The Institution by Helen Fields #audiobookreview

They’re locked up for your safety.
Now, you’re locked in with them.

Dr Connie Woolwine has five days to catch a killer.

On a locked ward in the world’s highest-security prison hospital, a scream shatters the night. The next morning, a nurse’s body is found and her daughter has been taken. A ransom must be paid, and the clock is ticking.

Forensic profiler Dr Connie Woolwine is renowned for her ability to get inside the mind of a murderer. Now, she must go deep undercover among the most deranged and dangerous men on earth and use her unique skills to find the girl – before it’s too late.

But as the walls close in around her, can Connie get the killer before The Institution gets her?

My thoughts on The Institution

I was a big fan of Helen Fields ‘Perfect’ series of books. However, with so many great crime writers out there, somewhere along the way I had stopped reading her more recent releases. As I start to rediscover the joy of audiobooks while I’m travelling for work, listening to The Institution seemed like a perfect opportunity to rediscover a once-favourite author too.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t as happy a reunion as I’d hoped. I really struggled with The Institution. In part, it was the narration. The main voice was a very well spoken English voice but the main character, Connie, was American. the American accent wasn’t great. The main narration a little too ‘Queen’s English’ for me.

I might have been able to move past this if the plot had caught me the way previous Helen Field’s plots had. But it didn’t. It felt overblown and convoluted. The initial idea of a woman being killed for her baby and the baby being held for ransom was interesting. Setting the action within an institution was interesting. The two together, however, didn’t work for me. It didn’t make sense.

A big part of the plot seemed to revolve around explaining why each patient was in there – with detailed descriptions of them as killers. I felt they dragged the plot down, slowing the pace when I wanted it to speed along. And I felt like they were the main reason the book had been written – that this idea had taken over the story itself.

As with all my reviews, these are my opinions and not a critical analysis. This just wasn’t for me. 3 out of 5 stars.


Please note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.


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