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Reviewed by Peggy Jo Wipf for Readers' Favorite
The Tree of Thorns is a medical thriller that will captivate your attention and imagination. Bob Goodwin created a “fiction wrapped around the truth” that will keep you glued to the pages. Jackson Hammond is a trainee at the Holman Mental Hospital. As he transfers from each lodge house, he learns there is corruption on all levels. An unusual amount of deaths happen in the Holman Mental Hospital and Jackson feels one patient, Ezra, may be a witness. Ezra’s increase in drug therapy prevents him from revealing what he knows. Things speed up when Jackson’s friend and co-worker disappears. Jackson knows he is playing a dangerous game with players who are not afraid to kill, but he can’t let the cynical darkness that is hovering swallow up Ezra.
From the first chapter, The Tree of Thorns enthralled me. Bob Goodwin adds a perfect touch of mystery and thrill, with bits of shock that fascinate. The plot has multiple layers of deceit and deception. When it all unravels, it is amazing to see how Goodwin fed snippets of truth and sly pretense to direct the reader to one conclusion when there were many. The pace is steady as Jackson has to keep up his appearance of innocence by working at the Holman Mental Hospital. The characters are well-developed, even the patients in the hospital. What I really loved about this book was how the author gave a unique voice to the characters, even if they will die later. I love the way Goodwin describes the people and places; the mood changes with each difference. Overall, I would highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more from Goodwin.