Book Review: The Analyst by Brandon Rolfe

The Analyst by Brandon Rolfe
The Analyst by Brandon Rolfe

Title: The Analyst

Author: Brandon Rolfe

Genre: Crime, Thriller, Fiction, Psychological

Publisher: Sagittaur

Published: August 21, 2012

Page Amount: 384 pages 

Blurb From Goodreads: Set in Victorian London, The Analyst follows a trail of intrigue in a realistic period setting reflecting a ‘modern’ scientific society that still drags a dark underside of squalid desolation. It tells of a grim struggle — a tragedy — of a man’s sanity slipping away, gradually deteriorating to the point of him eventually going over the edge with horrendous consequences. His brain screamed. The room rapidly becoming claustrophobic, with the walls crushing in on his mind. If he remained here it would suffocate him, annihilate him. Destruction now reared up in his mind, a heaving black monster held back on naught but feeble leash. The novel is directed at the psychological conscience-probing mystery section of the fiction market, the main character’s mental conflict, with its hauntingly mind-searching flashbacks, putting it into the Freudian/Hyde bracket.

Why Read: One of my more recent NetGalley picks, I’ve always had a love for the era of Victorian London. It’s dark alleyways and closed windows have always been a temptation because there is nothing better than a mystery. I was lucky to find this gem, and although it sent some shivers up my spine… I’m glad I read it.

Review: It’s hard to describe this book with anything close to a normal narrative. Upon opening the first page, I was thrown face first into a world that I immediately recognized from other books, one where the scientists don’t always know the facts and the fragile worlds of police work, academia and the Home Office collide. Needless to say, I was excited.

Adam Balchard, the main character, is a genius. A Sherlockian figure, he cares little for the mindsets and biases of others and works relentlessly to finish his academic work while working a separate job at the Police Station and eventually getting hired at the Home Office. His dry humor and sometimes nasty comments earn him a place separate from the others in society. Combine that with his drug habit and hazy recollections: you’ve got yourself a character ripe for reading. He truly is someone that I struggled to empathize with at times, but during other moments, I wanted to rush to the pages to comfort him.

The plot is an animal all its own. Moving at breakneck speed, it feels as though Balchard is dragging you with him as he rushes down to the Institute to conduct an experiment and just as quickly darting to solve and unsolvable murder. One particular object I did appreciate was how the ending did really surprise me. It probably shouldn’t have, but I very much was taken aback.

There’s no way to describe the book as perfectly as I could, so I’ll have to just leave you with a recipe. Why wouldn’t you want to read a book where the main character is working to discover DNA, also working at the Police Station, doing undercover work at the Home Office to prevent the anarchists from taking hold, shooting up on drugs whenever he gets the chance, and ducking down some of the more indecorous streets in London?

Rating: 4.6/5 Stars 

Review Coming Soon: The Crisis in the Vatican Empire by Massimo Franco

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