top of page

Book Review: "Doctor Glass" dives into the psyche

As a true crime junkie obsessed with the deeply psychological cases, I’m all for the deep dive into someone’s psyche. When TCK Publishing reached out for me to review Louise Worthington’s latest psychological thriller, “Doctor Glass,” I jumped at the opportunity to feed the junkie in me.

We follow psychotherapist Emma-Jane Glass, a workaholic who cares deeply for her clients. After publishing a controversial article about mothers murdering their own children, she receives an influx of letters opposing her views. One such anonymous letter frightens her–threatening to mutilate and expose her to the world. She goes about her work with her friend and nutritionist, Lucy, but is eventually abducted and finds herself at the mercy of an unstable sociopath.

Despite her fears, Doctor Glass decides to help her captor through his trauma and insanity, yet battles with her mind to rationalize her aid.

Worthington’s writing style is lyrical and physical–much imagery associated with eating or consuming to build that visceral reaction. There are some susceptible and traumatizing bits about suicide, self-harm, and eating disorders. Still, the most well-written and trauma-inducing chapter was the one centered around a patient’s wife–which I won’t spoil. The first prologue, which recounts the physical and mildly erotic act of eating, proved to be mostly irrelevant to the remainder of the story, even when incorporated into Lucy’s perspective and work. If the sensual relationship between humans and consuming food had been woven more deeply into the storyline, I would’ve seen its potential; nevertheless, it proved fruitless.

The bouncing perspectives from Emma-Jane to Lucy and the rest of the ensemble was a delightful choice in narration. Revealing the psychological turmoil of each character laid the foundation for Emma-Jane’s abduction and her dive into the dark corners of Drew’s trauma and mind.

Despite this, in comparison to the other characters, Emma-Jane was a flat character that didn’t seem to resolve any of Drew’s psychological turmoil or her own story.

Additionally, Lucy’s character and backstory were heartfelt, but her fat-phobic commentary targeted at her patient Jennifer was unnecessary to Jennifer’s sexual kink of feederism (AKA, a fetish in which individuals eroticize weight gain and feeding). Lucy, as a nutritionist, attempts to deter Jennifer from her fetish for health purposes, but her fat-phobic commentary seeps through and feels like an attempt to force puzzle pieces together than don’t fit.

Although a definite psychological novel, “Doctor Glass” wasn’t nearly as suspenseful or psychologically gripping as I hoped for–this made holding my attention through the end difficult and a bit of a let-down at the climax. The novel's first half had me enraptured but lost me by the middle.

Nevertheless, “Doctor Glass” explores a topic rarely explored in fiction–and one that is stigmatized in mass society. Lyrical, visceral, and unsettling, Worthington starts her Glass Minds series off well but with vast room for improvement in future installments.

Follow @bergreadstoomuch for more book-related content!

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page