Review of Danielle Girard’s Latest Novel, Expose

The focus of my blog is to review book series and not individual novels. But writers are going to continue writing novels within a series even after I have done my review, so I plan on reviewing the individual novels as they come into circulation.  Danielle Girard has recently added book #3, Expose to the Dr. Annabelle Schwartzman series.

The personality trait that is most common in any good thriller is the all endearing psychopath. In Danielle Girard’s latest thriller, Expose, we get to see the shenanigans of not just one psychopath but two. Expose, as well as the rest of series, follows the life of medical examiner, Annabelle Schwartzman, who, unlike most medical examiners, happens to have been married to a psychopath. So, in other words, she has first-hand experience with psychopaths which has both its upside and downside in her occupation, well maybe more downside. In Expose, Schwartzman gets a case where a women is stabbed to death in a park only a short distance from where Schwartzman was investigating another death. Schwartzman alongside Detective Hal Harris work together on uncovering a complicated layer of clues that eventually lead us to the illustrious psychopath.

Girard does one thing that is different than what other authors do when writing about psychopaths; she looks into what makes them psychopaths in the first place.  An article in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin defines psychopaths as being, ‘a cluster of interpersonal, affective, lifestyle, and antisocial traits and behaviors. These involve deception; manipulation; irresponsibility; impulsivity; stimulation seeking; poor behavioral controls; shallow affect; lack of empathy, guilt, or remorse; sexual promiscuity; callous disregard for the rights of others; and unethical and antisocial behaviors.’ Most psychopaths are men and it is estimated that approximately 1% of the male population is a psychopath which means that you probably have run into one at some time. The brains of psychopaths are different than the brains of most people which indicates that there is most likely a genetic component which means that psychopaths are born that way. But not all psychopaths are homicidal maniacs as depicted in many thrillers. The psychopathic killer is mostly likely molded into being a sadistic killer as there is evidence that a traumatic event in their childhood, such as sexual or physical abuse or possibly witnessing a violent death, predisposes them toward being a ruthless murderer. Girard gives us a glimpse into how Schwartzman’s abusive husband and the man she is investigating become evil psychopathic killers and how they can so easily get by with their behaviors without being discovered.

Expose could be read as a standalone, but the running theme of Schwartzman’s psychopathic husband has been continuous throughout the series. Additionally, Girard ends Expose with a cliff-hanger which means that you will need to read the next in the series. Overall, I think this in a fun and entertaining thriller especially for those that can’t get enough of psychopaths. The next book in the series is Expire which should be released mid-summer of 2019.

I would like to think NetGalley and Thomas and Mercer Publishing for my advance reader copy of Expose.

To learn more about the series check out the Dr. Schwartzman series.

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