While treating Robert Percy, a burly factory worker, psychologist David Malden unlocks not only his patient’s memories of childhood abuse but also an upwelling violence. When Percy abruptly departs Buffalo for rural Michigan, where he grew up in a series of foster homes, Malden fears that his patient seeks revenge. Concerned with his liability under Duty to Warn laws, Malden sets out after the troubled young man.
Sara Kersting’s Duty to Warn is a finely tuned, suspenseful chase story.The novel deftly weaves between its three leads’ perspectives. These shifts between people and through time are jarring in a way that mimics Percy’s recollections. Each character’s section shines and is full of personality ... The author draws upon her career in the mental health field to great effect. Professional jargon is eschewed for a taut narrative that offers up ample information without hampering the tense plot’s momentum ... Secondary subplots show Malden and Nielsen as dynamic and painfully real people ... Duty to Warn is captivating.
The author deftly raises the tension level with frequent flashback scenes that showcase a variety of emotional confrontations ... There’s strong believable character development that provides many insights into assorted behavior patterns ... Duty to Warn is a thought-provoking, emotional tale of truth and consequences, filled with realism, dark secrets and a search for inner peace.
...[a] taut story of a crisis ... The novel expertly shifts perspective among...three characters, maintaining a high level of tension ... Focusing tightly on the human dimension of her story, Kersting avoids the twin curses of reliance on professional jargon or the need to establish her credibility by inundating the reader with unnecessary information, creating considerable narrative momentum without sacrificing telling detail that adds pathos to the account of Percy's childhood in a series of foster homes. Kersting also artfully inserts the backstories of Malden and Nielsen ... A provocative exploration of the ethics of mental health counseling.