, #2)
  • Compulsion (Frank Clevenger, #3)
  • Psychopath (Frank Clevenger, #4)
  • Murder Suicide (Frank Clevenger, #5)
  • The Architect (Frank Clevenger, #6)
  • Infam / Ausgelöscht

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“Most of you guys can't see the potential in a nervous breakdown. A real collapse. There's more chance of finding yourself in a major depression than there is in a bottle Prozac.” 67 likes
“But insight doesn't necessarily produce self-control. Sometimes you just see your destructiveness more clearly.” 48 likes
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