Boundary Issues, by Thomas Boxleiter

Nine stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to Reedsy Discovery and Thomas Boxleiter for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

After I was approached with an ARC of Thomas Boxleiter’s novel, I could not help but be intrigued. The dust jacket blurb presented a novel full of action and with just the right amount of legal flavouring to be something that I would enjoy. Boxleiter did not disappoint at any point, providing a story that garnered not only my attention, but admiration for being so thorough. Mixing a number of areas together with just enough detail to leave the reader wanting more, Boxleiter has shown himself to be an author worth watching for in the years to come.

Dr. Hank Pressman has been running his psychiatric practice for years, with a number of patients who have achieved various forms of personal success. Beneath the surface, Pressman has a life that is a little more involved, from the death of his long-time wife, to bouts of infidelity, and even a blossoming addiction to alcohol. Still, he’s been able to keep things running smoothly.

When Marian Ash visits Dr. Pressman and demands that he take her on as a client, things begin to get a little more intense. Refusing to offer more than the bare minimum when it comes to information—as she fears her husband will find out—Marian speaks of an abusive relationship at home. She comes to the office with physical bruises, which only worries Dr. Pressman more. He does his best to help her, but Marian Ash has other ideas.

While Dr. Pressman is trying to get his life back on track with a new relationship, things take a turn one night when Marian shows up at his home. Soon thereafter, she’s taken into custody when her husband is found murdered. While Dr. Pressman has some of his own views on the matter, a series of events leave him wondering if he can serve as an expert witness to either help or hinder the defence. Faced with a mountain of personal and professional issues, Dr. Hank Pressman while have to decide what matters most to him and how he will look himself in the mirror once legal proceedings begin. A thrilling piece that is sure to make a name for Thomas Boxleiter!

I always enjoy new authors who make their way onto my radar. Thomas Boxleiter did so effectively and showed just how much skill he has with both storytelling and writing. The story, which may seem cookie cutter from the outset, actually delves into some wonderful themes and topics, all while educating the reader throughout the process. Boxleiter pulls no punches and keeps the reader in the middle, feeling as though they are right there with Dr. Pressman and the others. I look forward to reading more by Boxleiter, when the chance arises, and would encourage anyone looking for something refreshing and highly entertaining to try this novel for themselves.

Thomas Boxleiter offers up a strong narrative to guide the reader through the journey. Things begin well and build from there, providing a roadmap for a successful story. The characters Boxleiter uses throughout flavour things effectively and keep the reader intrigued about what is going on, without proving to be too over the top. I must applaud Boxleiter for developing Dr. Hank Pressman so well throughout the novel. There is significant progress for the character, who grows and expands in a variety of ways, such that the reader really feels as though they know his struggles. Use of plot twists keeps the story on point and allows the reader to feel a sense of not knowing where things are headed. While I cannot tell if there will be more for Dr. Pressman, or other novels in the same vein, I can only hope Thomas Boxleiter keeps writing and that I have the chance to read them. I was thoroughly impressed with this effort, which appears to be a debut novel!

Kudos, Mr. Boxleiter, for a great piece that kept me turning pages well into the night.