In Cate Quinn’s recent Thriller, The Clinic, the Reader is transported to the Pacific Northwest coast, where a remote Addictions Treatment Center caters to the rich and famous.
One of the perspectives we follow is Meg, whose estranged sister, Haley, a famous actress, has been receiving in-patient care there. When Meg hears the news that her sister has overdosed while in treatment, and rumors swirl it was possibly suicide, Meg doesn’t believe it.
As in, she really thinks there is no way in heck her sister would have overdosed, let alone on purpose. Meg suspects foul play and decides to go undercover at the Clinic to try to figure out what really happened to Haley.
We also follow a woman employed at the Clinic, Cara. She’s relatively new and as she begins to settle in and get to know everyone around her, she too suspects something may be off.
As the narrative shifts back and forth, it offers the Reader an inside glimpse into the Clinic from both a worker’s and a patient’s perspective. It’s through that dual view that the truth is able to come to light.
Y’all, this is a very basic way of summing up all that is going on in this story, but I don’t want to risk giving anything else away. It’s best to go into this knowing as little as possible.
I enjoyed the set-up of this one a lot, as well as the setting. It hooked me from the very start. I felt like the opening scene really set the stage for all that was about to play out.
I really loved Meg as a main character. Her perspective just fit my tastes so well. She’s tough, smart and no-nonsense, but also flawed and struggling with a lot of things in her life; including her own addiction to painkillers and alcohol.
I liked learning about her, the events in her past that had propelled her to her current state. I felt like Quinn did an incredible job of bringing Meg to life, breathing humanity into her and making her actions and motivations understandable. Honestly, I became very attached to her.
That’s unsurprising though, as I love flawed characters. If characters are too perfect, I don’t like ’em. No one is perfect, why would I want my fictional characters to be?
I was excited to go undercover with Meg and investigate the Clinic. It seemed shady as all get out from the start and I liked meeting all the various players within that setting.
It also felt very claustrophobic; like once Meg was in there, it felt like there was seriously no turning back. The fact that she was also grappling with her own addictions issues, and that her mind wasn’t in top form through that, added to the sense of being trapped and desperate.
I feel like Quinn really succeeded in that regard.
I wasn’t as sold on the other perspective, Cara, but I do understand and appreciate why it was necessary for the overall story. For things to ultimately play out the way they did, both women were needed.
This definitely went in an unexpected direction for me and I thought it was so much fun. It gets pretty wild and I loved being with Meg as she tried to navigate through all the chaos. Some of her choices, oh baby, were they intense.
I would definitely recommend this to Readers who enjoy tense, suspenseful Thrillers with flawed MCs and questionable organizations. This had a lot of action and a full cast of unlikable side characters as well. It’s engaging and a bit OTT. Overall, a great read!
Thank you so much to the publisher, Sourcebooks Landmark, for providing me with a copy to read and review.
I cannot wait to read more from Cate Quinn!!!