Lovesick by Spencer Seidel

Lovesick by Spencer Seidel (available in ebook now, and paperback in June 2012) is a crime thriller with a psychological twist.  Dr. Lisa Boyers is a forensic psychologist and she agrees to assess Paul Ducharme, whose now infamous murder of his best friend Lee on the Eastern Promenade Trail in Portland is gaining national attention.  Boyers is brought closer to her past than she’s comfortable with when a former friend, Rudy Swaner, asks for her help on his case.  Boyers and Swaner tap dance around their past flirtation and her own dark secrets, while she attempts to discover the truth about Lee and Paul’s friendship and the disappearance of Lee’s girlfriend, Wendy.

“Lisa realized that she had barely moved since Paul had begun to tell his story.  He was still talking about that day in the Subway in Monument Square.  She could see in his dark eyes that he was reliving those hard memories.  He wasn’t looking at her.  It was as if she wasn’t in the room.  He was lost in his own mind.”  (page 90)

Lisa still harbors a deep fear of men, though she has tried to bury her memories and fears deep inside.  Rudy dredges up the past just by his presence, and he further confuses things for Lisa by asking her to help him on a case, as he defends Ducharme. Her students see her as an authority in the classroom, but even a teen who has impure thoughts about her freaks her out. Seidel has created a woman who on the outside appears to have it together — a great career and degree — on the inside she’s barely living emotionally.

What’s interesting is how Lisa’s story becomes so entwined with Ducharme’s from a psychological standpoint, and the narrative is told in a third-person format, even as Ducharme relates his story about Lee to Lisa. While Ducharme’s story may be best told from a first-person point of view, the third-person here is not distracting, though it does provide a certain distance between him and the reader. The distance seems to be deliberate to ensure that readers are left in suspense about the crime and Ducharme’s role in it. Seidel does a good job of fleshing out Dr. Boyers and Ducharme, as well as Lee and Wendy, but Rudy and some of the other characters are a bit flat. Rudy particularly seems to be simply a plot catalyst to get her involved in the case, while others are merely part of the setting.

Although the love triangle between Lee, Wendy, and Ducharme is predictable, the ways in which the murder is uncovered keep the story fresh and suspenseful. Lovesick by Spencer Seidel is a fast-paced thriller of sex, lies, abuse and murder that will leave readers on the edge of their seats as the characters struggle with the sickness that has taken over their lives.

Spencer Seidel; Photo by Chad Hunt

About the Author:

Spencer Seidel’s love of reading and writing began as a child after he discovered Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. His first novel, Dead of Wynter, was published in 2011 and was well-received by critics and readers alike. When he’s not writing novels, Spencer enjoys playing loud rock guitar, something he’s been doing for over twenty-five years.

Also, check out his guest post and giveaway.


This is my 10th book for the 2012 New Authors Challenge.


  1. I don’t read many thrillers, but I would like to explore the genre more. This one sounds really interesting.

  2. Fantastic review Serena. I enjoyed this one as well, I was on the edge of my seat.

  3. I like a good suspense novel that keeps me on the edge of my seat.

  4. Not sure this is my cup of tea, but glad you enjoyed it for the most part.

  5. I love books that have a lot of twists in them. Lisa sounds like a fascinating character.

  6. Oh man, that sounds twisted, but in a good way! lol That sounds like a real page turner.