Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Novel CLOCK STRIKES THREE - Bunker, Crane, or Lecter?

Figure One. Armchair psychiatrist Archie Bunker. If you don't
know who Archie Bunker was, you are too young. ;).  

It is difficult for some of us to admit we need mental or physical help from a doctor,
any doctor, any reason, especially a psychiatrist. I know more than a
few people over the years who may have wanted to suggest to me that I needed some psychiatric help and they were probably right.   

In my recent book CLOCK STRIKES THREE, I wanted to show how difficult it is to breach the subject of getting help from a psychiatrist when the patient does not believe he or she needs help. In CLOCK STRIKES THREE, my main character is a young man named Joey Gellar. Joey is caught by the police committing a crime with some really bad dudes. We can argue all day long whether or not Joey was coerced by these bad dudes into participating in this crime caper or whether he went along using his own free will. You will have to read CLOCK STRIKES THREE to derive your own opinion on that. However, that does not matter since Joey's court-appointed attorney somehow convinced the court that Joey was basically a good egg, led down the crime trail by some bad eggs and he was caught, but it was not his fault, it was his upbringing that allowed him to be easily coerced and manipulated. That was not an easy sell for that attorney, but the judge bought it hook, line, and sinker.  
Figure Two. Frasier Winslow Crane, fictional character on the
American television sitcoms Cheers and Frasier.

Yes, it is true. Joey’s court-appointed attorney convinced a real ball breaker of a judge to find some compassion for this poor kid named Joey Gellar. Yes, I heard violin music playing in the background when I wrote that part of the book. The court-appointed attorney told the court about Joey's bad upbringing, how Joey grew up in a broken home, how his father had abandoned Joey and his siblings, and how Joey and his siblings were raised by a prostitute / drug addict mother. Do you feel the tears coming on?

The judge found mercy for Joey which sets this thrilling adventure off into overdrive. The judge sentences Joey to probation. The judge also makes Joey seek psychiatric counseling from a court appointed psychiatrist by the name of Dr. Holbrook Devon. Now, I am not going to tell you what Dr. Holbrook Devon is like. You are going to have to discover this on your own. His practice might resemble one of the three psychiatrists on this page or it might be a weighting of all three psychiatrists or it might be none of the above. You be the judge. 

Figure Three. Dr. Hannibal Lecter is a psychiatrist in a
series of suspense novels written by Thomas Harris. 

What the judge did for Joey was truly compassionate and fantastic. Joey really had a bad upbringing and he could really use some psychiatric help to deal with his life. However, was Dr. Holbrook Devon the right individual to help Joey? You will have to read CLOCK STRIKES THREE to see how that relationship works out.

Were Joey Gellar and Dr. Holbrook Devon a match made in heaven or were they a lighted match in a pool of gasoline? I can guarantee you that their relationship will surprise you in more ways than one. 

Guess which one of these three psychiatrists Dr. Holbrook Devon resembles the most. Then, read CLOCK STRIKES THREE to find out the answer.