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Compulsion (Frank Clevenger #3)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  645 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Billy Bishop, the Russian-born adopted son of a billionaire, has all the classic signs of a sociopath, but before he's arrested for the murder of Darwin and Julia Bishop's infant daughter, his half sister, Nantucket police chief North Anderson wants another opinion. Frank Clevenger, the forensic psychiatrist evaluating Billy, isn't convinced of the teenager's guilt, especi ...more
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published (first published 2002)
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Viji Sarath (Bookish endeavors)
Yet another impressive work from Keith Ablow.. Impressive compared to the other thrillers I've read recently,but when I compare it with the other works by the same author,this one seems to be almost a copy of the previous one I've read.. Keith Ablow has a wonderful ability to portray the darkest corners of human psyche,in ways that disturb most readers.. One can't find a better writer when it comes to technical details.. But because of the repetitive pattern,I could see the ending after reading ...more
I wasn't overly impressed, or really very impressed at all, with this one.

The book is basically about a forensic psychiatrist - just like the author - who is bald - just like the author - and has beautiful women wanting him - like the author wishes - even though he is so far up his own arse he'll never see the sun again - just like the... anyway, I think you know where I'm going with this.

What's with all the winking? People wink at each other constantly in this book. It's fucking annoying.
I would not have read any of this guy's books except that my friend Gina thoughtfully gave me an armful of them. The most annoying thing about them (in addition to their gratuitous violence) is that the hero is obnoxious, unattractive, overbearing and conceited yet women fawn over him everywhere he goes! Maybe this happens to the author now that he is a television personality.
I i initially like the protagonist, but as I read on, I had some problems with him. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just say, I found him rather a weak individual. Especially, for a psychiatrist. The story was okay, twist and turns, but I was able to figure out the ending pretty much before the end. I don't know if I will read any more on Dr. Ablow's books.
Thought this book was pretty predictable and I had guessed the ending by the 4th chapter, and as a psychiatrist, I thought Frank was a mess, and not in a fun or charming way..but not the worse book ever.
I enjoyed this book, but it isn't as good as his first two books. This one I felt moved a little slower and was just harder to get into. I didn't find the female lead character to be what the author wants you to think she is. Mr. Ablow describes her as siren that no man can resist. However, I don't get why she would give Frank Clevenger a second glance other than what she can get from him professionally in the mystery of who killed her daughter. However I did get interested in Billy Bishop, the ...more
Dr. Clevenger takes on a case of infantcide, mostly because of his friendship with the Chief of Police. The good doctor gets involved with mother in this case, which is not yet a good choice of a mate for him. The story moves along well, you think you know who the murderer is, then maybe not. Just enough doubt without taking anyone off the list completely. I also enjoyed the glances into the psychiarist's thoughts while working with his patients.
Jeff Dickison
This would have been a much better book if the lead character wasn't such a louse. A psychiatrist who continually sleeps with his clients is not a good person, even if he can excuse himself because of his past traumas. Come on! Get real! He would soon be barred from the profession and probably be in jail.
I stole this from anothe reviewer but I feel the same way about the book
"Thought this book was pretty predictable and I had guessed the ending by the 4th chapter, and as a psychiatrist, I thought Frank was a mess, and not in a fun or charming way..but not the worse book ever."
Third in the Frank Cleavenger series, I found this really enjoyable & better than book 2 in the series, clever story with psychological suspence & good character of the lead character. Well recommended.
Barbara ★
I always enjoy the unraveling of the mystery in this series because the author has a diabolical mind and really buries the truth while laying a spectacular false trail. I do, however, find the inner workings of Dr. Frank Clevenger to be unrealistic and completely unbelievable. Without fail he has a sexual relationship with a seemingly innocent victim who usually winds up being the evil genius behind the mystery. He is a recovering alcoholic who always has meetings in bars and has one drink and w ...more
This is the 3rd in the Frank Clevenger series. A good psychological thriller.

Back Cover Blurb:
Burdened by his own psychological scars, forensic psychiatrist Dr Frank Clevenger has endured the most extreme twists of the human mind. Then he receives a disturbing call from Nantucket's chief of police. The five-month-old daughter of prominent billionaire Darwin Bishop has been found murdered in her crib.
The obvious suspect is Darwin's adopted sociopathic son, Billy. But even Clevenger can't fathom t
I love Ablow as an author; I really enjoy the way he explains pathology and mental issues. He illustrates perfectly how mental illness/trauma directly results (sometimes) in murders, obsessions, and repeating the cycles. I liked that the story was written with sympathy towards the adopted son who was automatically labeled as a future serial killer. Regardless of Dr Clevenger's admitted addiction to women and sex, though, I was disappointed by how stupid he was regarding the wife. I can understan ...more
Good murder mystery with a twist at the end. I enjoyed that very much. Frank's romantic involvement and the fact that he must be irresistable is a bit of a stretch.
Another great one

Ablow really is such a great writer. Having read three of his books so far, I can highly recommend them.
An okay read ; a little predictable.
This is another in a very good series about a psychiatrist who works with various police departments. This case is about an extremely rich family on Nantucket for the summer. Those in residence include the father, the mother, 2 teen age boys, twin infant girls, and their nanny. One of the babies is murdered. As the story developes, everyone living in the house is a suspect, except the twin sister of the victim. This is a quick and interesting read. There's a bit too much about the demons torment ...more
Dr. Frank Clevenger takes on another forensics case against his better judgement. A friend asks him to do him this one favor, and he reluctantly agrees. Frank is still battling his own demons with alchohol and sex that had hold of him in his last story (Denial), and he falls off the wagon for a brief moment. As he searches for a baby killer, he falls in love with the baby's mother, tries to help her older son with anger, and receives threats from the baby's father. Love the twists in this story.
Keith Ablow has become one of my must read authors. This is one of his Frank Clevenger series, so if you are interested, it is best to start with the first (I believe it is Denial---which I am planning on re-reading soon). This is a great psychological thriller with a lot of twists and turns and a great surprise ending. A little implausible in some areas, but the story itself outweighs these and makes this a great read for lovers of suspense.
Mark Lechman
Great Psychological Thriller with a good neo-noir twist and great character insight.
Dana Fazzino
Not a bad read, entertaining enough if you can put aside the distraction of a very flat and predictable protagonist. Feels slightly misogynistic.
An infant twin girl is murdered and any one of four people are psycho enough to have committed such a crime. Our boy Frank returns again to forensic psychiatry as a favor to his friend who is the Chief of Police on the island where this occurred. A tad slower than his first two novels, but still engaging, I found myself enjoying the story but certainly not any of the characters which is also to Ablow's credit.
Now this is a new author that I can wrap my evenings around. A real psycho-sexual story. Ranks right up thee with Bad Blood. Three different times I knew who had done it only to be wrong. Then in the last 5 pages it all became clear but the mirror was cloudy. Fine read. The character of the damaged psychiatrist is so compelling that I will now have to read the first two novels.
International Cat Lady
A very engaging murder mystery, with a bizarre set of suspects - nearly all of whom could have done it. I did, however, find the sex scenes overly gratuitous. I'm not a prude by any means, it was simply that they didn't seem realistic. They seemed more like Ablow's personal fantasies as opposed to the kind of sex believable characters would have.
I tend to read authors from the first book to the last one published. This is my third one by Ablow, and I found it to be the best so far. He doesn't go overboard with the "character insight" of the main character (like in his second one), and the plot was good (albeit predictable) like in his first one. Good book, worth reading
Angie crosby
A frank Clevenger book. Good book. it was a good book, and I enjoyed it. I like the frank character as well as how Keith Ablow actually is a psychologist, so knows what he is talking about. Like with the Linda fairstein books, that knowledge comes through and makes a totally believeable book.
Chi Dubinski
Dr. Frank Clevenger, a forensic psychiatrist, is called in to a case by a friend. The local billionaire’s infant daughter is murdered, and the teenage adopted son is suspected of the crime. Clevenger immediately has an affair with the billionaire’s wife—how stupid of a psychiatrist is this guy?
The best of the series so far. The author has the ability to see evil, and also to see the cause of evil, not just in murder, but in families and personal tragedies. Great storytelling, very complex characters and a flawed hero. You never know who you can trust, except the good doctor.
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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)
  • Denial (Frank Clevenger, #1)
  • Projection (Frank Clevenger, #2)
  • Psychopath (Frank Clevenger, #4)
  • Murder Suicide (Frank Clevenger, #5)
  • The Architect (Frank Clevenger, #6)
  • Infam / Ausgelöscht
Psychopath (Frank Clevenger, #4) Denial (Frank Clevenger, #1) The Architect (Frank Clevenger, #6) Murder Suicide (Frank Clevenger, #5) Projection (Frank Clevenger, #2)

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“Most children would rather preserve the fantasy of a loving connection with their fathers and mothers, at all costs, even if it costs them their self-esteem. When you're three or seven years old, it's less frightening to think of yourself as an unlovable, disappointing screwup than to recognize the fact that you're living with a monster.” 19 likes
“Everyone - rich or poor, black or white, educated or not - is in emotional turmoil, in some sort of pain. (51)” 3 likes
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